Thursday, October 12, 2006

The October Surprise? Democrats Still Have The Edge!

With just under a month before the November elections, Republicans still find themselves against the ropes. Despite the best attempts of the oil industry to sway Americans with a temporary drop in gasoline prices, Americans obviously aren't paying attention, or at least aren't being diverted by the sleight of hand:
* Approval ratings for Bush continue to hover in the low 30s;
* 67% of Americans are not happy with the current direction of the country;
* 58% of Americans believe the Bush administration knowingly misled the American people in building its case for war against Saddam Hussein;
* 66% say the war has not made America safer from terrorism
* 53% of Americans want Democrats to win control of Congress; and
* If the election were held today, 51% of likely voters would vote for the Democrat in their district versus 39% who would vote for the Republican.
Perhaps the scariest piece of information for Republicans is this little bit of information taken from the poll:
Democrats now outdistance Republicans on every single issue that could decide voters’ choices come Nov. 7. In addition to winning—for the first time in the NEWSWEEK poll—on the question of which party is more trusted to fight the war on terror (44 to 37 percent) and moral values (42 percent to 36 percent), the Democrats now inspire more trust than the GOP on handling Iraq (47 to 34); the economy (53 to 31); health care (57 to 24); federal spending and the deficit (53 to 29); gas and oil prices (56 to 23); and immigration (43 to 34).
But that's just the general picture. Let's look at some specific cases across the country, and focus on the nuts and bolts of how the Democrats will finally take control of Congress and bring accountability back to the Bush Administration.

PENNSYLVANIA: The tide has turned, and although Casey has never relinquished the lead in this race, Santorum has failed to close the gap. Indeed, the gap has begun to widen once again, and Casey now leads by 14 points.

MISSOURI: Most polls generally show this race as too close to call. Rasmussen Reports, however, points out some interesting facts in trying to tease out any advantage for either Democrat Claire McCaskill or Republican Jim Talent. While the latest poll shows McCaskill up by only one point (within the margin of error, as this race has continued to play), there are some other determining factors.

Missouri will obviously be a bellweather state in determining control of Congress. When asked how they would vote if their vote determined the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, 46% said Democrat and 43% said they would vote Republican. While it's still too early to call, I ultimately believe that current events recently swinging nationwide in favor of Democrats and against Republicans will make this race a lot less close than the recent polls. Democrats are simply going to be more motivated to get to the polls.

OHIO: Sherrod Brown continues to widen his lead over Mike DeWine - the latest poll has Brown with a 49-41 advantage. This is, I believe, the state where a Democrat will win by the largest margin over the Republican.

TENNESSEE: People lost faith in him, and said once Bob Corker became the Republican nominee for the seat that Bill Frist is vacating, there was no chance that Harold Ford could even run a competitive race statewide. Well, we here at PTF have been keeping the faith in Ford, and today, he leads the race by five points - 48-43. Another interesting sidelight here is that Harold Ford has an edge with unaffiliated voters and has a huge 70% to 23% lead among moderates.

MONTANA: Jon Tester is holding a seven point lead over Republican Conrad Burns - the latest poll shows the race at 47-40 in favor of Tester. Jon Tester is one of the best choices of a candidate to unseat a Republican, especially for a state like Montana. Conrad Burns has been vulnerable from the outset for his ties to Jack abramoff, but Tester is a big burly farmer - when voters in Montana were asked who would better represent them in terms of honesty in government and ethical issues, Tester tops Burns by a margin of 51 - 26.

RHODE ISLAND: Most people ignore Rhode Island, because Lincoln Chafee masquerades so often as a Democrat in Republican clothing. Nonetheless, he is a Republican, and he's yet another reason why Republicans control the Senate. Until November, that is. In the most recent poll, Sheldon Whitehouse was maintaining a 51-43 advantage over Chafee. If there is anyone with momentum right now, it's Whitehouse, and the fact that this one could slip through GOP hands is freaking them out.

VIRGINIA: Not too terribly long ago, George Allen was not only holding a double-digit lead over Democrat Jim Webb, but he was mulling over a 2008 Presidential campaign. Then he took a political gun and shot himself over and over and over. As a result, Webb has pulled within the margin of error in this very-traditionally red state, and even if he's politically impotent by November, Allen might at least have a considerable amount of time to mull over that Presidential campaign. Again, taking the notion of more Democrats being motivated to actually go to the polls, this could be the biggest upset of the day.

So, there are seven states listed with real potential to switch from Republican to Democratic seats in the Senate. This is not to say that it's a done deal, but it's a huge October surprise in an election where, earlier in the summer, most were conceding the House changing hands, but few giving Democrats a chance in the Senate.

Even more telling is the new GOP firewall strategy. The RNC has devoted unprecedented amounts of money into advertising into three key races - Ohio, Tennessee, and Missouri. The strategy is to strongly defend a few states they believe they can win, protecting control of the Senate.

The key here, as I see it, is not the states that they've targeted - it's the ones they haven't. Given their new endgame focus on these three states, does this mean that they will be conceding Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Montana and other important races. This is what seems to be the case.

Like the gas prices and the approval ratings for President Bush, I'm not at all convinced that throwing money at these races will equal votes for the Republicans come November. Stay tuned....

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Posted by FleshPresser at 12:34 AM /


  • Blogger Floyd posted at 2:57 AM  
    Hey Fleshpresser very interesting blog, I found you surfing on blogmad. If Democrats don't take control,,God help us all.

  • Blogger OTTMANN posted at 3:52 AM  
    Wow, you really love that kool aide huh?

    If dems do take control, we're all dead meat... guaranteed! They don't have a single plan except to rape the people of their money and freedom.

    See why here... Polls, to Live or Die for

  • Blogger People in the Sun posted at 1:45 PM  
    As much as I would have liked Democrats to win because of inspiring leadership and ideas I'll take what I can get at this point: Winning due to Republican curroption, incompetence, and hypocrisy.

    Maybe I'm not being fair. Democrats have been muted and impotent for a long time. Hopefully, after they get more power some things will change in the country and an inspiring new era will begin.

  • Anonymous JollyRoger posted at 12:54 AM  
    I see you got visited by the nuttiest wingnut in the blogosphere. I don't think anybody knows what galaxy ottmann lives in, let alone what planet.

    As for the "firewall"-check out what the Gopper money is buying them in Ohio. DeWino has a huge hill to climb, no real record to speak of, and is facing not Sherrod so much as Ted-Ted is one of the most popular politicians in Ohio, and he will turn out the voters. Who do you suppose most of Ted's voters will favor in the Senate?

    According to SurveyUSA today, the numbers for Brown are approaching those for Strickland. Bye Bye, Mikey.

  • Anonymous Joshua Xalpharis posted at 4:38 PM  
    Living in Toledo, I see campaign ads for both Brown and DeWine. To be honest, they both say exactly the same thing.

    I'll vote for Brown because he's a Democrat, and I'm not voting for any incumbents. Let's hope my neighbors feel the same way.

    I also found it odd that Ottman would accuse Democrats of maintaining the status quo for a Republican Congress.

    Let's all pitch in and buy spines for the Democrats, and make a liar of him.

  • Blogger Jenn of the Jungle posted at 3:09 PM  
    "Democrats now outdistance Republicans on every single issue that could decide voters’ choices come Nov. 7."

    What's really scary about that is the people who are taking these polls and are going to vote Democrat this November barely have enough brain cells collectivly to make up a single celled organism.

    How can the Democrats actually out distance Republicans on any issue when they have no solid stance on the issues as it is????? It's pathetic.

  • Blogger Dustin posted at 3:18 PM  
    Nice round up on the election! Should be an itneresting year in politics...

  • Blogger Fred posted at 1:47 PM  
    ...I guess anything beat "stay the course".

  • Blogger Francis W. Porretto posted at 10:00 AM  
    "A strong sense of confidence is always misplaced." -- James Hogan.

    "There was once a man who started a rumor that they'd struck oil in Hell. Pretty soon, everyone was off to Hell to get in on the rush. As the man watched them go, he scratched his head and said that there might just be something to it, so he left for Hell, too." -- Robert A. Heinlein, The Man Who Sold The Moon

    "Don't be too quick to believe your own B.S." -- Me.

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