With all the talk about the upcoming Congressional midterms, local races are getting overlooked. This is unfortunate for a couple of reasons. First of all, despite a century plus of actions and efforts to the contrary, federalism is still alive, and state governments still matter. Second, these races have an impact upon national elections because states will be redrawing their districts in the wake of the 2010 census.
It would be a massive undertaking beyond my abilities and time to look at each state’s legislative elections, though most projections I have heard have the Republicans gaining a massive amount of seats in state legislatures. Republicans are projected to switch majority control in about five or six states at a minimum. Here I will be taking a look at each of the gubernatorial elections.
On a side note, it may seem odd to label these elections as pickups and holds. After all, it’s not as though governors gather en masse and vote, so having a “majority” of governorships seems not to be that big of a deal. But for the aforementioned reasons, it is important to win as many of these races as possible. Currently there are 26 Democratic governors and 24 Republican. Republicans will certainly have a majority after Tuesday. As is the case with the House, the only question is how big of a majority.
And now, to the races we go:
Hattip to Rich Leonardi at his blog Ten Reasons, a blog I read every day. Pope Benedict in his current visit to Brazil gives all the Faithful in the US food for thought as we go to the polls next Tuesday:
“First, the duty of direct action to ensure a just ordering of society falls to the lay faithful who, as free and responsible citizens, strive to contribute to the just configuration of social life, while respecting legitimate autonomy and natural moral law”, the Holy Father explained. “Your duty as bishops, together with your clergy, is indirect because you must contribute to the purification of reason, and to the moral awakening of the forces necessary to build a just and fraternal society. Nonetheless, when required by the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls, pastors have the binding duty to emit moral judgments, even on political themes”.
“When forming these judgements, pastors must bear in mind the absolute value of those … precepts which make it morally unacceptable to chose a particular action which is intrinsically evil and incompatible with human dignity. This decision cannot be justified by the merit of some specific goal, intention, consequence or circumstance, Thus it would be completely false and illusory to defend, political, economic or social rights which do not comprehend a vigorous defence of the right to life from conception to natural end. When it comes to defending the weakest, who is more defenceless than an unborn child or a patient in a vegetative or comatose state?” Continue reading
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: Continue reading
A week before the Presidential election in 1884, the Reverend Samuel D. Burchard, a Presbyterian minister, at a Republican gathering denounced the Democrats as the party of “Rum, Romanism and Rebellion”. James G. Blaine, the Republican candidate, denounced the anti-Catholic remarks three days later, but it was too late and Blaine lost the election. The memorable phrase helped cement most Catholics as Democrats for a century.
Now the Minnesota Democrat Farmer Labor Party (Minnesota Democrats) are doing their best to help drive Catholics into the arms of the Republican Party with this piece of tripe:
A roundup of recent political news less than a week before the election.
1. Debbie Does Delusion- Reason TV Porker of the Month is one of my favorite internet monthly videos. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz , Congresswoman for Florida 20, is one of the more telegenic of the Democrat members of Congress, and one of the most eager to appear on television. It is said that one of the most dangerous places to be in DC is between her and a tv camera. Somehow though, I doubt if she will appreciate her Reason TV feature. Her pro-life opponent Karen Harrington has been waging an aggressive uphill campaign. It is an overwhelmingly blue district, but if it is a night for political miracles next Tuesday, I hope that Karen Harrington can free Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for a full time TV career.
2. To Dream the Impossible Dream-Speaking of uphill fights, John Dennis, a libertarian Republican, has been going full bore against Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, and fondly designated by me as The Lying Worthless Political Hack. California 8 in San Francisco is the blue heart of liberalism in this country, and therefore it would take a political earthquake of biblical proportions for Dennis to win, but that hasn’t stopped him from campaigning with endless energy and humor:
If a candidate deserves to win simply due to energy, style and sheer brio, it is John Dennis. May Saint Jude be paying attention to this race.
3. How Low Can He Go?- A Harris interactive poll had the President at 37% approval yesterday, a new low mark for him. Coincidentally, on Monday our post-partisan President said that Republicans were welcome to work with him as long as they sit in the back of the bus. “We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.” It’s a generous offer Mr. President, but after next Tuesday I think the Republicans will be sitting up front with you. Continue reading
The midterm elections are upon us a week from tomorrow, so it is time for predictions. Predictions are harder than normal this year because we are dealing with an unprecedented situation in modern American politics. Never before have the Republicans been so far ahead on almost every generic Congressional ballot, and never have they enjoyed such a large enthusiasm gap between their voters and voters who intend to vote for Democrats. Additionally, never before have the Republicans fielded so many well-funded candidates in traditional Democrat strongholds. This is political terra incognita. Almost all serious political analysts believe that the GOP will take more than the 39 seats necessary to take the House, with some of the chief prognosticators making the following predictions: Larry Sabato (47), RCP (”up to 57?), Charlie Cook (52), Jay Cost (61), and Nate Silver (51). Continue reading
In a nation where 40% of the population identify as conservatives, it is hilarious that we have what is laughingly referred to as the mainstream media which tilts overwhelmingly to the left, and purports to determine which candidates are “moderate” and which are “mainstream”. However, in the age of the internet, the power of the mainstream media is a diminishing asset, especially when such examples as NPR firing liberal Juan Williams for stating that he is nervous on a plane when he sees passengers in traditional muslim garb, indicate clearly who the intolerant extremists truly are. Continue reading
A roundup of political news less than two weeks from the midterm elections.
1. Kentucky Fried Political Suicide-Jack Conway decided to lose the Kentucky Senate Race with a bang not a whimper. His video resurrects a college prank pulled by Rand Paul almost three decades ago and attempts to use it to brand Paul an apostate from Christianity. I have seen lots of ludicrous attack ads over the years but this one takes the case. And the woman who was tied up in the prank? Here is her take:
The woman — who was made available to me for an interview by GQ reporter Jason Zengerle in response to the Paul campaign’s denunciations of his article — said she didn’t mean to imply that she was kidnapped “in a legal sense.”
The woman said that much of the subsequent coverage of her allegations missed a key nuance: As a participant in a college ritual, where lines between acquiescence and victimization are often blurry, she was largely playing along with the notion that she was being forced to follow Paul’s orders.
By all accounts the ad is backfiring big time on Conway and will probably ensure a double digit Paul victory. Most voters understand that college students are young and often immature, at least I was, and can act in fairly foolish ways at times as a result. Besides, attempting to turn this into an attack on Paul’s religious faith is misplaced. I am as confident as I can be that when Paul was tying up the coed the last thing on his mind was religion.
2. Ohio Fried Political Suicide-Steve Driehaus is the Democrat Congressman for Ohio 1. He doesn’t want you to see the ad above. He is desperate because he trails his opponent Steve Chabot by double digits according to a recent poll. He is one of the incumbent Democrat Congressmen who have been cast adrift by the Democrat party because their re-election races appear hopeless. He is also one of the “pro-life” Democrat Congressman who voted for ObamaCare. The Susan B. Anthony List paid for a billboard to remind the constituents of Driehaus that ObamaCare allows for public funding of abortions. Driehaus complained to the Ohio Election Commission, claiming that the ad is misleading. A hearing is scheduled for the end of October. The attorneys for Driehaus strong armed the owner of the billboard not to allow the ad until the Commission has issued a ruling. The President of the Susan B. Anthony List Marjorie Dannenfelser has stated in regard to Driehaus and his lack of familiarity with the first amendment:
The Ohio Elections Commission has allowed Steve Driehaus to achieve his strategic objective of preventing constituents from learning the truth about his vote in favor of taxpayer funding of abortion in the health care reform bill. We are disappointed and surprised that the complaint was not immediately dismissed. The fact that the health care reform bill allows for taxpayer funding of abortion has been agreed upon by every major pro-life group in the country, including National Right to Life, Americans United for Life, Focus on the Family, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The larger problem here is a public official’s attempt to use a criminal statue to silence legitimate debate on his record. The proper place for public policy debate is in the public square, not in an Elections Commission or criminal court. The SBA List will see this process through to the end and vigorously defend our position that the health care reform bill, supported by Steve Driehaus, allows for taxpayer funding of abortion. Moreover, we will use every vehicle possible within our First Amendment rights to communicate this message to the people of Congressman Steve Driehaus’ district between now and the hearing.
Of course by attempting to suppress the billboard, Driehaus has ensured that it has been seen by far more people over the internet and in newspaper and television stories than would have ever seen the billboard. Brilliant. Desperate and stupid is a poor combination in politics. Continue reading
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.
I have often said that politics is not rocket science, but now we have a rocket scientist running for Congress! Ruth McClung is a physicist who works as a rocket scientist. She is strongly pro-life:
The value of life should not be taken lightly. Should I be elected, I would stand for the life of unborn babies. I would stand for protection of our elderly. I would also fight to defend animals against cruelty. Society must stand for those who cannot defend themselves or society is lost.
President Lyndon B Johnson said, “You know, doing what is right is easy. The problem is, knowing what is right.” I believe this statement is applicable to abortion.
I doubt that many would argue that the taking of an innocent life is wrong. The argument then begins with the question, “When does that life become a baby.” Since I have an aunt and a cousin that both spent less time in the womb than many late term abortion babies, I cannot believe that those babies are not fully human and do not deserve the full rights of humans, including the right to life. I will support the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. My opponent is one of the 71 co-sponsors of H.R. 1964, which would nullify the national ban on partial-birth abortion.
I am also convinced that the humanity of a baby has nothing to do with whether or not it is in the womb. At a “million cells” is it just cells, then at a “million and one cells” is it human? There is no dividing line between non-life and life. We cannot devalue a human life in this way. We must stand for life from the first cell! If not, then we start down a dangerous path that will quickly lead to a culture of death in our society. Is it not always better to error on the side of life?
I do not believe that many would suggest a young girl should do something that would cause her emotional pain for the rest of her life. This brings me to the second life that abortion hurts – it is the life of the would-be mother. We are giving young girls a huge choice that will affect them for the rest of their lives. We need a society that stands up for these girls. I understand that a girl may not be able to take care of a child at that point in her life, but I can say with surety that there will always be a family waiting to adopt that child. This will release that girl from the emotional burden that she may carry for the rest of her life.
Together, let’s stand for the value of life. Continue reading
With an economy that stinks, and after two years of a Congress ramming unpopular policies down the throats of an unwilling public, Democrats around the nation are in electoral trouble. What can possibly save them? They know! Roll out the abortion ads!
Republicans have won points with many voters by promising a conservative overhaul of taxes and spending, but Democrats are working hard in the closing weeks of the campaign to convince voters that a conservative social agenda is waiting in the wings, too, should Republicans be elected in large numbers.
Abortion rights is the flash point, being wielded by the left in hard-fought races from New York’s contest for governor, to Senate races in Florida and California, as Democratic candidates or groups try to rally their base and attract moderate Republican or independent women — a slice of the electorate that is even more coveted than in years past. Continue reading
We live in an age of wonders, we truly do. With the internet we have an infinite selection of conspiracy theories, crazed commentary, and almost true facts. To add to this intellectual happy meal, we now have a site I am afraid that I will visit hundreds of time before election day. Continue reading
The above video by Ben Howe neatly encapsulates why the Democrats are going to take a historic beating next month. If a politician runs on a platform of Hope and Change he better deliver plenty of both. Obama has delivered despair and a magnification of the trends that got us into the economic and fiscal morass we are in. No one likes to be the mark of a con, and I think that a majority of voters now are firmly convinced that a massive con was played on the nation in 2008.
Josh Kraushaar at Hotline gives us a peek of the electoral storm that is in the process of being unleashed:
But when you look at the national polling metrics and the race-by-race picture in the House, there’s little evidence of any Democratic comeback. If anything, Republicans are in as strong a position to win back control of the House as they have been this entire election cycle.
Much of the newfound glimmer of hope comes from a misinterpretation of polling data released by Democratic campaigns and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Many of the polls aren’t all that encouraging for Dems, but have been spun to present a misleadingly optimistic picture. Continue reading
On Monday night there was a debate between Connecticut Senatorial candidates Richard Blumenthal and Linda McMahon. During the debate Linda McMahon asked Mr. Blumenthal, “How do you create a job?” Blumenthal’s answer was, well, see for yourself.
Watching this, I couldn’t help but be reminded of another example of genius on display.
A roundup of recent political news.
1. I am not a witch! Christine O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” opening salvo in her ad campaign. Normally an ad from a candidate denying she is a witch would be the last thing heard from a campaign doomed to defeat and oblivion. However, these are far from normal times. O’Donnell does two things with this ad. First, she shows the public that she is a real person and not the cartoon character created by the mainstream media and the denizens of the Left, and she begins to position herself as what she is: the ultimate outsider. Not a bad strategy in a political year that will be kind to outsiders and cruel to insiders.
2. Gallup Poll-Gallup for some reason has been late this year applying a likely voter screen in their polls. The closer you get to an election the more reliable likely voter polls get, and the less reliable registered voter polls are. In a high turnout election, Gallup predicts a 13 point Republican advantage among likely voters and in a low voter turnout election Gallup predicts an 18 point Republican advantage among likely voters. Go here to read the results of the poll. For comparison’s sake, in the 1994 election when the Republicans took both the House and the Senate, in the Congressional elections the GOP had a six point advantage on election day. Continue reading