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Sunday, October 31, 2004
Basie! to predict Tuesday's election
PS: Post your predictions in the comment section of this post and I'll put the best ones up on the front page.
So many polls, so little time
LikelyVotersCNN/USA Today/Gallup (October 29-31)
LikelyVotersNBC/Wall Street Journal (October 29-31)
Likely VotersRasmussen Reports
Two days to go and the race for the White House remains excruciatingly close. To this point, the bin Laden video has had no measurable impact on the race.
The latest Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll shows President George W. Bush with 48.1% of the vote and Senator John Kerry with 47.1%. The Tracking Poll is updated daily by noon Eastern.
When leaners are included, it's Bush 48.8% Kerry 48.2%. Other candidates attract 1.2% and 1.8% are not sure (half of those who are not sure probably won't vote).
Election 2004 has been amazingly stable and close. Senator Kerry has been ahead on just one day since August 23 but the President's "lead" has typically been just one or two points. That has continued into the final weekend of the campaign.
The tight race goes back even further. Our first full polling sample completed after Senator Kerry wrapped up the Democratic nomination on Super Tuesday found the candidates just half-a-point apart (at that time Kerry 45.8% to Bush 45.3%). Eight months and hundreds of millions of campaign dollars later, it's still too close to call.
Early voting continues to help Kerry
Twenty-seven percent of Iowa adults surveyed said they had already voted. Kerry leads Bush, 52 percent to 41 percent, among that group of early-bird voters. Among the 73 percent who said they definitely would vote on Tuesday, Kerry and Bush are tied.Link.
Darlene Hooley gets national media coverage
U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., and Brig. Gen. Raymond Byrne, adjutant general of the Oregon National Guard, will appear on a "60 Minutes" segment tonight about under-equipped U.S. troops fighting in Iraq.
Hooley to appear in '60 Minutes' segment about troopsThat sounds like a great piece, so make sure not to miss it.
Hooley has spent time working on legislation to improve communication and cooperation among full-time Army personnel and Reserve and Guard units, and she has met several times with soldiers and their families to discuss issues.
Hooley and Byrne were filmed in September by a CBS crew while traveling to visit Oregon National Guard soldiers on medical hold at Fort Hood, Texas.
Hooley also was interviewed in her Washington, D.C., office for the report.
Tonight's "60 Minutes" segment will include interviews with U.S. troops, including National Guard troops, regarding improvised explosive devices, insurgent attacks and the shortage of armor and other protective gear.
Hooley is seeking a fifth term in Congress as the representative for Oregon's 5th Congressional District.
Tracking polls looking better for Kerry
Registered VotersWashington Post (October 28-30)
Bush 45Likely Voters
Likely Voters with leaners
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Are Republicans worrying about the election?
There is a good deal of nail biting going on at the mostly picture-perfect campaign rallies held for President Bush.This is the type of article I like...
Terry Buck, a first-grade teacher from Cleveland, feels the nervousness. So does Jim Nichols, a municipal purchasing officer from Saginaw, Mich. Both turned up this week at big events for the president near their homes. While they cheered endlessly, they also fretted some.
Ms. Buck and Mr. Nichols say the election is much too close. Mr. Bush should be trouncing Senator John Kerry. Something is not quite right, and like many of their fellow Republicans, they share the belief that the news media has played a role by skewing coverage in Mr. Kerry's favor.
For unsettled Republican voters in battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Hampshire, the last leg of the presidential contest has at times been more of a group therapy session than a victory march.
There is certainly no panic, Mr. Nichols says. Mr. Bush's supporters believe in him too much for that. Some of the loudest ovations come when the president predicts, as he almost always does in his speeches, "a great victory on Nov. 2."
But for every measure of hope there is some measure of anxiety gnawing at the adoring crowds that are shadowing the president the last days of his re-election campaign.
"I haven't talked to anybody who is not concerned," said Mr. Nichols, who took a day's vacation on Thursday to see the president at a hockey rink in Saginaw. "I think it is closer than it should be."
Final fundraising numbers from Oregon
US Senate (as of 10/13/04)
Democrat Ron Wyden (i): $3,648,902 in contributions, $2,140,243 spent, $2,549,665 on hand
Republican Al King: $24,032 in contributions, $23,916 spent, $114 on hand
US House District 1 (as of 10/13/04)
Democrat David Wu (i): $2,052,831 in contributions, $1,754,176 spent, $1,011,002 on hand
Republican Goli Ameri: $1,990,013 in contributions (second in the nation among challengers [link]), $1,852,005 spent, $138,005 on hand
US House District 2 (as of 10/13/04)
Republican Greg Walden (i): $1,127,386 in contributions, $890,858 spent, $467,811 on hand
Democrat John McColgan: $29,029 in contributions, $27,689 spent, $1,339 on hand
US House District 3 (as of 10/13/04)
Democrat Earl Blumenauer (i): $565,237 in contributions, $628,636 spent, $229,257 on hand
Republican Jerry Brooks: $8,650 in contributions, $8,651 spent, $0 on hand
US House District 4 (as of 10/13/04)
Democrat Peter DeFazio (i): $626,328 in contributions, $680,935 spent, $254,752 on hand
Republican James Feldkamp: $523,102 in contributions, $487,069 spent, $36,002 on hand
US House District 5 (as of 10/13/04)
Democrat Darlene Hooley (i): $1,776,782 in contributions, $1,731,408 spent, $417,151 on hand
Republican Jim Zupancic: $1,051,688 in contributions (17th in the nation among challengers [link]), $1,013,967 spent, $37,718 on hand
The overall good news is that the Democrats have a significant cash-on-hand situation around the state, meaning they can have a better GOTV effort and last kick to Election Day (excepting CD 2, of course). Look for each of the seats to stay the same with all 6 incumbents winning and John Kerry carrying the state by a more comfortable margin than Al Gore's 6,000 votes in 2000.
State-by-state polling looks great for Kerry
Half of likely voters have already voted ... Among all likely voters: it's 49% to 49%
- In an election for President in NV today, George W Bush & John Kerry tie at 49%, according to SurveyUSA poll of 535 likely voters conducted 10/28 - 10/29.
- 2 wks ago, Bush led by 7 in NV. Since then, Kerry is up 4, Bush is down 3. In 6 identical tracking polls over 3 months, Kerry has led only once, on 7/23.
- Half of those in today's likely voter pool have already voted. Of them, Kerry leads 50% to 48%. Of those who have not yet voted, but SurveyUSA believes will vote on Election Day, Bush leads 50% to 47%. When the 2 groups are combined, it's a tie.
- Bush leads by 10 among white voters. Minority turnout will decide who carries state.
Virginia, 3 days to go: Kerry too close to Bush for GOP's comfort
13 electoral votes at stake, 72 hours to go ... Bush 51%, Kerry 47%
- In an election for president in VA today, 3 days to the vote, George W Bush defeats John Kerry 51% to 47%, according to SurveyUSA poll of 606 likely voters 10/27-10/29.
- In 5 tracking polls since July, Bush has led by 4 pts 3 times, led by 5 pts once, & only led by 11 once, at peak of Swift-Boat controversy. In 2000, bush won VA by 8.
- Kerry leads by 10 pts in NE VA, leads by 2 in SE VA. Bush leads by 9 in central VA, leads by 21 in the Shenandoah. Kerry up 19 in urban VA, Bush up 10 in suburban VA.
- Bush up 20 among whites, Kerry up 58 among blacks. Bush holds 94% of GOP base. Kerry holds 93% of Democrat base. Independents break for Kerry 51% to 45%.
In the end, New Jersey no longer a toss-up; Democrats get 15 ECV
72 hours till polls open ... Kerry 54%, Bush 42%
- In an election for president in NJ today, John Kerry defeats George W Bush 54% to 42%, according to SurveyUSA poll of 794 likely voters conducted 10/27 - 10/29.
6 wks ago, during peak of Swift-Boat campaign, Bush led in NJ by 4. 4 wks ago, Kerry led by 5. 2 wks ago, Kerry led by 8. At the wire, 72 hrs to go, Kerry leads by 12.
- Kerry leads by 43 pts among those earning < $40k/yr. Bush & Kerry tie among those earning > $80k/yr. Kerry leads by 43 in urban NJ. Kerry leads by 10 in suburban NJ.
- Bush leads by 2 among whites. Kerry leads by 63 among blacks. Kerry up 6 among males, up 19 among females. Kerry up 29 among youngest voters. Up 5 among oldest voters.
At the wire, Maryland is still Kerryland; Dems hold 10 ECV
72 hrs to go ... Kerry leads by 11 ... In 2000, Gore won by 16
- In an election for President in MD today, 3 days to the vote, John Kerry beats George W Bush 54% to 43%, according to a SurveyUSA poll of 607 likely voters 10/27-10/29.
- 6 wks ago, at peak of Swift-Boat controversy, Bush & Kerry were tied in MD. 3 wks ago, Kerry led by 15. At the finish line, Kerry leads by 11. 10 electoral votes blue.
- Bush leads by 13 pts among white voters. Kerry leads by 73 pts among black voters.
- Kerry leads by 30 among most educated voters. Bush & Kerry tie among least educated.
- Bush leads by 3 among those who attend church regularly. Kerry leads by 25 among those who attend church rarely. 76% of pro-life voters back Bush. 71% of pro-choice voters back Kerry. Kerry leads by 18 pts among independents & by 20 among moderates.
Repubs seize Indiana statehouse; Bush & Bayh cruise to easy wins
Bush captures 11 ECV ... Daniels defeats incumbent Kernan for Governor
- In an election today in Indiana, George W Bush defeats John Kerry, GOP challenger Mitch Daniels unseats Dem incumbent Joe Kernan for Governor, & incumbent Dem Senator Evan Bayh tops GOP Marvin Scott, according to SurveyUSA poll of 589 LV 10/27 - 10/29.
- Bush defeats Kerry by 19 today, 58% to 39%, gets 11 ECV. Bush won by 16 in 2000.
- Bayh defeats Scott by 27 today, 61% to 34%. 41% of Bush voters split ticket for Bayh.
- 3 wks ago, in identical tracking poll, Daniels & Kernan were effectively tied. Since then, daniels is up 4 to 52%, Kernan is down 3 to 44%. 8-pt GOP lead, 72 hrs to go.
- Daniels leads by 1 in northern IN, by 2 in central IN, by 11 in southern INn, by 20 in greater Indianapolis. Kernan wins urban IN by 3. Daniels wins suburban in by 14.
Democrats Kerry and Obama coast to easy wins in Illinois
Certain Democrat take-away for retiring Republican Fitzgerald's Senate seat
- In an election today in Illinois, John Kerry defeats George W Bush 54% to 42% & Democrat Barack Obama defeats Republican Alan Keyes for U.S. Senate 66% to 27%, according to SurveyUSA poll of 665 likely voters conducted 10/27 - 10/29.
- 72 hrs till polls open, Kerry is up by 12 pts. Gore won the state by 12 pts in 2000.
- Kerry leads by 2 pts among men, but by 21 pts among women. Bush leads by 4 among whites, Kerry leads 6:1 among blacks. Bush holds 92% of GOP base. Kerry holds 91% of Democrat base. Independents break 48% to 43% for Kerry. Kerry wins the city of Chicago by 59 pts & suburban Cook by 18 pts. Bush wins collar counties by 24 pts & edges Kerry downstate by 1 pt. Statewide, suburban IL goes 49% to 47% for Bush.
But seriously, both Bob Novak (super Republican) and Al Hunt predicted today that longtime incumbent GOP Congressman Phil Crane from north of Chicago will get defeated, and in my judgement the selection of Alan Keyes has a lot to do with it. Maybe Henry Hyde will also go down, though that's wishful thinking.
Conservatives speak out
“The administration's use of the term ‘conservative' to describe itself is Orwellian because it's exactly the opposite of what ‘conservative' means . The administration is not conservative. It's radical...”--Clyde Prestowitz, counsel to the Secretary of Commerce in the first Reagan Administration
Bush engineered “a radical rollback of environmental policy” compared to previous Republican administrations. “The administration has declared war on the environment.”--Russell Train, director of the EPA under Presidents Nixon and Ford
“I always thought of the Republicans as the party of fiscal responsibility, but my party has lost its moorings .”--Peter G. Peterson, Commerce Secretary under Richard Nixon, chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and, until recently, chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank
Bush's tax cuts exhibit “fiscal recklessness” which is “almost criminal.” “What are we leaving to our children? We're slipping them a huge check for our free lunch."
The administration's “obsessive” secrecy makes it “worse than Watergate,” having “stonewalled” the 9/11 commission, “pulled back from the press,” and blocked the release of presidential records and unfavorable reports.--John Dean, White House Counsel for Richard Nixon
Voting in Oregon
Many more than 1 million Oregonians had returned their mail ballots by Friday -- more than one-half the state's registered voters -- in a pace that is outstripping that of the presidential race four years ago.Charles Beggs "Election officials receive ballots from 51% of registered voters", AP, October 30, 2004.
The secretary of state's office reported that counties had received almost 1.1 million ballots through Thursday, from 51 percent of registered voters.
With a record 2.15 million Oregonians registered to vote, that meant county election workers were coping with 370,000 more ballots than had stacked up at the same stage four years ago.
Polls, polls, poll
1,500 Registered Voters; MoE of +/- 2.5%Washington Post (October 26 through 29, 2004)
Bush 48%1,258 Likely Voters; MoE of +/- 2.8%
2,832 Registered Voters with leaners; MoE of +/- 3%TIPP (October 26 through 29, 2004)
Bush 47%2,347 Likely Voters with leaners; MoE of +/- 3%
979 Likely Voters; MoE of +/- 3.5%Fox News (October 28 through 29, 2004)
1400 Registered Voters; MoE of +/- 3%
Bush 46%1200 Likely Voters; MoE of +/- 3%
The key thing to notice here is that Bush is not at 50%. Even Newsweek's RV poll, which is heavily skewed towards the Republicans, Bush is only at 48%. Bush might be leading in some of these polls, but even with OBL, 48% is no place for a sitting President to feel safe.
Rasmussen has it extremely close
Three days to go and the race for the White House is getting even closer.Link.
The latest Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll shows President George W. Bush with 47.9% of the vote and Senator John Kerry with 47.1%. The Tracking Poll is updated daily by noon Eastern.
When leaners are included, it's Bush 48.8% Kerry 48.3. Other candidates attract 1.0% and 1.9% are not sure (half of those who are not sure probably won't vote).
Today, the President's Job Approval fell to 50%. That's the first time since the Republican National Convention it has been below the 51% mark.
Josh Marshall brings up a good point...
Which of these two statements sounds like it comes from the stronger leader?Link.
John Kerry: In response to this tape from Osama bin Laden, let me make it clear, crystal clear. As Americans, we are absolutely united in our determination to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. They are barbarians. And I will stop at absolutely nothing to hunt down, capture or kill the terrorists wherever they are, whatever it takes. Period.You decide ...
George W. Bush: Earlier today I was informed of the tape that is now being analyzed by America's intelligence community. Let me make this very clear: Americans will not be intimidated or influenced by an enemy of our country. I'm sure Senator Kerry agrees with this. I also want to say to the American people that we're at war with these terrorists and I am confident that we will prevail.
The Oregonian: GOP inflated registration numbers
The GOP has been bragging about getting nearly half of the new registrants in Oregon as the Democrats, but it appears as though even that number was inflated.
But apparently unknown at the time to Smith and other GOP officials, it soon began to emerge that some of those cards -- the number is not known -- were signed by young people who were deceived into registering as a Republican, or who may have registered as an independent or a Democrat and then had the registration switched to Republican by someone else before the card was turned in.Edward Walsh, "Deceptive tactics inflate GOP voter registration", The Oregonian, October 30, 2004
The registration forms were valid and newly registered voters received ballots. But some of them were the product of deceptive tactics, used on several college and university campuses around the state, by canvassers working for Sproul & Associates, a Phoenix, Ariz.-based company that was hired by the Republican National Committee to boost GOP registration in Oregon and several other states.
In interviews, students at Mt. Hood and Chemeketa community colleges, Western Oregon University and the University of Oregon, all told similar stories: They were approached on campus and asked to sign a petition, often urging lower automobile insurance rates for students, and then asked to sign or initial a second document, which turned out to be a voter registration card.
Many of the students were urged to mark Republican as their party affiliation; others were told to leave the party affiliation section blank but to put their initials next to Republican on that part of the form.
This article is a must-read, detailing how the Republicans have systematically deceived young people into registering with their party to boost their numbers. Although this may have brought in a little more money for Sproul and helped the ego of GOP leaders, these young people are not going to vote for George W. Bush now that they realize they were intentionally duped by the Republicans.
Congratulations, then, to Sproul and Associates! They successfully created thousands of lifelong Democrats by turning off countless young voters to the GOP forever.
Good to see DeLay is at least forced to campaign
U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has coasted to easy wins in recent elections, but this year he is running hard as his once-ascendant political career has hit a rough patch.Jeff Franks, "Embattled Texas Republican DeLay Running Hard", Reuters, October 30, 2004
In contrast to past campaigns, the powerful Republican from Texas is pounding the pavement of his suburban Houston district, going house to house in search of votes, and flooding local television with campaign ads.
He stunned a local high school debate club recently when he showed up unannounced at its candidates' forum and, perhaps most surprisingly, is attacking Democratic opponent Richard Morrison, a political novice given little chance of winning.
"How liberal is he?" a DeLay advertisement asks about Morrison. "He campaigned with Howard Dean and supports radical Michael Moore's campaign to defeat President Bush."
DeLay has represented his district since 1984 and is accustomed to rolling up big victories. He got 60 percent of the vote in 2000 and 63 percent two years ago.
He is expected to win again this year, but not as handily as in the past.
"I think at the end of the day, Tom DeLay will win. But his margin of victory will be much smaller than usual," said St. Thomas University political scientist Jean-Philippe Faletta.
Based on some polls, there is a possibility DeLay could get less than 50 percent of the vote because the ballot also includes a strong independent candidate and a Libertarian.
Zogby: Kerry 47, Bush 46
President Bush lost one point and his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry, held steady at 47%, according to a new Reuters/Zogby daily tracking poll. The poll data this evening has leaners factored into the overall results. The telephone poll of 1209 likely voters was conducted from Wednesday through Friday (October 27-29, 2004). The margin of error is +/- 2.9 percentage points.Link.
Pollster John Zogby: “Kerry is up by one in this see-saw battle for the White House. Kerry leads by 11 in the Blue States, while Bush leads by 9 in the Red States.”
Friday, October 29, 2004
Slate has Kerry up 272-266
The addition of tonight's polls to current state data puts Kerry in strong position to take the election. To varying degrees, he appears to have a firmer grip on Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. He has a good shot at Iowa and an excellent shot at Florida. Michigan could be a problem, but the evidence for a Kerry win in Florida is much better than the evidence for a Bush win in Michigan, and the payoff is bigger. Maybe the Bin Laden video can put the president back on top.Link.
A quiet night...
Note you can also check out my interviews with New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller and Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans Patrick Guerriero on these links or under the "Basie! Interviews" section.
Can the Democrats win Virginia?
Annie Gowen reports in "Va. Still in Play, Democrats Say" (I like the rhyme, Annie) that while the chances are slim, the Democrats could still pull of an upset. She writes this:
Gov. Mark R. Warner urged fellow Democrats at an Alexandria rally yesterday to "Turn Virginia blue!" on Tuesday as they prepared for a weekend of get-out-the-vote efforts in the Northern Virginia suburbs.Funny, Representative Ed Shrock (ultra-conservative Republican who was outed) was not invited to the rally...
"Every vote is going to count," Warner told supporters and local politicians at the soggy rally in Market Square. "What we see here today all over Virginia is incredible enthusiasm, record voter registration. Now it's down to crunch time. We just need to make sure we get out the vote."
Republicans are planning their own rally in Northern Virginia today at 8:30 a.m. at an Interstate Van Lines parking lot in Springfield. U.S. Sen. John W. Warner, Reps. Frank R. Wolf and Thomas M. Davis III and Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore are scheduled to attend.
"I'm predicting this: I think we could surprise a lot of people," Warner said.While Bush has always had a lead in Virginia, he has not been above 50% save once, and although that means he is at that magic marker for an incumbent, he does not have much room for error. If Kerry can parlay the support for Democratic Governor Mark Warner into real votes on Tuesday, he could indeed be the first Dem since LBJ to carry VA.
Democrats said they were buoyed by the fact that the party's national committee decided to spend an additional $50,000 on radio ads in the waning days of the Virginia contest.
"They don't waste money," said Susan B. Kellom, the chair of the Alexandria Democratic Committee. "To me, that's the most positive sign in the world."
Warner conceded that that $50,000 was a "relatively small amount" compared with other states, but "people in Virginia have been working really hard and there is great energy. I think they wanted to reinforce that."
Republicans noted that most statewide polls taken within the past month show President Bush with a lead of 3 to 6 percentage points over Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.).
On Osama Bin Laden
No matter how you look at this story, at its core it is good for the President--anything that takes the focus of the media away from bungled operations in Iraq is good for the President. What is more, any focus on terrorism will inherently help the President because that's just about the only area in which he scores above 50% with the American people.
That having been said, a Bush victory in the first news cycle does not ensure a Bush victory overall on the story. The Kerry rapid response team led by Clintonista Joe Lockhart has a difficult job at this point to spin the coverage in a way that is more favorable to Kerry than Bush. Although the meme of "this tape showing OBL alive proves we haven't done enough to combat Al Qaeda" is a good start, I'm not sure that it will catch. Instead, I propose the Kerry team work on something like what happened in Spain.
Conservatives in America fundamentally misunderstand what happened in Spain this year. They believe that the train bombing shifted enough anti-war voters away from the ruling party to elect the Socialist candidate, but this is incorrect. Aznar's government immediately tried to use the bombing for political gain by blaming the attack on ETA--the Basque seperatists--and the public realized this and threw them out of government as a result.
As we saw with Bush's speech today, he is entirely willing to try to use this tape to enhance his chances at winning, so it is Lockhart and Company's job to explain to the media that it is unexceptable to use the OBL tape for political gain. I do not forsee Americans taking to the streets in protest like the Spanish did in response to their government lying to them, but attacking the ruling party for using terrorism as an electoral device can be a highly effective tool at fighting back.
I don't know if the media or the American people will accept this argument, but the Kerry rapid response team--honed from years fighting the "vast right-wing conspiracy" while defending Clinton--is the best the Democrats can offer, so if they can't pull this off, I'm not sure anyone can.
There must be something wrong with Tom Coburn
A Republican Senate candidate from Oklahoma who has run into trouble over verbal gaffes was drawing fire again on Friday for saying black men have a "genetic predisposition" for a lower life expectancy than whites.Link.
Dr. Tom Coburn, a Republican physician locked in a neck-and-neck struggle for a pivotal U.S. Senate seat, made the comment in a discussion of Social Security privatization during a locally televised debate on Wednesday night.
Coburn said black males were statistically more likely to die before they could benefit from Social Security.
"What kind of plan is that, that we are going to take from those who have a genetic predisposition of less life expectancy, that we are going to steal from those and give it to somebody else?" Coburn asked on Wednesday.
Oklahoma is solidly Republican, but Coburn's largely self-inflicted political wounds have let his Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Brad Carson, gain a narrow lead in surveys of likely voters.
Carson brushed aside Coburn's remark during the debate, but black politicians in Oklahoma blasted Coburn on Friday.
Angela Monson, a Democratic state representative from Oklahoma City, said the suggestion that blacks are genetically inferior was "bizarre."
"I think he was so bent on pushing the privatization of Social Security that he took this leap," she said. "A leap off the deep end."
This guy could become a United States Senator?
I'm back from the Boxer rally
I'm off to play at a Barbara Boxer rally...
Uber-conservative former GOP Senator endorses Kerry
As someone who worked with you daily for 12 years as a United States Senator, I am acutely conscious of the fact that we disagree on many important issues. Despite our differences, you have always been willing to engage in constructive debate in an effort to forge sound public policy.Link [PDF].
I deeply respect your commitment to our nation and your patriotism which, I believe, was forged when you-like I-proudly wore the uniform of the United States Navy in Viet Nam...
Because of the courage and character you demonstrated in Vietnam, I believe you when you say that you'll do a better job than President Bush to win the peace in Iraq, as well as to win the war against terrorism.
President Bush has failed to restrain federal spending, sending our deficit spinning into the stratosphere. I well remember that you were one of a handful of Democrats who crossed the aisle to forge a bipartisan coalition in the Senate to balance the federal budget [...]
John, for each of these reasons I believe President Bush has failed our country and my party. Accordingly, I want you to know that when I go into the booth next Tuesday I am going to cast my vote for you. So will my wife, Mary Jo, and all three of my children: Jason, Bobby and Jenny.
Moreover, I will do all that I can to encourage my friends in New Hampshire and Florida to join me in supporting you.
Tracking polls all tied up
President Bush lost one point and Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry gained a point resulting in a tie at 47% apiece, according to a new Reuters/Zogby daily tracking poll. The poll data this evening has leaners factored into the overall results. The telephone poll of 1203 likely voters was conducted from Tuesday through Thursday (October 26-28, 2004). The margin of error is +/- 2.9 percentage points.TIPP Daily Tracking Poll
Pollster John Zogby: "The election is four days away and we are right back where we started, in a toss- up."
Three-Man Race (with leaners)
Bush 47Two-Man Race
Oregon expecting 84% turnout
With ballots pouring into election offices around the state at a faster clip than four years ago, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury predicted Thursday that Oregon voter turnout for Tuesday's general election will reach 84 percent.James Mayer, "Counties are bulging with ballots", The Oregonian, October 29, 2004.
If so, it would be the highest percentage in 10 years, but not a record. The 1960 presidential contest between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon holds that distinction with 86.5 percent. However, with an 84 percent turnout, the number of votes cast would be the highest ever.
Bradbury made his prediction as workers in Multnomah and Clackamas counties joined other counties in opening ballots to prepare them for counting under the close watch of party observers.
I'm not sure if the 84% number is of elligible voters (I'm assuming it is) or the voting-age population, but either way, 84% is ridiculously high. Kudos Oregonians!
[Editors note 7:36 PM, October 30]: I now realize the 84% is of registered voters, not elligible voters. Sorry for the confusion.
Back to the bulge . . .
Final Oregon poll shows Kerry with substantial lead
A new KATU News and Oregonian poll is showing that Senator Kerry is extending his lead over President Bush in Oregon.The poll, taken by Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall, Inc. October 25-27 had a sample of 608 RV and a MoE of +/- 4.1%. The breakdown was 43% D, 40% R, and 17% I, which I think underestimates independents, but I'm no professional pollster like Tim Hibbitts.
The exclusive poll shows Kerry with support from 49 percent of likely voters compared with the President's 43 percent with 8 percent undecided.
The gap between the two men has grown since Hibbitt's last poll in September where Kerry held a narrow lead of 2 points.
KATU Political Analyst Tim Hibbitts says the numbers are more solid than the ones from September because 45 percent of eligible voters have already turned in their ballot. [emphasis added]
There's more as well within the internals:
Right track/wrong track for the country
Right 37%Governor Ted Kulongoski's approval ratings
Excellent 4%Secretary of State race
Pretty good 55%
Not too good 14%
Democrat Bill Bradbury (i) 54%Measure 33 (Expanding medicinal marijuana law)
Republican Betsy Close 31%
Libertarian Richard Morley 2%
Yes 34%Measure 34 (Balancing conservation with timber)
Yes 35%Measure 35 (Limiting medical malpractice lawsuits)
Yes 49%Measure 36 (Banning gay marriage)
Yes 50%Measure 37 (Abolishing land usage laws)
Yes 44%Measure 38 (Abolishing SAIF [statewide reinsurance])
Thursday, October 28, 2004
News for southwestern swingers
A Texas energy company may get rights to drill in a pristine swathe of a New Mexico national forest after a White House task force intervened on its behalf, a move that has become a hot issue in the battleground state before next week's presidential election. . . .
The move has sparked an uproar in New Mexico, a swing state in the presidential election. "The Bush administration has allowed oil and gas interests to put the Valle Vidal development request on a fast track," said Joanna Prukop, New Mexico's secretary of energy, minerals and natural resources. . . .
The White House Task Force on Energy Project Streamlining was created in 2001
with the aim of searching for new sources of energy.
The Bush administration has been pushing for changes to policies on federal lands that would allow for greater use of them by commercial interests, such as oil companies -- much to the anguish of conservationists.
New Mexico is one of the leading natural-gas producing states in the country and proceeds from the energy industry play a key part of the state's finances. The issue
has turned some New Mexico Republicans who want to see Valle Vidal preserved for hunting and camping against the Bush administration. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat who was secretary of energy under President Bill Clinton, has vowed to fight any efforts at drilling. . . .
Valle Vidal, which means "valley of life" in Spanish, is home to the largest Boy Scouts of America camp and was originally donated by oil company Pennzoil, which has ceased to exist due to a series of mergers and buyouts. It gave the land in exchange for a tax deduction and part of the deal called for the land to be protected.
CJR agrees with Jon Stewart; CNN's false punditry sucks
This afternoon on CNN's "Inside Politics", anchor Judy Woodruff said the following to Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman:Link.
Let me ask you the same question I asked [Kerry aide] Tad Devine a little while ago. The polls shifting back and forth in these battleground states. Take a deep breath. No spin. Tell me, how does George Bush get to 270 next Tuesday?Earth to Judy: Spinning is the only reason he's there. Do you think Mehlman is on the show as a public service? That if you just ask him nicely, he'll offer an honest assessment of the state of the race?
Of course not. Woodruff knows as well as anyone that he won't comply with her request. But cable news hosts like Woodruff are increasingly in a bind: The campaigns' spinning has become so blatant that reporters now know they need to indicate to viewers that they're aware of it. That's why those half-joking on-air pleas by anchors for their guests not to spin are becoming increasingly common.
The logical next step would be to conclude that, since they're going to spin anyway, there's little news value in asking campaign spokespeople for their take on the race. Accepting that fact would leave most cable news shows without much to put on the air every day. They'd have to cancel "Crossfire," for starters. (Hey, we can dream.)
In the meantime, if Judy Woodruff is going to keep asking campaign aides for their take on the race, we wish she'd drop the pretense that she expects to get an honest answer.
I particularly enjoy Roth taking Crossfire to task a la Jon Stewart. Whereas Stewart was attacked for letting his celebrity go to his head (or something along those lines), at least people may listen to the Columbia Journalism Review when it condemns the crappy program...
Bunning runnning scared in Kentucky
A top state Republican called Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Dan Mongiardo "limp-wristed," and another GOP state legislator said she questions whether "the word 'man' applies to him" in speeches during Sen. Jim Bunning's campaign bus tour yesterday.Link.
Both state Senate President David Williams of Burkesville and state Sen. Elizabeth Tori of Radcliff denied they intended to raise questions about Mongiardo's sexual orientation -- though Tori later said that if any listeners thought she was referring to his sexuality, "so be it."
After being told of the comments, Mongiardo's campaign manager said Bunning and his allies are running "a gutter campaign, a campaign of sleaze and smear."
The incumbent Republican's re-election drive is "on the ropes," said Kim Geveden, during Mongiardo's own bus tour in Eastern Kentucky.
Why Florida is looking better than expected
The Herald poll shows Sen. John Kerry winning Miami-Dade County with 54.3 percent of the vote to 41.5 for Bush. Four percent are undecided.Here is the other reason:
Splitting those undecided voters down the middle, Kerry goes to 56 percent, Bush to 43 and Ralph Nader will end up with less than 1 percent.
If Kerry wins Miami-Dade County 56 to 43, then the likelihood of him winning Florida is very high. Here's why:
In 2000, Al Gore beat Bush by almost 40,000 votes in Miami-Dade County.
According to the Herald poll, done by Zogby International, Kerry is positioned to win Miami-Dade by anywhere from 90,000 to 100,000 votes.
Overall, Hispanics -- both Cubans and non-Cubans -- still support Bush, according to the Herald poll, with 62 percent saying they will vote for the president and 35 percent saying they will vote for Kerry.If Kerry can carry Ohio and Florida, I think it's all over.
Nevertheless, that is a tremendous improvement for the Democrats over 2000, when 73 percent of Hispanics favored Bush and only 27 percent voted for Gore.
And almost all of those gains for Kerry have come from Mexicans, Salvadorans, Dominicans, Colombians and Puerto Ricans among others. Many of whom are going to be voting for the first time.
The raw numbers: In 2000, Bush won among all Hispanics by 135,000 votes. Based on the Herald poll, Bush's lead among Hispanics in 2004 will be closer to 95,000 votes.
Narrowing that gap by 40,000 votes between 2000 and 2004 is a huge accomplishment for Democrats and shows the very real impact voter registration groups such as Mi Familia are having on this year's election. In six months, Mi Familia registered 66,000 new voters in Florida, many of them here in Miami-Dade and most of them non-Cuban Hispanics.
The New Democrat Network, the Service Employees International Union and the Environmental Action Fund, are spending
Great Spanish language ad
This ad is indeed one of the most powerful I've ever seen; it's hilarious, effective, interesting and entertaining. Thanks Kos for bringing this to our attention.
John Zogby on the Daily Show . . .
Guide to the pre-election polls . . .
WaPo tracking polls
Bush 47%Likely Voters with leaners
It took long enough...
The FBI has begun investigating whether the Pentagon improperly awarded no-bid contracts to Halliburton Co., seeking an interview with a top Army contracting officer and collecting documents from several government offices.Link.
The line of inquiry expands an earlier FBI investigation into whether Halliburton overcharged taxpayers for fuel in Iraq, and it elevates to a criminal matter the election-year question of whether the Bush administration showed favoritism to Vice President Dick Cheney's former company.
The Economist endorses John Kerry
YOU might have thought that, three years after a devastating terrorist attack on American soil, a period which has featured two wars, radical political and economic legislation, and an adjustment to one of the biggest stockmarket crashes in history, the campaign for the presidency would be an especially elevated and notable affair. If so, you would be wrong. This year's battle has been between two deeply flawed men: George Bush, who has been a radical, transforming president but who has never seemed truly up to the job, let alone his own ambitions for it; and John Kerry, who often seems to have made up his mind conclusively about something only once, and that was 30 years ago. But on November 2nd, Americans must make their choice, as must The Economist. It is far from an easy call, especially against the backdrop of a turbulent, dangerous world. But, on balance, our instinct is towards change rather than continuity: Mr Kerry, not Mr Bush.Link.
Whenever we express a view of that sort, some readers are bound to protest that we, as a publication based in London, should not be poking our noses in other people's politics. Translated, this invariably means that protesters disagree with our choice. It may also, however, reflect a lack of awareness about our readership. The Economist's weekly sales in the United States are about 450,000 copies, which is three times our British sale and roughly 45% of our worldwide total. All those American readers will now be pondering how to vote, or indeed whether to. Thus, as at every presidential election since 1980, we hope it may be useful for us to say how we would think about our vote—if we had one.
Oregon is done
Thanks for the memories, George and Dick, John and John.David Steves, "Oregon no longer a battleground", Eugene Register-Guard, October 28, 2004
We'll miss you, Laura and Teresa. And all of you movie stars, rock singers and other surrogates who spent months traveling to Oregon trying to get us to vote for either George Bush or John Kerry, along with their running mates, Dick Cheney and John Edwards.
Those visits have come to a halt, along with a drop in the volume of television ads trying to influence Oregonians' vote in the presidential election.
With less than a week to go in the race, the candidates' and the political world's attention are focused on the tossup states with the richest caches of Electoral College votes: Florida, Pennsylvania, along with a handful of upper Midwest and East Coast states, and Hawaii.
Oregon has fallen off the map of battleground states, as several polls have shown the Democratic ticket of Kerry-Edwards likely to prevail when voting ends and counting begins on Tuesday.
"It seems pretty clear to me that Oregon is going to Kerry," said Bill Lunch, chairman of Oregon State University's political science department.
Kerry is also at 50% in the latest statewide likely voter poll taken by the American Research Group.
David Shuster brings out the "L" word for the President
Is it rhetoric or is it a lie?Finally someone asks the question...
President Bush: "The Senator is denigrating the action of our troops and commanders in the field." (Lilitz, PA October 27.) The President was referring to Kerry's criticisms of the explosives that disappeared in Iraq and Kerry's criticisms of the Tora Bora hunt for Osama Bin Laden in December 2001.
Regarding the missing explosives, what Kerry said Wednesday, "The IAEA warned the Bush Administration and the UN Security Council before the war that this weapons site was critical and needed urgent protection. The U.S. commander who reached the sight was never told to stop, inspect, and protect it. He was never even told what it was." Kerry went on to say, "The troops did their job, the commander in chief failed to do his." Is that denigrating the action of our troops?
On Kerry's criticism about Afghan warlords, instead of U.S. forces, leading the search in December 2001 for Osama Bin Laden in Tora Bora. Bush: "Our intelligence reports placed Bin Laden in any of several different countries at the time." (Lilitz, PA Oct. 27.) Actually, the Pentagon was convinced Bin Laden was cornered in Tora Bora in mid-December 2001.
Check out this internal from Florida
President George W. Bush has scratched out a narrow 49 - 46 percent lead over Democratic challenger John Kerry among Florida likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Independent candidate Ralph Nader gets 1 percent, with 4 percent undecided.Link.
This compares to a 48 - 47 percent matchup, with President Bush on top, in an October 21 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.
Among the 16 percent of Florida voters who say they already have cast ballots, Kerry is ahead 56 - 39 percent. [emphasis added]
Kerry pulling away in the new Economist poll
Suppose the election for President were being held TODAY. Who would you vote for? George W. Bush, the Republican; John F Kerry, the Democrat; Ralph Nader, an independent candidate, or someone else?Kerry's surge continues this week as his lead among registered voters moves from 2 points to four points and his lead among definite voters from 1 point to five points. Note Kerry is at 50 among definite voters.
Total; Def to vote (Last week, Two Weeks ago)
George Bush 45% (46, 46); 45% (47, 47)
John Kerry 49% (48, 47); 50% (48, 47)
Ralph Nader 1% (1, 1); 1% (1, 1)
Someone else 2% 2%
Would not vote 0% 0%
Don't know 3% 2%
As of now, what do you think you are most likely to end up doing on November 2?
(Total, Def to vote)
George W Bush 45% 46%
John F Kerry 50% 51%
Ralph Nader 1% 1%
Someone else 3% 3%
Not vote at all 1% 0%
In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time?
(Total, Def to vote)
Satisfied 37% 39%
Dissatisfied 59% 58%
Don't know 5% 3%
Do you approve or disapprove of the way President George W. Bush is handling his job as president?
(Total, Def to vote)
Approve 42% 44%
Disapprove 54% 54%
Don't know 4% 2%
Word has it that The Economist is endorsing Kerry this week after endorsing Bush four years ago, so I'll confirm that as soon as possible. The good times keep rolling.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
The Jewish vote will be for Kerry this year
Senator Kerry on the other hand changes his speech ever so slightly to connect better with his audience. His appearance in Miami earlier this week is a perfect example.
Nathaniel Popper writes in the Jewish publication Forward that the Democrat carefully crafted a message to Jewish voters in Southeast Florida to ensure he will get the support of the community on election day. Popper leads his story with this:
Stepping up his bid for Jewish votes in Florida, Senator John Kerry accused the Bush administration Monday of "dragging its feet" on the contentious Hungarian Gold Train case, a Holocaust restitution suit against America's government that is moving through federal court in Miami.Though this story did not make the national news and probably did not even seem significant to most Floridians, to Jewish leaders and voters in Florida and around the country this matters greatly.
Hungarian Holocaust survivors brought the class-action case in 2001. They are seeking compensation for a trainload of valuables, looted by the Nazis, that came under the control of the U.S. Army shortly after World War II and then vanished. The federal judge in the case appointed a mediator to negotiate a settlement earlier this year, after the administration came under bipartisan criticism for delaying tactics.
In joining the critics, Kerry appears to be tapping into a reservoir of resentment among Holocaust survivors and their advocates, who say the administration has neglected the restitution effort on numerous fronts, failed to name a top-level Holocaust issues negotiator and lost the momentum that had been achieved during the Clinton administration.
The most explosive charge is that the administration effectively dropped pressure on Poland — home to Europe's largest prewar Jewish community and the only European nation that has not enacted restitution laws for private property — because of a desire to secure Polish support in the Iraq war. Poland currently has 2,500 troops in Iraq.
Although President Bush and his handlers have worked extensively to garner the support of the Jewish community, steps like this one taken by Kerry--in addition to the use of Bill Clinton, Joe Lieberman and others as surrogates to the community--appear to have rallied Jewish voters back to their base in the Democratic Party. According to a poll commissioned by the Miami Herald, Jews in Miami-Dade County support John Kerry by a 82-15 margin; considering Bush got 19% of the Jewish vote nationally in 2000, it's a shock to this blogger that the President's support among Jews has actually waned.
Regardless of this one poll, more Jews around this country will support George Bush in this election than did in 2000--this is inevitable. As anecdotal evidence and the Herald poll indicate, however, Bush's increased support is mostly coming from the orthodox community which almost exclusively resides in the Northeast, and New York in particular; accordingly, although the President has made inroads among those of the Jewish faith, it will not help him in the election as his support has increased in areas in which he will be slaughtered on election day (though I don't know if the slaughtering will be Kosher or not--though JK does have Jewish roots...).
Colorado closer than one might think
PresidentThis is a Democratic poll, but the numbers still sound good.
George W. Bush (R) 48%
John Kerry (D) 48%
Ralph Nader (I) 1%
Ken Salazar (D) 50%
Pete Coors (R) 45%
Ohio is looking better and better for Kerry
A U.S. District Court judge yesterday effectively ended efforts by Republicans in Ohio to challenge the eligibility of tens of thousands of voters in one of the most closely contested states in this year's presidential race.Link.
Judge Susan J. Dlott in Cincinnati issued an order preventing local election boards from going forward with plans to notify challenged voters and hold hearings until she hears legal arguments tomorrow. But because her ruling means that those election board hearings cannot take place within the time frame state law requires before the election, Dlott's ruling kills the GOP effort that had targeted 35,000 voters, Democratic and Republican party officials said.
David Sullivan, director of the Democratic Party's Voter Protection Program in Ohio, praised the ruling and said the GOP was never able to offer proof that the challenged voters were ineligible. "The Republican assault on tens of thousands of Ohio voters was an unprecedented effort to intimidate voters, especially minorities, but, it has backfired," he said.
Mark Weaver, a lawyer for the Ohio Republican Party, said yesterday's ruling does not prevent the party from going forward with plans to place 3,400 monitors in polling places, particularly in heavily Democratic urban areas. The challenges will take place Tuesday instead of being decided beforehand, he said.
Though the Republicans have done everything they can to supress the Democratic vote around the country and in Ohio in particular, at least in this instance they have failed. Ohio is looking better and better for Kerry at every moment and he just may be able to pull off a victory in the Buckeye state.
LA Times polls the big three states
Diverging trends in the three largest battleground states point toward a volatile and tense finish in the presidential race, new Times polls have found.Link.
The surveys find President Bush holding an 8 percentage point lead among likely voters in Florida, John Kerry opening a 6 percentage point advantage in Ohio, and the two men battling to a dead heat in Pennsylvania.
If Kerry can carry Pennsylvania and Ohio, it looks like he should be able to win.
Yasser Arafat collapsed Wednesday evening, was unconscious for about 10 minutes and remained in a "very difficult situation," Palestinian officials said. A team of Jordanian doctors was urgently summoned to treat the ailing Palestinian leader.Link.
Within hours, three senior Palestinian officials formed a special committee to run Palestinian affairs during Arafat's illness, according to a Palestinian official in Arafat's office.
I'm not entirely sure what to make of this. I don't think particularly highly of Arafat, but my thoughts are certainly with him at this moment. I don't know how this will affect the peace process, but I hope in the coming weeks and months the two sides can arrive at a peaceful solution that can last for generations.
Swing voters moving towards Kerry
With less than a week to go before the election, many swing voters have yet to commit to a candidate, but over the past month there has been some movement among this group toward Sen. John Kerry. A Pew Research Center follow-up survey with 519 swing voters who in September were undecided or said they could change their vote finds that about half (52%) have moved off the fence, while nearly as many (48%) still are not certain of how they will vote.Link.
Overall, Kerry has made more substantial gains among these swing voters in the past month than has Bush. Today, 40% say they are either certain to vote for Kerry or are leaning toward him (up from just 28% who leaned in Kerry's direction a month ago). Bush's support among this group of swing voters stands at 38%, up only slightly from 34% in September.
Those who have decided on their vote in the past month mention the debates as a crucial factor in their decision more than any other events or issues, especially those who have committed to Kerry (45% among those who cited a reason).
This guy's our President?
ABC and WaPo tracking polls: Kerry 49, Bush 48
Wes Clark responds to George W. Bush
General Wesley Clark released the following statement today:Link.
"Today George W. Bush made a very compelling and thoughtful argument for why he should not be reelected. In his own words, he told the American people that "...a political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your Commander in Chief."
"President Bush couldn't be more right. He jumped to conclusions about any connection between Saddam Hussein and 911. He jumped to conclusions about weapons of mass destruction. He jumped to conclusions about the mission being accomplished. He jumped to conclusions about how we had enough troops on the ground to win the peace. And because he jumped to conclusions, terrorists and insurgents in Iraq may very well have their hands on powerful explosives to attack our troops, we are stuck in Iraq without a plan to win the peace, and Americans are less safe both at home and abroad."
"By doing all these things, he broke faith with our men and women in uniform. He has let them down. George W. Bush is unfit to be our Commander in Chief."
Nice to hear from Wes today.
Who's looking out for Katherine Harris?
A man was arrested Wednesday after he was accused of trying to run down Rep. Katherine Harris and a group of supporters with his car.Link.
Witnesses said a silver Cadillac sped through an intersection and swerved onto the sidewalk. The car headed straight toward Harris before swerving at the last minute and driving off, according to police.
Harris told police she feared for her life and could not move as the vehicle sped toward her, police records show.
Witnesses gave the car's license plate number to police, and they tracked it to Barry M. Seltzer, 46. He came to the police station early Wednesday and complained to officers that Harris' supporters had impeded traffic.
"I intimidated them with my car," Seltzer told police. "I was exercising my political expression." [emphasis added]
Harris poll looking good
Don't know/refuse 2
Only seven days before election day, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry are separated by a single percentage point, the latest Harris Poll shows.Link.
The poll echoes other surveys from across the nation showing the two candidates are in a dead heat. The latest Reuters/Zogby poll (taken Oct. 23-25) shows Mr. Bush ahead but within the margin of error, and the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll (taken Oct. 22-24) shows Mr. Kerry ahead by a point, well within that poll's margin of error.
CBS/NY Times nix FL poll with great results for Kerry
Here's a email note I got from an insider pollster:Why won't they report this poll?
The word I hear is that NYT/CBS are not going to release their latest FL survey, because it shows Kerry up by 4 points. Apparently, they [CBS & NYT's] think that is an implausible result, so they are suppressing it. Of course, it's not implausible at all. And imagine the reverse: would they have suppressed a poll showing Bush up 4?Update (Chris): The rumor I heard, from a good source, was that the poll showed Kerry up nine in Florida. Maybe the poll is flawed, but they should at least release it. Include whatever caveats they want. After all, flawed polls never stop Gallup or Mason-Dixon from public release.
Pennsylvania looking more and more blue
The Democratic Party has registered 108,000 more new voters than the Republican Party since the April primary in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, according to figures released Tuesday.Link.
The latest round of registrations, which closed Oct. 4, left Democrats with nearly 4 million people on the voting rolls, a 7 percent increase. GOP ranks increased by 4 percent to nearly 3.4 million.
The number of registered voters in Pennsylvania stands at a record 8.2 million, a 6 percent increase since April.
Of 437,896 new registrants, 247,207 are Democrats and 138,864 are Republicans, according to unofficial totals from all 67 counties.
Article of the day
Amid all the fuss about getting new voters to the polls next week, campaign signs affixed to wheelchairs, oxygen tanks and motorized scooters illustrate why the nation's seasoned voters shall never be ignored.The article does not only have great anecdotes like this one; there are also some amuzing numbers as well.
They just won't pipe down.
Warren Easterly, 90, of Salem cast his first vote in 1936 for Franklin D. Roosevelt and hasn't missed an election since.
Unable to move around too much, he does street-corner campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.
"A lot of cars drive by, honking, waving and hollering, 'Hang in there,'" the West Salem resident said. "It's fun."
But in a year when the polls show President Bush and challenger Sen. John Kerry in a virtual tie, even the older crowd is reminding its peers to participate this year.The article ends by finishing up with a little more of the aforementioned old man.
Whether it's the fate of Medicare and Social Security or the state of the country left behind for their grandchildren, groups that represent older Americans are launching their own "get out the vote" efforts.
GrannyVote.org is asking the estimated 70 million grandparents in the United States to vote on behalf of future generations.
According to a recent survey commissioned by the group and conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs, an overwhelming majority of America's 70 million grandparents, about 86 percent, are registered to vote in the 2004 election. This is higher than both nongrandparents (76 percent) and the general public (79 percent), according to GrannyVote.org.
Part exercise, part entertainment and part wanting to see Bush move out of the White House, Easterly said his weekly banner waving at busy intersections is what he has to offer at this point.This is definiely the article of the day.
"I can stand still," he explained of why he spends two to three hours per week greeting drivers with a Kerry/ Edwards banner.
"It's my political belief, but it's also good exercise," said Easterly, who uses an oxygen tank.
Although he gets a lot of positive response in the form of "thumbs up" he also has seen his share of the single-extended-finger reaction.
"I get a kick out of it," Easterly said.
And he hopes that his efforts are at least making people think.
"Why would this dawdling old man be out there?" he hopes people wonder. "He's only got today, so why does he think that (Kerry) should be president?"
Zogby numbers looking better and better
Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry bounces back into a statistical dead-heat race with President George W. Bush (Kerry 47%-Bush 48%), according to a new Reuters/Zogby daily tracking poll. The poll data this evening has leaners factored into the overall results. The telephone poll of 1203 likely voters was conducted from Sunday through Tuesday (October 24-26, 2004). The margin of error is +/- 2.9 percentage points.
*Leaners have been factored in to the overall results. Without leaners factored in: Bush 46%, Kerry 46%, Nader.8%, Undecideds 7 %
Pollster John Zogby: "Today was a big day for Kerry, with a 5 point lead in the single day of polling. Kerry has managed to consolidate a big chunk of his base just as Bush has done on his own behalf. Kerry leads 2 to 1 among Hispanics; he is getting 90% of African Americans; 84% of Democrats; 55% of union voters; 65% of singles; and well over 50% of all voters earning under $50K.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Clinton does wonders in Florida
Hoarse partisans called out "eight more years." Suburban moms turned giddy and waited in long lines just to touch his hand.One of the most important parts of the trip involved trying to keep Jewish support behind the Democrats. Roig-Franzia writes this:
It was, in short, a rock-star-scale reception as former president Bill Clinton made high-profile campaign appearances Monday evening and Tuesday in South Florida aimed at inspiring Democrats to elect Sen. John F. Kerry president next week. Clinton, looking thin and somewhat weary six weeks after heart-bypass surgery, donned a white yarmulke before addressing a packed synagogue in Palm Beach County on Tuesday. He spread his arms wide the night before as he strolled onstage to the hip-hop groove of Outkast's "Hey Ya" outside the Miami government center building that was the scene of some of the pivotal moments of the disputed 2000 presidential election.
"I was wondering if the wolves were smelling the explosives out of that dump," Clinton told the audience gathered under the chandeliers at the B'nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton. He invoked the Hebrew phrase Tikkun Olam, healing the world, to tout Kerry's promise to improve relationships with nations that Democrats say were alienated by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. But Clinton also promised that Kerry would take a strong stance on protecting Israel, and would ensure that Israel retains "qualitative military superiority."The Jewish vote in South Florida is not the only group that can help John Kerry win the state; Hispanizs are also extremely important to enhancing the Massachusetts' Senator's chances. Roig-Franzia explains Clinton's role in courting them:
"You can take it to the bank," he said to rousing cheers.
Clinton praised Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to remove Jewish settlements from Gaza, saying he hoped the proposal -- which the Knesset approved Tuesday -- was being ratified as he spoke. The appeals to Jewish voters are considered all the more important because the Bush administration appears to have made inroads in this traditionally Democratic constituency in South Florida, home to hundreds of thousands of Jews. Some Jews here see Kerry as less of a known quantity on Israel, despite favorable ratings from Jewish groups. Several speakers stressed those ratings Tuesday, including Kerry's brother, Cameron Kerry, who converted to Judaism.
"Bush did good for Israel, very good," Nat Butters, 74, a Boca Raton property manager and Kerry supporter, said as he waited for Clinton to arrive onstage. "There's no denying it."
In Miami, Clinton's appearance placed him in front of a key demographic: Hispanic voters. He was introduced by Hialeah Mayor Raul L. Martinez (D), who was dubbed "the Big Cubano" by former House member Carrie Meek. Signs reading "Cubanos con Kerry" were held high for the television cameras before Clinton took the stage. Cuban Americans, still considered a stronghold for Republicans, have been identified for possible conversion by Democrats hoping to capitalize on complaints about the Bush administration's new rules limiting family visits to the island.If Kerry can indeed win Florida, there is little hope for George Bush to win reelection, and President Clinton did a lot to help Kerry's chances in the state.
File this under 'not surprising'
When the government issues a terror warning, the president's approval rating increases an average of nearly three points, a Cornell University sociologist says.William Kates, "Study: Terror Warnings Up Approval Ratings", AP, October 26, 2004
"The social theories predict it, and anecdotally we know it to be true. Now we have statistical science to confirm it," said Robb Willer, assistant director of Cornell's Sociology and Small Groups Laboratory.
On average, a terror warning prompted a 2.75 point increase in President George Bush's approval rating the following week, said Willer, who published his study in Current Research in Social Psychology, a peer-reviewed online journal.
SurveyUSA polls looking great for JK
1 week to Election Day ... 20 electoral votes at stake ... Kerry 50%, Bush 47%
- In an election for President in Ohio today, John Kerry defeats George W Bush 50% to 47%, according to a SurveyUSA poll of 831 likely voters conducted 10/23 - 10/25.
- 3 wks ago, Kerry led by 1 pt. 1 wk ago, Kerry led by 2 pts. Today, Kerry leads by 3.
- Bush leads by 3 among men. Kerry leads by 8 among women. Bush leads by 9 among voters age 35 to 49. Kerry leads among all other age groups. Bush leads by 7 among whites. Kerry leads by 74 among blacks. Bush holds 90% of GOP base. Kerry holds 88% of Dem base. Indys break 54% to 40% for Kerry. Kerry leads in union HH's by 24 pts. Bush leads in non-union HH's by 7. Kerry up 18 pts among those voters earning < $40k/yr.
- GOP incumbent Senator George Voinovich tops Democrat Eric Fingerhut 59% to 33% today.
1 wk to Election Day ... 21 electoral votes at stake ... Kerry 53%, Bush 45%
- In an election in PA today, John Kerry defeats George W Bush 53% to 45% & incumbent GOP Senator Arlen Specter defeats Dem Jim Hoeffel & Constitutionist Jim Clymer 51% to 38% to 6%, according to SurveyUSA poll of 803 likely voters conducted 10/23 - 10/25.
- 1 wk ago, Specter led by 7, now 13. Specter is up 3, Hoeffel is down 3. Clymer flat.
- 1 wk ago, Kerry led by 6, today by 8. Bush had led in suburban PA by 4, today Kerry leads by 5, a 9-pt Democrat swing. Bush had led by 2 in non-military HH's, now Kerry leads by 15. Bush had led by 3 in non-union HH's, now Kerry leads by 3. Kerry had led by 1 among PA males, now leads by 4. Kerry had led by 4 among voters age 65+, Kerry now leads by 16 among voters age 65+. Bush had led by 4 among whites, now up by 1.
1 wk to Election Day ... 11 ECV at stake ... Bush 52%, Kerry 45%
- In an election today in Missouri, 1 week to the vote, George W Bush defeats John Kerry 52% to 45%, Republican Matt Blunt defeats Democrat Claire McCaskill for Governor 52% to 44%, & incumbent GOP senator Kit Bond defeats Democrat Nancy Farmer 60% to 34%, according to SurveyUSA poll of 680 likely voters conducted 10/23 - 10/25.
- 1 wk ago, in tracking poll, Bush led by 6, now 7. 1 wk ago, Blunt led by 6, now 8.
- Kerry leads by 23 in union HH's. Bush leads by 17 in non-union HH's. Bush leads by 4 in KC, by 35 in the Ozarks & by 38 in central MO. Kerry leads in St Louis by 8.
- Blunt leads by 36 in Ozarks & central MO. McCaskill leads by 3 in KC & by 4 in STL.
In 2000, Bush won Arkansas 51% to 46% ... Leads today 51% to 45% ... 6 ECV
- In an election in Arkansas today, George W Bush defeats John Kerry 51% to 45% & incumbent Democrat Blanche Lincoln is re-elected to US Senate, topping GOP challenger Jim Holt 57% to 38%, according to SurveyUSA poll of 649 likely voters 10/23 - 10/25.
- 1 wk ago, in identical tracking poll, Bush led by 5, now by 6. Bush leads among voters 35 to 64. Kerry leads among younger & older voters. Bush leads by 20 among whites, trails by 71 among blacks. Bush holds 92% of GOP base. Kerry holds 82% of Dem base (13% of Dems cross-over to Bush). Indys break 59% to 36% for Bush.
- Bush leads in all income groups, leads in both military & non-military HH's, leads with both men & women. Kerry leads among moderates & those who attend church rarely.
Something's up with blogger
Whatever the case, sorry for the double posts.
Democracy Corps: Kerry 49, Bush 47
(ASKED 3-WAY WHERE NADER ON BALLOT AND 2-WAY OTHERWISE) Thinking about the elections in November, if the election for president were held today and the candidates were Republican George Bush and the Democrat John Kerry -- for whom would you vote -- George Bush or John Kerry?Link.
John Kerry 48
Lean John Kerry 1
George Bush 46
Lean George Bush 1
Ralph Nader 1
Lean Ralph Nader 0
Lean (Other) 0
(Already Voted Refused) 1
Total John Kerry 49
Total George Bush 47
Total Ralph Nader 1
Total (Other) 1
Total (Undecided/Refused) 1
Kerry at 50% in WaPo Tracking Poll
ABC News, which shares the data with the Post but calculates the pool of likely voters differently, finds Kerry leading 49-48. They write this:
That's the same as Monday's tracking result. The race tightened slightly from last week because Saturday and Sunday were two of Kerry's three best days since this tracking poll began Oct. 1; Monday, though, was a bit better for Bush. Tracking polls average results across days to build a reliable sample.
This is amuzing; scary, but amuzing
Rasmussen: It's all tied up
One week to go and it can't possibly get any closer.Link.
The latest Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll shows Senator John Kerry with 47.8% of the vote and President George W. Bush with 47.8%. The Tracking Poll is updated daily by noon Eastern.
When leaners are included, it's Kerry 48.8% Bush 48.7. Other Candidates attract 0.7% and 1.8% are not sure (half of those who are not sure probably won't vote). Ninety-three percent (93%) of Bush voters are certain they won't change their mind. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Kerry voters say the same.
The national telephone survey of 3,000 Likely voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports over the past three nights. Margin of sampling error is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
The Portland Tribune writes up its Oregon poll
The poll, conducted by Research 2000 of Rockville Md., queried the opinions of 600 likely Oregon voters by phone, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.Don Hamilton, "Pollster: Kerry’s a lock in Oregon", Portland Tribune October 26, 2004
The stability of Kerry’s numbers through the fall shows that the race in Oregon remains close, but that the Democrat has so far stopped Bush from taking a lead in a state he nearly won in 2000.
"Oregon is Kerry’s," said Del Ali, whose company conducted the poll. "The numbers have been pretty consistent. Granted, it’s within the margin of error so you could say it’s statistically close. But I doubt it, based on the favorable and unfavorable ratings. Bush has never been above 45 percent in any of our polls."
ARG: FL, OH, and PA move towards Kerry
Kerry 50%The great news out of this poll--aside from the fact that Kerry is leading in each of these key swing states--is the fact that the Senator is also trending up in each state. Great news all around.
Line of the day
But if Bill Clinton was good at energizing the thousands of troops at the rally, John Kerry was - incredibly - better.Jon Porter, "Clinton proves to be tonic for Kerry at rally", Philadelphia Daily News, October 26, 2004.
Predicting the Electoral College
One site mentioned is by Princeton Professor Sam Wang which currently predicts a Democratic victory when allocating undecided voters: Kerry 307, Bush 231.Taegan Goddard, Political Wire
Another site by Cal State's Matthew Hubbard, which "chomps through 16.8 million possibilities in the Electoral College in 72 seconds," also predicts a Kerry victory. His most recent prediction gives Kerry a 73.9% chance of reaching the winning threshold of 270 electoral votes, with Bush at 24.6%. He rated the probability of a 269-269 tie at 1.6%.
Monday, October 25, 2004
The New Yorker on Bush
Here at home, Bush has governed more along the lines of Rutherford B. Hayes and Benjamin Harrison, bewhiskered and now forgotten Republicans of the Gilded Age. Like them, he has devoted his energy to keeping his party’s most powerful constituents happy, providing them with regular feedings, opening the White House to business lobbies, and turning his congressional majority into a patronage machine at the expense of fiscal sanity and simple fairness. His legislative agenda projects nothing like the ambitious idealism of his foreign policy; at home, the global crusader remains a crony capitalist. In last week’s debate, Bush’s solution for the most pressing domestic problems of his Presidency was a kind of verbal shrug. What to do about the steep drop in the value of the minimum wage? “Listen, the No Child Left Behind Act is really a jobs act,” the President insisted, in a non sequitur. Who’s to blame for skyrocketing health-insurance costs? “Gosh, I sure hope it’s not the Administration,” he said with a chuckle. According to Bush’s philosophy of government, America’s ability to assert its will for the greater good around the world is enormous. In Toledo—well, there are limits.Link.
The contradiction in being T.R. abroad and Rutherford B. Hayes at home has plagued Bush’s governance ever since the terror attacks. He has lacked the vocabulary and perhaps the desire to summon a national community and to ask it for sacrifice and commitment in the fight against the foreign enemy. His energy policy, his fixation on tax cuts, and his sweetheart contracts with friendly corporations have directly undermined the war effort. The deeper effect of a narrow, partisan domestic agenda has been to polarize the country when unity was required.
It's almost as good as this from an early August article:
There’s a case to be made that it hardly matters how eloquent or effective John Kerry was at the Democratic National Convention last week. What matters infinitely more is that George W. Bush is the worst President the country has endured since Richard Nixon, and even mediocrity would be an improvement. Indeed, if one regards the Bush Administration’s sins of governance—its distortion of intelligence in a time of crisis, its grotesque indulgence of the rich at the expense of the rest, its arrogant dissolution of American prestige and influence abroad, its heedless squandering of the world’s resources—as worse than the third-rate burglary and second-rate coverup of thirty years ago, then President Bush is in a league only with the likes of Harding, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan.Link.
LA Times poll all tied up
President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry, in a race dividing Americans far more along lines of cultural values than economic interests, remain locked in a dead heat one week before election day, a Times Poll has found.Link.
Whether measured among all registered voters or only those viewed as most likely to vote - and with or without independent Ralph Nader in the mix - the poll finds Kerry and Bush in a statistical tie.
Among likely voters, Bush and Kerry each draws 48%, with Nader attracting 1%, and 3% undecided. Without Nader, Bush leads Kerry 49% to 48% among likely voters, with 3% undecided.
The Times Poll, supervised by director Susan Pinkus, surveyed 1,698 registered voters, of which 881 were deemed likely to vote, from last Thursday through Saturday. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for both groups.
The poll uses a series of questions to determine those respondents most likely to vote, but unlike some other recent national surveys it found little difference in the preferences of that group and all registered voters.
Among the larger group of all registered voters, a three-way race is still tied: Bush and Kerry each draw 47%, with Nader attracting 1%. In a two-way race, Kerry leads Bush among these voters by 48% to 47% - a statistically insignificant margin, as with Bush's one percentage point lead among likely voters without Nader included.
WaPo: $70 BN more to be requested for Iraq, Afghanistan
The Bush administration intends to seek about $70 billion in emergency funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan early next year, pushing total war costs close to $225 billion since the invasion of Iraq early last year, Pentagon and congressional officials said yesterday.Weisman and Ricks report that these numbers were much higher than otherwise expected.
White House budget office spokesman Chad Kolton emphasized that final decisions on the supplemental spending request will not be made until shortly before the request is sent to Congress. That may not happen until early February, when President Bush submits his budget for fiscal 2006, assuming he wins reelection.
But Pentagon and House Appropriations Committee aides said the Defense Department and military services are scrambling to get their final requests to the White House Office of Management and Budget by mid-November, shortly after the election. The new numbers underscore that the war is going to be far more costly and intense, and last longer, than the administration first suggested [emphasis added].
Bush has said for months that he would make an additional request for the war next year, but the new estimates are the first glimpse of its magnitude. A $70 billion request would be considerably larger than lawmakers had anticipated earlier this year. After the president unexpectedly submitted an $87 billion request for the Iraq and Afghanistan efforts last year, many Republicans angrily expressed sticker shock and implored the administration not to surprise them again.As I wrote last month, rumor around Washington has it that many in the Pentagon are very apprehensive about the prospect of a second Bush term because they do not want to be blamed for Iraq; as a result, they have been behind a number of the strategic and particularly damning leaks in the past few weeks.
This request would come on top of $25 billion in war spending allocated by Congress for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. The two bills combined suggest the cost of combat is escalating from the $65 billion spent by the military in 2004 and the $62.4 billion allocated in 2003, as U.S. troops face insurgencies that have proven far more lethal than expected at this point.
Regardless of the source of this story, however, there is no doubt that this article will not help the President. As Jeff Greenfield reported tonight on Newsnight on CNN, the "October Surprise" might not be an individual story but rather the constant stream of bad news out of Iraq that will inhibit Bush's chances at reelection. With the tracking polls showing movement towards Kerry--Rasmussen has him ahead for the first time since August 23, ABC News the first time since August 1--I think it's safe to say that the momentum (even if briefly) is on Senator Kerry's side at this juncture. The race is far from over, but things are definitely looking up.
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