Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Polling update iv - Down to the wire

I just received the next polling update from my friend Dylan, here is the latest:

Greetings and Good Day to all,

I managed to make a few phone calls and get some e-mail this morning to obtain and scour the latest election polling data. Here’s the rundown with one week to go before Election Day.

In the Senate, it’s absolutely crazy with down to the wire campaigning, TV ads, attacks, and mobilization to achieve voter turnout next Tuesday being crucial.

In the MO race, three separate polls have the race between Sen. Talent and McCaskill tied. That’s a ton of polling data showing the same thing—a battle for just a few votes could make the difference. I remember years ago when deceased Governor Mel Carnihan beat Sen. Ashcroft with his wife Jean taking the seat narrowly. There were all kinds of wild stories coming out of MO including a voting machine from a Republican precinct being found in the middle of a vacant lot in St. Louis. Time for more fun??!! This could be a knock down, drag out fight to the finish in bellwether MO. This race is Too Close to Call.

In NJ, Sen. Menendez maintains his 3-7 point lead over Kean for a D Hold.

In Ohio, home state to the most disgusting university and college football program in America, Brown maintains a nearly 10-point lead over Sen. DeWine for a D Pickup.

In TN, Ford continues to fall behind Corker by about a point a day as attacks on Ford are hitting the mark there. Corker now leads by 7-8 points there for an R Hold of the open Frist seat. It looks like this race is quickly disappearing from the close margin column.

In RI, Whitehorse still leads Sen. Chafee by about 10 points in several polls for a D Pickup.

In PA, Casey still leads Sen. Santorum by double digits for a D Pickup.

In Montana, Sen. Burns once again, like in several races before, takes a licking and just keeps on ticking. He has now closed to within 4-5 points of Tester and this is a continuation of a trend where Tester led by almost 10 but now has a shrinking lead there. If Tester hangs on over the next seven days, this is a D Pickup.

I’ve saved the two wildest numbers for last. The second wildest number comes from Arizona. Arizona was considered to be a close race earlier this year but Sen. Kyl maintained a good lead there all year. New polling coming from several sources now shows Pederson gaining, now within 5-6 points. If Sen. Kyl hangs on over the next week, this is an R Hold.

In the wildest Senate number for today, multiple polls show Webb pulling ahead of Sen. Allen in Virginia. Webb is ahead of Allen currently 2-4 points depending on the poll. This has been reflected now in daily tracking for multiple days, which means something is happening in VA. This is now listed as a D Pickup.

To sum up, Senators Santorum, DeWine, and Chaffee look gone, Sen. Burns is still
trailing though closing the gap, while Sen. Allen is now behind as well, but very narrowly, with the MO race as close as can be. If the election were held today, current polling indicates that the Democrats would have a net gain of 5 seats, to make the Senate 50-50 with VP Cheney breaking the tie for the Rs to maintain control, and the MO race too close to call, thereby tipping the balance of power either way. At the moment, control of the Senate looks to come down to Virginia and Missouri. The Democrats would need to defeat both Republican incumbents.

In the House of Representatives, district by district polling indicates a net gain of between 23 and 30 seats for the Democrats depending on the data in the closest districts. As you know, the Democrats need a net gain of 15 to take control. The “conventional wisdom” in Washington even among Republicans as of today is that the Democrats will indeed take control of the House after 12 years in the minority. However, there is also a sense of caution and disbelief even in Democratic circles.

That is all for today.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A real Halloween scare

The scariest thing you might encounter in the coming weeks might not be found roaming the streets this Tuesday night, nor will you see it lighting up silver screens, the real terror could be as close as voting booth next to you.

Time magazine is running a story about the Diebold voting machine. It does a good job coving the basics, but for a closer look I recommend looking a little deeper.

If you don't mind reading a bit of a technical essay about the potential pitfalls we are facing here, Jon Stokes from Ars Technica wrote an excellent one here:


If you don't have the time, I can give you the short and skinny of it. 1) Moving to votes to a digital system causes them to be much easier to manipulate, both during an election and after. 2) Security concerns increase rather than become more manageable. 3) If there is a audit performed due to a red flag, there is no discernible way to tell between a machine malfunction or deliberate tampering.

As I said before, for a full understanding of what the true risk of the Diebold voting machine is, read through the article from Ars Technica, it will cause you to shiver at the sight of the next electronic voting machine you see.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Polling Update iii

Hot new digital bits...

First, the Washington Post has done another large national poll, this one breaking responses down on some questions between Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Here’s the data:

Bush Approval—37 percent

Disapproval—63 percent

As for as issues of importance go, the top ranked issue determining a vote in the election is Iraq, with the economy being second.

If Iraq is the primary issue in determining your vote, which party will you vote for?



How would you rate the state of the American economy?

Excellent or good—55

Fair or poor—45

Do you personally feel that your own economic situation is getting better, staying the same, or getting worse?

Getting better—22

Staying the same—52

Getting worse—26

If the economy is the primary issue in determining your vote, which party will
you vote for?



This question asked of Independents--

On the following issues, which party do you trust more to do a better job handling:










Ethics in government:



North Korea:



These next three questions were asked of all and broken down by Democrats, Republicans, and Independents:

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the situation in Iraq for the coming 12













Do you think the conflict in Iraq has or has not damaged the image of the United States in the rest of the world?



Not Damaged—39



Not Damaged—14



Not Damaged—18



Not Damaged—22

If the election were held today, would you vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in your House district?

Republicans: 88 percent Republican, 10 percent Democratic

Democrats: 95 percent Democratic, 4 percent Republican

Independents: 59 percent Democratic, 31 percent Republican

Overall: 54 percent Democratic, 41 percent Republican

Now on to some more specific numbers for the races at hand:

In the House of Representatives, where the Democrats need a net gain of 15 seats to take control, current district by district polling indicates that if the election were held today, the Democrats will have a net gain of between 25 and 30 seats.

In the closely watched individual Senate races:

In CT, Sen. Lieberman maintains a double digit lead as an Independent caucusing with the Democrats.

In RI, Whitehouse leads Sen. Chaffee by 8 or 9 points depending on the poll for a D Pickup.

In PA, Casey leads Sen. Santorum by double digits for a D Pickup.

In NJ, Sen. Menendez holds a 3 point lead over Kean for a D Hold.

In VA, Sen. Allen maintains a 3-4 point lead over Webb depending on the poll for an R Hold.

In TN, Corker has come on in this see saw battle and now leads Ford by 2-3 points depending on the poll for an R Hold of the Frist seat.

In OH, Sen. DeWine has gained a little momentum back after falling behind in double digits but still trails Brown by 7-9 points for a D Pickup.

In MO, McCaskill is maintaining a slight lead over Sen. Talent of 1-2 points for a D Pickup.

In MT, Sen. Burns has shown some momentum after going down by nearly 10 but still trails Tester by 6-7 points for a D Pickup.

The Democrats need a net gain of 6 seats in the Senate to take control. Current state by state polling indicates that if the election were held today, the Democrats would have a net gain of 5 seats and that the Senate would be tied 50-50 with Vice President Cheney breaking the tie in favor of the Rs as President of the Senate for the Republicans to maintain control of the chamber.
The situation that has changed within recent days to prevent the Ds from getting the clean sweep they need is the Tennessee race where Corker is doing better. As I’ve stated before, the Democrats have no margin for error in any one race.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


LonelyGirl15 meets Ask a Ninja. I personally love Ask a Ninja, but this added a nice twist. Not going to bother explaining LonelyGirl15, except to say that its an actress if you didn't know.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Even if you are not a Nine Inch Nails fan, Hurt is one of the true gems. Jonny Cash's cover just several months prior to passing away is in my opinion one of the best covers of all time. Its a deeply emotional song, and Cash flushes it out in all the proper tones of grey and black. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

25 things to do to grow rich

This story describes 25 things to keep mind about your finance

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Polling Update ii

Here is another post from my friend back in Oregon:

Good afternoon all,
After the last polling update I sent out some of you expressed some skepticism at the numbers and questioned whether or not wishful thinking had influenced the numbers I sent out. I assure you that these are dire times for the Republican Party, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Below are links to three websites that assess the current races in an easy-to-read, interesting format. Two are done by non-partisan organizations and the third is done by a Republican. Those links are:



http://www.electionprojection.com/ - Done by a Republican

Lastly, before I get to today’s numbers, for those of us who enjoy reading left-wing writings and thoughts, I’d like to suggest visiting The Rant. It’s a blog done by a friend of mine on this list. It’s particularly relevant to those of you in California, but still great stuff for everybody else. It can be found at:


Sorry, no great conservative blog to recommend. If any of you have any good ones to recommend, I’d be happy to mention it in the next polling update. Now on to today's numbers:

I wanted to pass along how things stand this week with the races across the nation now that we are less than three weeks from Election Day. If there is ever a reminder of how the leaders we choose, and the actions of those in Washington, can impact human lives, it comes in situations such as this morning when the Defense Department announced that ten more Soldiers and Marines were killed in action in Iraq within the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 70 for this month that is only half over. Indications are that soon after the election, there’s going to be a major announcement from the White House in conjunction with Former Secretary of State Baker and his special commission that just returned from Iraq where Baker apparently became enraged at what he saw using words like “disaster”. The word around the city is that Daddy Bush and Baker are heavily involved in trying figure things out with W. The
announcement is supposedly going to be to convene a bi-partisan workgroup comprised of Bush Administration officials and Members of Congress from both parties to work out a “new approach”, as the White House is calling it, to the situation in Iraq. It will supposedly not involve immediate withdrawal of US forces from the country but involve some major new initiatives. Your guess is as good as mine as without massive foreign assistance from flakey nations such as France and Russia I don’t see how it’s anything other than a choice between stay or withdraw. This has apparently come about not just because of the power that Daddy Bush and Baker wield and their thinking on the subject of Iraq, but because Bush and his team in the White House have become convinced that his entire presidency could sink from both a policy and political standpoint because of the conflict, just like Johnson’s did over Vietnam. At the very end of this e-mail is an interesting front page story in today’s Washington Post outlining Bush Administration thinking and the rest of the dynamic with the potential of a Democratic Congress looming.

With polling, we’ll start with the House of Representatives. The Democrats need a net gain of 15 to take control and make things happen such as Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as Speaker of the House, George Miller (D-CA) as Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee, Henry Waxman (D-CA) as Chair of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, John Conyers (D-MI) as Chair of the Judiciary Committee, John Dingell (D-MI) as Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Charlie Rangel (D-NY) as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee. Current district by district polling indicates if the election were held today, the Democrats would have a net gain of 24 seats in the House, taking 24 out of the 30 races which are currently viewed as competitive and thereby taking control of the House.

In the Tier 2 Senate races that going in to this year were figured to be races to watch but which have not developed in to such races:

Sen. Kyl has a strong double digit lead in Arizona for an R Hold

Sen. Byrd, who turns 89 years old next month, has a huge lead in West Virginia for a D Hold

Sen. Ensign has a double digit lead in Nevada for an R Hold

Sen. Cantwell has almost a ten point lead in Washington for a D Hold

Klobuchar has a 20 point lead in Minnesota over Kennedy for a D Hold of the seat being vacated by Sen. Dayton

Sen. Stabenow has a double digit lead in Michigan for a D Hold

Sen. Nelson has a 20 point lead over Harris in Florida for a D Hold

In the Tier 1 Senate races that will determine control of the chamber when the 110th Congress of the United States convenes on January 3:

Sen. Lieberman, now running as an Independent, has a double digit lead over his Democratic challenger in Connecticut. Earlier this week Sen. Lieberman announced his firm intention to caucus with the Democratic Party after his likely re-election to the Senate as an Independent, joining the only other Independent in the body, Sen. Jeffords, as a member of the Democratic Caucus.

Casey now has a double digit lead in multiple polls over Sen. Santorum in PA for
a D Pickup.

Brown now has a double digit lead over Sen. DeWine in Ohio for a D Pickup.

Ford leads Corker by 1 point in TN for a D Pickup of the seat being vacated by Sen. Frist. This race is hugely tight in that R state.

McCaskill has opened up a lead over Sen. Talent in MO of between 4-6 points depending on the poll for a D Pickup in the state that is considered the national bellwether for how the Democrats will do.

Tester is 6-7 points ahead of Sen. Burns in Montana for a D Pickup.

Whitehouse is 6-7 points ahead of Sen. Chafee in Rhode Island for a D Pickup

Sen. Menendez has opened up a 4-5 point lead over Kean in New Jersey for a D Hold.

Sen. Allen maintains a lead over Webb in Virginia for an R Hold but Allen’s lead is now down to just 2 points in a Washington Post poll that’s getting a lot of attention this week, not just because it shows the race tighter again, but more importantly because it was such a large statewide poll and has shown a huge split that has opened up between the Washington suburbs of Northern Virginia and the rest of the state. I’ve put the piece from the Post below for all of you.

Back to the Senate polling though. The Democrats need a net gain of 6 seats in the Senate to take control and do things like make Harry Reid Majority Leader, Robert Byrd as Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Carl Levin as Chair of the Armed Services Committee, Jim Jeffords (huge environmentalist) as Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Joe Biden as Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Ted Kennedy as Chair of the Health, Education, and Labor Committee, Patrick Leahy as Chair of the Judiciary Committee, and Hillary Clinton as Chair of the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water Subcommittee at the Environment and Public Works Committee. If the election were held today, polling indicates that the Democrats would have a net gain of 6 seats to take control of the Senate with a 51-49 majority because of their clean sweep of all the close races. As I had stated previously, there is no margin for error and if one race such as the Tennessee race or the Missouri race tips back to the Rs, and Allen wins in VA, it would be a 50-50 Senate with Vice President Cheney breaking the tie in favor of the Republicans maintaining control. With less
than three weeks to go, much is uncertain.

Well, those are the numbers for this week. If the numbers warrant it, I’ll do two polling updates next week and the week after that.

Elections May Leave Bush An Early Lame Duck

By Peter Baker and Michael A. Fletcher
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 18, 2006; A01

On desks around the West Wing sit digital clocks counting down the days and hours left in the Bush presidency, reminders to the White House staff to use the time left as effectively as possible. As of 8 a.m. today, those clocks will read 825 days, four hours. But if the elections go the way pollsters and pundits predict, they might as well read 20 days.

At least that would be the end of George W. Bush's presidency as he has known it. If Democrats win one or both houses of Congress on Nov. 7, the result will transform the remainder of Bush's time in office and dramatically shift the balance of power in Washington. Ending a dozen years basically passed in exile, congressional Democrats would have a chance to help steer the nation again -- following a campaign spent mostly assailing Bush's vision rather than detailing their own.

Around Washington, key figures in both parties have been trying to figure out what a Democratic victory would mean. Bush has been meeting privately with Cabinet secretaries in recent weeks to map out an agenda for his final two years in office. The White House says it is not making contingency plans for a Democratic win, but Bush advisers are bracing for what they privately recognize is the increasing likelihood. And Democratic leaders have been conferring about what they would do should voters return them to power.

Emboldened by victory, and bitter from grievance, Democrats could use their ascendance to block Bush's agenda, force him to respond to theirs and begin a new era of aggressive oversight and investigation. A Democratic victory, analysts in both parties said, could mean that some of Bush's tax cuts would not be renewed, attempts to revive his Social Security investment plan would be doomed and efforts to further broaden national security powers in the face of civil liberties concerns would be thwarted.

Most worrisome to the White House is the subpoena power that Democrats would gain with a majority in the House or Senate. For years, Republicans have been mostly deferential in scrutinizing the Bush administration, but Democrats are eager to reexamine an array of issues, such as Vice President Cheney's energy task force, the Jack Abramoff scandal and preparations for the Iraq war.

"It obviously affects things a lot," said Charles Black, a Republican lobbyist with ties to the White House. "History tells you that administrations have a hard time achieving things in their last two years. I think the president wants to be as aggressive as he can with a good menu of ideas.

"If he had to deal with a Democratic majority in one house or both," Black added, it makes it that much harder.

Steve Elmendorf, a former House Democratic leadership aide, said of Bush, "He would lose control of his agenda. He would have to make a decision: Does he want to compromise and work cooperatively with the Democrats, or does he want to keep pushing what he's been pushing and lose all the time?"

The most salient analogy may be the last time Congress changed hands, after the 1994 elections. President Bill Clinton was left trying to assert that "the Constitution gives me relevance" even as new House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and his Republicans seized the initiative. Clinton ultimately recovered through a mixture of confrontation with Republicans, most notably in a government shutdown, and "triangulation" in which he embraced some of their priorities, such as overhauling the welfare system.

The difference is that Clinton's presidency was still young, while Bush is heading into the twilight of his administration -- and is stuck in an unpopular war. But some Republicans think that Bush could play off overreaching Democrats as Clinton did with Gingrich. Or he could pivot to the more bipartisan mode he promised to bring from Texas and seize opportunities for progress in areas such as immigration, where his proposed guest-worker program has been blocked by his own party.

"One of the lessons for President Bush if he loses one or both chambers is the California example," said Sergio Bendixen, a pollster for Democrats. "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at this time in 2005 was considered to be in deep trouble. But now he is a shoo-in for reelection. How did he turns things around? He has gone from a very partisan Republican to somebody who was working with the other party. I wouldn't be surprised if Bush does the same thing."

John Bridgeland, a former Bush domestic policy adviser consulted by the White House in recent planning, said that regardless of who wins the election, the president would benefit from cooperating across party lines. "Without doing so, it will be more difficult to get things done that will be lasting," he said. "You can do things by executive order, but they may not survive into other administrations."

Bipartisanship, though, has been in short supply since Bush became president. In his first term, he negotiated support from both sides for his No Child Left Behind education law even as Democrats took control of the Senate in June 2001 because of a party switch. But as a practical matter, Bush faced an opposition chamber in Congress for just 98 days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, after which both parties rallied behind him for a time. Republicans won back the Senate in 2002.

Bush has had a difficult enough time winning support from a Republican Congress over the past two years, and some expect the party to turn on him even more if it loses, particularly because of the Iraq war, which has been an albatross for GOP candidates. When the voting is done, pressure may rise from within Bush's own ranks to rethink Iraq policy, as evidenced by comments by Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), who recently said that Bush should take a new course if the situation does not improve in 60 to 90 days.

But presidents have broad leeway to set foreign policy regardless of the legislative branch, and a Democratic Congress may exert more direct influence on domestic matters. Bush has been preparing his post-election agenda in a series of meetings, sitting down one-on-one with nine members of his Cabinet in the past month to review ideas. Bush insists that the sessions not consider a victory by Democrats, participants said. But the discussions have focused on items that could attract bipartisan interest, such as further efforts to rebuild the hurricane-torn Gulf Coast, reauthorization of No Child Left Behind and renewal of farm legislation.

"He's fired up for the last two years of his administration," Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said in an interview after meeting with Bush. Rob Portman, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said after his own session: "He's pushing all of us, pushing himself. I don't think there's going to be any letup."

Bush aides recognize that no matter who wins next month, the president has at best a year to push through any last major initiatives before the 2008 presidential race takes over the national political agenda. Portman, a former House member, said he hopes there will be "a timeout on partisanship" after next month's election that can be exploited in 2007. "It's a critical year," he said.

The agenda-planning meetings are the brainchild of White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten, who handed out the countdown clocks to fellow Bush aides earlier this year. Bolten wants to use the process to develop new ideas and find ways to measure the success of old ones, colleagues said.

"There's still plenty of time to get important things done if people on both sides of the aisle are willing to work together to do it," Deputy White House Chief of Staff Joel Kaplan said in an interview. "Two years is a long time. "After the election, Kaplan said, Bush will "look for partners in Congress" to accomplish priorities, such as extending his tax cuts, developing alternative energy supplies and promoting American competitiveness.

The question in the White House is whether Democrats would be willing to be partners. While Democrats see Bush as relentlessly partisan, his aides think Democrats have been deliberately obstructionist even on issues of little dispute. Against that backdrop of mutual suspicion, the two sides may find it difficult to come together.

"The Democrats are so blinded by their hate of Bush, they'll have a hard time even having a bill-signing with him," Republican lobbyist Ed Rogers said. "That might make for some good political contrasts, but not much substance."

Ron Kaufman, who was White House political director for George H.W. Bush, said: "If they try to take down the president, if you will, it would be really stupid. It would play into the long-term interests of the Republican Party."

Leon E. Panetta, who became Clinton's White House chief of staff after the 1994 Republican victory, agreed: "My fear is that the Democrats after 12 years of trench warfare and a pretty rough time -- these people are pretty battle-scarred from that -- basically come out and seek vengeance for everything that's taken place. If they do that, I think they make a pretty big mistake because the public will say, 'These guys are no different than Tom DeLay and his crowd.' "

Others doubt the Democrats would make that mistake. Former House majority leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.), who squared off against Panetta in that era, said Democrats would be in better shape to transition from opposition to governing than his Republicans were in 1994 because enough seasoned veterans are still around, such as Rep. John D. Dingell (Mich.).

"The best Democrats, people like Dingell, on oversight have a tendency to say, 'Let's get into the programs and see how they work and how they could be better,' " he said. "That's healthy oversight. . . . They may stay away from political oversight looking for scandals and stay with programmatic oversight. They do it well and they may want to play against expectations."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Blood and sweat equity.

While we walk down the prepaved road of this American life, I do find it interesting to pick up on some of the things you might not expect. Things such as Home Depot becoming a really cool store. Maybe its not that its a cool store, rather its what I tell myself to trick me into thinking it is. Regardless, its where I spent most of my weekend. Its that time of the year and I got to break out the lawn equipment which started at a bright and early 7:30 am Saturday morning, or in other words about an hour and a half after I got off from my 12 hour shift. I spent the next hour or so raking up the lawn and doing general prep work. Once 9 am rolled around, I headed off to pick up the aerator. For those of you who have not had the misfortune of crossing horns with this beast, consider yourself lucky, smarter than me, or just straight with out a lawn. I had decided to try out going with the local Ace hardware store this time around, usually I end up renting from Home Depot. And let me tell you fitting that albatross into the Subu tends to be quite a battle of wits and brawn. This time, to my surprise, I ended up with a small yellow plugger that was on a mission to test my frazzled nerves. Lucky for it, and my security deposit, I had it back on the truck heading back to the store in around an hour and a half. Around 12:15 I had finally passed out, only to re-emerge around 9:30 that night.

The next day was time for overseeding, which was a walk in the park compared to the previous day, but again I found the sands of the weekend slipping though my fingers. Today was meant to be my relaxation day, but of course that was a farce. So now I sit here, literally scraped, bruised, and aching, all of which I am sure I will repeat in some form on my next day off. But still, life is good and dispite the soreness, I'm pretty happy with the work we got done.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The World's First Time Machine

"A 2003 BBC Documentary chronicling the work of Dr Ronald Mallett, a physicist on the brink of making time travel a reality. Answers many interesting questions such as why we can never go back and see the Dinosaurs, also covers the Grandfather paradox and ways around this such as alternate universes."

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Polling Update

Hey everyone. I've got a good friend back west that keeps a keen eye on all things politics. He has been forwarding on some polling info, and I decided I wanted to share it will you. So here it is, appreciate the work on it Dylan!

WeÂ’ll start with numbers from a huge national Washington Post poll that was
released yesterday. Here are the results:

Bush Approval 39%

Disapprove 60%

Which party do you plan to vote for in Congressional elections?

Democratic 54

Republican 41

35% indicated that their vote for Congress would be based directly on a vote to
punish Bush. This is 12 percent higher than the sameindicatorr in 1994 of
voters wanting to punish Clinton after his first two years in the White House.

Has the conflict in Iraq been worth fighting?

No 63%

Yes 35%

Is the United States safer now or less safe since 9/11?

More safe now 50%

Less safe now 42%

Which party do you trust more to solve problems on the following issues:

Health Care:

Democrats 61

Republicans 28


Democrats 54

Republicans 37

Ethics in government:

Democrats 49

Republicans 30


Democrats 49

Republicans 36


Democrats 47

Republicans 41

Now, letÂ’s take a look at how these national trends are impacting specific races
which hold the key to the balance of power in Congress.

In the Senate,

Sen. Chafee is slipping behind Whitehouse further, now as far back as 6 or 7
depending on the poll. This would be a D Pickup.

Sen. LiebermanÂ’s lead is growing in Connecticut for an Independent who would
still caucus with the Democrats even though he would vote with the Rs on a lot
of issues

CaseyÂ’s lead over Sen. Santorum still holds at a minimum of 9 depending on the
poll. Santorum has never approached Casey since polling in this race started
over a year ago. Another new poll has Casey up by as much as 13. This would
be a D Pickup.

Sen. DeWine has been closing ground on Brown in Ohio but the most recent R
scandal has caused his momentum to stall. Ohio is very touch about scandal
these days given that Rep. Ney and Governor Taft among other Ohio Republicans
have either pled guilty or gone to jail to crimes. BrownÂ’s lead is currently 3
or 4 points depending on the poll. This would be a D Pickup. Polling numbers
out of Ohio, which Bush won narrowly two years ago indicate that economic
factors have overtaken social factors in determining how a large segment of the
population is going to vote. Moral issues have fallen on the scale for many
voters while at the same time for those voters in Ohio who place moral issues
at the top, and who voted R two years ago, are now indicating that they will
simply stay home this year out of disapproval of recent events in the
Republican Party.

Sen. Menendez has now solidified a lead over Kean in New Jersey. This shift has
come during the Foley situation. This was the only D incumbent in trouble in
the Senate previously but he is now ahead 4-7 points depending on the poll for
a D Hold.

Ford has taken a lead of 2-4 points over Corker in TN for the open Frist seat.
This race used to be tied or showed Corker with a slight lead. That has
disappeared since Foley with Ford pulling ahead. This would be a D Pickup.

The McCaskill race against Sen. Talent in MO is tied in multiple polls. MO once
again shaping up to be the bellwether. This race very well might determine
control of the Senate as you will see in a moment.

Tester is staying ahead of Sen. Burns in MT and in fact is increasing his lead
slightly by the day. This would be a D Pickup.

Finally, of the races that have been watched around the country, Sen. Cantwell
is opening up a near 10 point lead again in Washington for a D Hold.

If the election were held today, multiple partisan and independent polls
indicated that Senators Chafee, Santorum, DeWine, and Burns would all be
defeated and that Ford would take the open Frist seat in about the most
unlikely of states, Tennessee, a state which had become solidly Republican in
recent years. With the Ds holding all seats now in the partyÂ’s hands, the
numbers indicate that there would be 50 Democrats or Independents caucusing
with the Democrats, 49 Republicans with one seat tied, the one in MO. If
Talent wins re-election, that would tie the Senate at 50 and Vice President
Cheney would break the tie for the Republicans as President of the Senate. If
McCaskill were to win, that would push the Democrats over the top for 51-49
majority control. This is going to be a wild month!

In the House, tons of races have been tossed in to complete turmoil because of
the Foley situation. A couple of weeks ago it looked like the Democrats might
pick up enough seats to get close to a majority but not quite close enough,
though even two weeks ago the numbers for Republicans were troublesome in that
some close districts were getting tight for them. Now, seats that have been in
Republican hands for years show leads for the Democratic candidates. This is
particularly true in open seats where Republicans are retiring in states like
Arizona, Texas, and Florida. For example, the seat that Harris is giving up
for her Senate bid which she is currently about 20 points behind Sen. Nelson in
has been in R hands for a long time. The Democratic candidate leads there. In
Colorado, the seat being vacated by Republican Lamborn which has ultra
conservative Colorado Springs in it has the Democratic candidate leading by 4
points. The Republicans are actually pulling some media money out of races to
spend elsewhere. Most polls in district by district races now show that if the
election were held today, the Democrats would have more than enough seats to
take control of the House of Representatives. The biggest news on this front
came yesterday when Rep. Tom Davis, Republican of Virginia and the last head of
the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee told the Washington Post that he
now expects that the Democrats could have a net gain of 30 seats in the House,
twice as many as they need to take control.

I will try to get you all some more numbers late next week.

I'd also like to add that NBC Nightly News just happened to file a report in my hometown of Bozeman Montana, talking about the election. Lets boot Burns and pick up Tester!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

PS3 eBay style

The first pre-orders opened up today for the PS3, and stores were limited to total orders. So where did these pre-orders end up? eBay of course, and with an asking price of $2-4k. Supposedly, eBay has already been taking those down, but a couple of thousand for one... you have to be kidding me. I was playing around with the idea of picking a PS3 up for a Blueray player with my HD set. But I think that would be as effective if I had picked up a SACD player when the first showed up. What is SACD? That's my point exactly. One Wii for me please.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Battlestar Galactica

Holy Frack this is a good show. Season 2 was firing on all cylinders, and the series premier of 3 just bumped it up a notch. I'm looking forward to this season.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Heroes on NBC

The surprise show for me so far this new season is Heroes on NBC. Its been quite some time since a show has caught me off guard. In a word this show is... Graphic? Yes, graphic is a good definition here. It plays out very much like a graphic novel, several normal people find they have special abilities, and every episode may answer a few questions, but leave you with several burning new questions. And another thing, I was caught off guard on how graphic this show can be literally, as in ER graphic. Having a character walk into a room and find a body with the top of their skull gone and lacking a brain surprised me for sure! But all in all its an enigma that I will be following on a week to week basis. With Battlestar starting up on Friday, and this show on Mondays, I've got some great shows to look forward to.

Parents want to ban "Fahrenheit 451". Can you smell the irony?

"The book had a bunch of very bad language in it," Diana Verm said. "It shouldn't be in there because it's offending people. If they can't find a book that uses clean words, they shouldn't have a book at all." Alton Verm filed a "Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials" Thursday.

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