Missouri Archive:

Friday, October 20, 2006

MO-Sen: Michael J. Fox's Powerful Message

Posted by James L.

It's not difficult to imagine the political fatigue of Missourians after months of negative ads cluttering the airwaves, but it's hard not to find a message like this resonant.

You can help Claire here.

Posted at 06:14 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Missouri | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, August 11, 2006

MO-Sen: 15/100

Posted by RBH

In the state of Missouri in the 2004 Presidential elections, 14 counties (and St. Louis City) cast 68% of the votes, and the 100 smaller counties cast 32% of the votes. In the top 15 counties, John Kerry led 51-48. In the lower 100 counties, George W. Bush blew Kerry out of the water by a 64-35 margin.

Here's a map of the "top 15" counties (all in yellow):

There's probably not a lot of explanation needed here. The highlighted county in the Southwest is where Joplin is located. That's close to Greene County (Springfield). The five highlighted counties in the west is the KC area with Buchanan County (St. Joseph) on top of that. The two highlighted counties in the middle are Boone (Columbia) and Cole (Jefferson City). The highlighted counties in the east is the St. Louis area (but you knew that, I'd hope). The highlighted county in the southeast is Cape Giraudeau County, birthplace of Rush Limbaugh.

Now, why I decide to mention 15/100? Because Claire McCaskill's campaign is working to improve her standing in counties similar to the ones indicated on the map in sky blue.

In the 2004 Gubernatorial election, we find a big split in the results in the 15 larger counties and the other 100 counties.

Top 15: 53/46 McCaskill, Lower 100: 61/38 Blunt. Overall, Blunt won by almost 81K votes (a 51/48 margin).

In the Lt. Governor's race between Bekki Cook and Peter Kinder, the split was narrower.

Top 15: 52/45 Cook, Lower 100: 56/41 Kinder. The overall result there: Kinder wins by almost 14K votes (a very narrow 49-48 margin)

And in the Secretary of State's race between Robin Carnahan and Catherine Hanaway

Top 15: 55/43 Carnahan, Lower 100: 54/43 Hanaway. Overall, Carnahan won by a 51/46 margin.

So, it's nowhere close to fishing in a dry pond. There's enough people in the small towns of Missouri who are willing to vote for Democrats to win elections. Although it takes a lot of good fortune for Democrats to break 60% in state election. Jay Nixon beats unknown opponents with around 60%. Claire McCaskill beat an unknown Republican with 59.95%.

I'll say this in the best way possible, if you held an election between a mannequin running as a Republican and a Democrat, in some parts of Missouri, a majority of people would vote for the mannequin.

Here's a map to demonstrate that theory (McCaskill v. Hanson, 2002):

From 1900 to 2004, 5 Missouri counties never gave a majority or plurality to a Democrat. Those 5 (for reference) are Douglas, Gasconade, Putnam, Stone, and Taney. Four of those counties went to Hanson in that election. Granted, by pretty small margins.

I was inspired to write a bit about the Senate election and targeting rural areas from an e-mail sent by the Talent campaign. Here's the relevant paragraph, with my own notes on it.

We're encouraged by the fact that Claire McCaskill's rural makeover tour clearly isn't fooling Missourians.

Well, when your party is having a lot of bad days, sometimes it doesn't take much to encourage you.

In fact, McCaskill barely managed to get 80 percent of the vote versus a virtually unknown opponent.

In the 2002 Democratic primary, Jean Carnahan got 83% against an unknown opponent. In the 2000 Democratic primary, Mel Carnahan got 78% against an unknown opponent. In Missouri Democratic primaries, it seems to be an unofficial tradition for Missouri Democratic voters to cast votes for obscure people.

Her results were particularly poor in rural Missouri: in 19 counties her unknown opponent garnered 30 percent of the Democrat vote or better.

I'll note that in the Democratic primaries in those 19 counties, 30K votes we cast.

Also, in 13 of those counties, that unknown Democrat recieved more votes than Jim Talent recieved in his primary. That's not a sign of any special doom for Talent, considering the number of local elections in those counties, but it's not exactly the best line of derision. The Republican primary wasn't a ghost town, Talent got more votes than McCaskill, and both primaries had over 300K votes (with the Democratic primary having around 20K more votes).

If I wanted, I could probably go into more depth about how local primaries are held in a lot of those counties (such as the ones in dark blue on the second map) and how that caused 80% of voters to pick the Democratic primary.

In these areas and others, Republicans and Democrats alike have recognized that Claire McCaskill doesn't believe in the common sense, conservative values of the heartland.

Conservative Values? So how come Jim Talent's record veered to the middle in time for the election year? and how come Jim Talent's running from his party? From what I can tell, Talent will use the twelve letter C word, but not the ten letter R word. After all, he doesn't want to remind people of Bush and Matt Blunt.

When it comes to a rural strategy in Missouri. It's worth it. Considering the typical closeness of Missouri elections, it's smart to make sure that you don't get walloped in large parts of the states. It's also smart because the "other 100 counties" are not hostile to Democrats. They don't vote for Democrats these days, but that's not a permanent thing. It takes the right approach and enough timing to defy and destroy the Republican-created images of Democratic candidates. Sure, Democrats may not win in those counties, but it'll make it easier for them to win in the entire state.

Posted at 02:26 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Missouri | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Tuesday Primary Review

Posted by RBH

Clearly we know about the biggest news of the night. Despite all the advantages of incumbency, Joe Lieberman was unable to win the primary tonight. Lawmakers who had either supported Lieberman or had stayed neutral are also turning their support to Ned Lamont. Including Evan Bayh and Hillary, and more people will likely speak up soon.

When it comes to the effects of a Lieberman candidacy in November. I still think that people overrate his chances in November. Money just doesn't come out of nowhere. And Lieberman will need money in order to help himself out in November. While Ned Lamont would need some help to get himself on solid ground, he'll also get a lot of things which he did not have for today.

Joe Lieberman's main source of new money will likely come from people who are donors to Republican candidates. The Republicans will be the ones supporting Lieberman, and money that could have went to Shays, Johnson, or Simmons, will be going to Lieberman. That's only a subtle favor, not any sort of big victory for the Democratic candidates running in those districts.

But I'd rather armwrestle Hulk Hogan than get into a money war with the Republicans. There's legitimate reason for concern when it comes to the Democratic challengers in all the purple districts.

I would certainly hope that Joe Lieberman rethinks his plan to run as an Independent, but I'm not expecting a change in his plans for September and October. I would also hope that those people who gave money to Joe Lieberman and who disapprove of his independent candidacy would ask for a refund or return of their contribution.

As for the other races, here are the highlights:

Colorado: Jeff Crank and Doug Lamborn are the frontrunners in CO-05. The winner faces Jay Fawcett. Ed Perlmutter defeats Peggy Lamm in CO-07.

Georgia: Hank Johnson defeats Cynthia McKinney in GA-04. Expect Cynthia to release the official list of people "to blame for Johnson winning" soon, odds are that "Republicans" will top that list. Ha Ha.

Michigan: Joe Schwarz loses to Tim Walberg. Mike Bouchard looks like the winner in the Republican Senate primary. Knollenberg wins 69-31.

Missouri: Lots of Democrats voted, Lots of Republicans voted, but there weren't a lot of close federal races. Over 80% of precincts are in. Akin rolls over Parker (87-13). No word on who'll face Akin, but the frontrunners are Charles Karam and George Weber. Alan Conner, who spent $246K to try and win the MO-04 nomination, lost by 22 points to Jim Noland, who hasn't filed with the FEC, and who has lost three straight elections to Ike Skelton. Noland's wife suing Conner was probably not helpful to Conner's campaign. This should tell you that there's some things that money can't buy. Sara Jo Shettles and Duane Burghard were both uncontested in their primaries to face Sam Graves and Kenny Hulshof. They also outpolled their opponents. Although in the case of MO-09, that's not exactly a feat of strength, but it's a pretty good sign. And yes, I just gave the longest writeup to my own state. I have the keyboard here, after all.

Any night where three incumbents go down is a night of pretty big activity. It should be a sign that being an incumbent in November is not going to be a pleasant thing.

That's my analysis of the night's events. I'm sure that one of the regulars (who isn't on vacation) will have something to say as well.

Posted at 01:43 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, August 07, 2006

CO, CT, GA, MI, MO: Tuesday Primary Election Preview

Posted by RBH

Here's the rundown of the elections which will likely produce news tomorrow.

Starting off first in Colorado where the biggest races are the Republican Primary in the 5th District and the Democratic Primary in the 7th District.

In the 5th district race, the winning Republican will likely face Jay Fawcett (who is the frontrunner in his primary). From a short combing though Google News, we find that Doug Lamborn has the Club for Growth supporters with him, Hefley supporters are apparently supporting Crank. Basically the entire primary could end with the winner recieving a very low percentage of the vote, under 40%, maybe under 35%. But right now, the winner is anybody's guess. I should note that Anderson (who is running as pro-choice, which means "pro-choice compared to other Republicans), Bremer (Paul Bremer's brother), and Rayburn (retired Air Force General) are all wildcards and they could get a surprising number of votes.

In the 7th district, the favorite to face Rick O'Donnell appears to be Ed Perlmutter. Ed has had a pretty solid lead in SurveyUSA polls over Peggy Lamm. But then again in an election like this, surprises will occur.

Moving on to Connecticut.

The big race is between Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont. It appears to be a pretty big deal. Basically the results could go either way, although Lamont is going into the election with a 6 point lead in the latest Quinnipac poll. I'm pretty sure that this race will be the top attraction, and also the one race which does not require a long explanation.

In Georgia, the big election is between Cynthia McKinney and Hank Johnson in the 4th district. McKinney had a plurality last time, but for this election, it could go either way.

In Michigan, the biggest race will be in MI-07 between Congressman Joe Schwarz and Tim Walberg. Schwarz is under fire from the right in this campaign and could be on the way out of Congress. The likely Democratic nominee is Sharon Renier. In other races, I'm expecting Keith Mike Bouchard to win the Republican Senate primary and I wouldn't be stunned if Patricia Godchaux got around 1/3rd of the vote in her primary against Congressman Joe Knollenberg.

In Missouri, no major races will occur in the primaries. The closest primary race will probably be in MO-02 between Akin and Sherman Parker, and that's probably not due to be close at all. Claire McCaskill and Jim Talent are expected to cruise over their unknown opponents.

So, on this election day, there's one more question: What Races Are You Interested In?

Posted at 11:48 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Colorado, Connecticut, Democrats, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Netroots, Republicans | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

MO-Sen: No Shame

Posted by DavidNYC

I always thought that the only people who don't experience any shame are very little children and sociopaths. Well, you can add Republican operatives to the list. Check this out:

It began with a Missouri Republican Party press release accusing Democrat Claire McCaskill of failing to file a routine campaign finance report on time.

The release included an Internet link to a July 28 letter from the Federal Election Commission to McCaskill saying she "may have failed to file" the pre-primary finance report. Missouri GOP spokesman Paul Sloca said the FEC letter exposed McCaskill's "incompetence and her willful disregard for the law."

Sounds like a pretty typical political ploy. But, since we're dealing with the GOP here, it's no surprise that this is all bullshit:

Adrianne Marsh, spokeswoman for the McCaskill campaign, said Berridge's records show she sent the report on July 24, as required, and produced a certified receipt to prove it. Marsh said the filing may have been lost in the mail, but the campaign is working it out with FEC officials.

Of course, since the Post Office is obviously a liberal institution (socialist, even, what with that "universal service" requirement), certified receipts can't be trusted. But this story is actually a whole lot worse than typical Republican mendacity:

McCaskill's campaign denounced the Republican statement as inaccurate - and unprofessional, in light of the death Saturday of Melissa Berridge, the campaign's compliance director.

Berridge, 38, of St. Louis, was among six skydivers who died Saturday in the crash near the eastern Missouri town of Sullivan.

The GOP attacks a dead woman who of course cannot speak for herself. That is as base as it gets. And when called on it, what is their response?

Marsh called on the Republican Party and incumbent Sen. Jim Talent - McCaskill's opponent - to issue "an immediate apology to Melissa's family and retract their insensitive release."

Sloca declined.

"It's unfortunate that Claire McCaskill has turned this into an issue about the unfortunate death of a staffer to hide from her incompetence," he said.

Like I said, these people have no shame, none at all. Melissa's brother James writes in a comment at FiredUp Missouri that all his family is seeking is a simple apology, and yet the GOP can't even bring itself to offer one. I hope Claire McCaskill beats the stuffing out of Jim Talent, for all our sakes, and especially to honor the memory of Melissa Berridge.

(Hat tip: BriVT.)

Posted at 11:21 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Missouri | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, February 23, 2006

MO-Sen: Talent Flip-Flops on Stem Cells

Posted by DavidNYC

As I've written in the past, I ordinarily hate the phrase "flip-flop" - it's gotta be okay to change your mind about things. But sometimes, a change in position is so starkly craven, so basely political that it deserves to be labelled a flip-flop. And here, friends, is one of them:

Sen. Jim Talent attempted an election-year pirouette Friday on stem-cell research, an issue that has split the Missouri Republican Party.

Talent withdrew his four-year support of federal legislation that would ban human cloning, including what opponents call embryonic therapeutic cloning that most researchers see as key to early stem-cell study. Talent’s pro-life supporters adamantly oppose the technique.

I've written about this issue before, mainly in the context of a pro-stem cell MO ballot measure - one which Talent's opponent, Claire McCaskill, supports, and which he has refused to give a firm answer on. Talent still won't say whether he supports or opposes the initiative, but his flip-flop on Sen. Sam Brownback's anti-stem cell legislation is already causing plenty of ire:

The pro-life movement also is confused by Talent’s rationale for pulling his support for Brownback’s bill.

Talent said he was concerned that the bill’s wording would inadvertently ban altered nuclear transfer research that did not involve the cloning of human embryos.

Nonsense, said Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of pro-life activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, whose group helped Brownback write the bill.

“This doesn’t make any sense to us,” Doerflinger said. “The Brownback bill … clearly allows research other than cloning human embryos. … I think this man is very confused.”


“There’s been a lot of support for Jim Talent from the pro-life community,” said Larry Weber, executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference. “Today he stepped off that platform. At this point, it’s essentially vacant with respect to the U.S. Senate election. His candidacy gave pro-life voters something they could gravitate towards. Unfortunately, it’s just not there any more.”

The business community is also pissed at Talent, for precisely the opposite reasons - his wishy-washiness is hurting the prospects of the state's bio-industries. That's a pretty rare feat for a Republican to be able to pull off: Piss off the conservative religious base AND the Chamber of Commerce in one fell swoop. I think this issue is going to keep hurting him all election-season long, especially as moneyed interests visibly crank up their support for the ballot initiative.

Posted at 02:40 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Missouri | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, January 22, 2006

MO-Sen: McCaskill Leads Talent

Posted by DavidNYC

A new poll from Research 2000 (likely voters, no trendlines):

McCaskill: 47
Talent: 44
Undecided: 9
(MoE: ±3.5%)

The partisan split is just about equal (around 80% of Republicans and Democrats support their party's candidate). The real issue is that independents favor McCaskill by a considerable margin, 50-41. Given McCaskill's consistently strong poll showings, Talent is probably right at the top of the second tier of vulnerable GOP incumbents. The 4Q fundraising numbers will be of especial interest in this race.

Research 2000 also tested MO-Gov, and showed Democratic AG Jay Nixon leading Republican incumbent Matt Blunt, 51-43. Unfortunately, Blunt is not up for re-election until 2008, so any poll here is just way too early. But Blunt, like his father (possibly Majority Leader Roy Blunt), is tainted by corruption and may face a desultory several years as governor (much like Ernie Fletcher in neighboring Kentucky).

(Thanks to hilltopper.)

Posted at 10:01 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Missouri | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

MO-Sen: Talent Waffling on Stem Cells

Posted by DavidNYC

Today, I took my Food & Drug Law final. Appropriately enough, via Jim Hacking, we even have a story related to that subject. It's a little update on the MO stem cell ballot measure - and, chiefly, what unpopular Republican Sen. Jim Talent is doing to avoid giving a firm answer on the subject:

Missouri Sen. Jim Talent was in Kansas City Tuesday and spoke about stem cell research.

"I've always had an open mind on continuing to evaluate my position, because the technology is changing. Almost every week we see an announcement which reveals something some new about cloning," said Talent, a Republican.

Talk about leaving himself some wiggle room. But so much for keeping an open mind: Talent is actually co-sponsoring a bill in the Senate which would criminalize therapeutic cloning, also known as SCNT. What's truly awesome to behold is this insane waffling:

"Do you think SCNT ought to be permitted in Missouri?" Mahoney asked.

"I think, again, it depends on whether or not it's human cloning, depends on what it produces," Talent said.

"Is SCNT, in your mind, human cloning?" Mahoney asked.

"If it results in the cloning of a human embryo, I think we have to say, yeah, it's cloning," Talent said.

Talent's own starring bill outlaws SCNT! And yet he can't answer a direct question about whether it ought to be allowed in his home state. What, does he think the text of the bill says, "It shall be unlawful to perform human cloning in every state except Missouri?" If Talent imagines he can pirouette his way through the general election on stem cells, he'll be about as successful as John Kerry was in avoiding the subject of the war in Iraq.

Posted at 03:30 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Missouri | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Monday, November 14, 2005

MO-Sen: McCaskill (D) Leads Talent (R), 47-45

Posted by DavidNYC

I think the Missouri senate race can show you just how important having a top-notch candidate can be. Rasmussen again has the goods today (likely voters, early Sept. in parens):

McCaskill: 47 (46)
Talent: 45 (46)
Other: 2 (2)
Undecided: 6 (6)
MoE: ±4.5%

Thanks the maker for the globe-trotting Chuck Schumer and his ability to recruit strong challengers. As you may recall, Chuck followed McCaskill to London and wooed her over dinner. I don't always agree with Schumer's stances, but man, I sure as hell respect how hard he works. Majority Leader Reid was always an extreme longshot, but Schumer's done his very best to close that gap. This will be a hard-fought race until the very end, but I think McCaskill can pull it off.

P.S. Scott Rasmussen: Thanks for starting to include the actual number of undecideds in your data boxes. Very helpful!

Posted at 06:13 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Missouri | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, October 20, 2005

MO-Ballot: Wingers Eating Wingers

Posted by DavidNYC

A few days ago, we wrote about the pro-stem cell measure on the ballot in Missouri next year. Ultra-wingers want Republicans to oppose it, while big business is pushing hard for it. GOP politicians are trapped in the middle, and it's already causing rifts. Governor Matt Blunt is the first victim:

The Board of Directors of Missouri Right to Life announced today that Governor Matt Blunt can no longer be considered pro-life because of his support of an initiative petition that would establish in the Missouri Constitution the right to do cloning and embryonic stem cell research, and to use tax dollars to pay for these procedures.

Hopefully incumbent Sen. Jim Talent - up for re-election against a very strong opponent, State Auditor Claire McCaskill - will get tripped up in this whole mess, too.

(Via Jim Hacking.)

Posted at 03:19 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Missouri | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 17, 2005

MO-Sen: Stem Cell Ballot Measure Emerging as Wedge Issue

Posted by DavidNYC

Ah, now this I like to see. In 2004, it appeared (though there wasn't conclusive evidence) that anti-gay marriage ballot measures in several states might have jacked up right-wing turnout. At the very least, they provided an added incentive for conservatives to go to the polls. Right after the election, Nick Confessore suggested that we need to promote parallel ballot initiatives that would help our side. Nick thought state support for stem cell research would be a good place to start, and I agreed.

At least one state has followed this advice. Back in the spring, Tim wrote about a pro-stem cell measure in Missouri. At the time, the shape of the Senate race in MO was still inchoate, but now the battle lines are drawn (incumbent Republican Jim Talent vs. Democrat Claire McCaskill). And the stem cell initiative is starting to cause serious problems for the GOP:

Stem cell research is once again driving a wedge within Missouri’s Republican Party, pitting business interests who bankroll its campaigns against the social conservatives who help pack the polls.

Some fear that the dispute could spill over into some of the GOP’s key contests on the November 2006 ballot — especially the re-election bid of U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo.

The concern is that the Republican Party’s infighting could repel its voters or donors. "If you split our base, what does that do to you in a tough election year?" asked state Rep. Jim Lembke, R-south St. Louis County. "This could get messy."

This is even better than I might have imagined. I would have hoped that stem cell research would push more likely Dem voters to the polls, but if it has the added effect of potentially fracturing the GOP, that would be three birds with one stone (more Dems, fewer Republicans, and, if it passes, more support for stem cells).

Talent hasn't taken a position on any of this yet, but he is already feeling the pressure. He'll probably try to hem and haw, but no matter what he ultimately, there will be a lot of unhappy people. My feeling is that he'll ultimately cave and support the bill because much of the state GOP already does - this is one of those rare cases where big business is on the side of the good guys, and big business is pushing hard for this one to pass. If that causes the fundies to stay home on election day, then faaantastic.

Posted at 02:22 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Missouri | Comments (5) | TrackBack (2) | Technorati

Thursday, October 06, 2005

MO-07: Roy Blunt Exposed as Central Figure in GOP Culture of Corruption

Posted by Bob Brigham

In 1998, the Democrat challenging Republican Congressman Roy Blunt in Missouri's 7th District didn't raise or spend a dime. In 2000 and 2002, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee didn't even field a candidate against Blunt, allowing Blunt to focus on his "Battleground 2002" project which moved $5.6 million to Republican House candidates. In 2004, Democrats at least bothered to field a candidate, but Blunt had a 15:1 cash advantage and wasn't pinned down, allowing him to raise money for other Republicans to the point where he is now Republican Leader in Congress.

But, the rising profile for Congressman Blunt is a double-edged sword, because he just got busted by the AP for his role in laundering money with Tom DeLay (who is currently facing life in prison for illegally laundering money):

Tom DeLay deliberately raised more money than he needed to throw parties at the 2000 presidential convention, then diverted some of the excess to longtime ally Roy Blunt through a series of donations that benefited both men's causes.

When the financial carousel stopped, DeLay's private charity, the consulting firm that employed DeLay's wife and the Missouri campaign of Blunt's son all ended up with money, according to campaign documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist recently charged in an ongoing federal corruption and fraud investigation, and Jim Ellis, the DeLay fundraiser indicted with his boss last week in Texas, also came into the picture.

The complicated transactions are drawing scrutiny in legal and political circles after a grand jury indicted DeLay on charges of violating Texas law with a scheme to launder illegal corporate donations to state candidates.

Congressman Roy Blunt needs a strong Democratic challenger willing to expose Blunt's "Culture of Corruption" and pin him down in Missouri so he isn't raising money for candidates in targetted races.

Blunt's crooked transactions with DeLay deserve an investigation:

The government's former chief election enforcement lawyer said the Blunt and DeLay transactions are similar to the Texas case and raise questions that should be investigated regarding whether donors were deceived or the true destination of their money was concealed.

"These people clearly like using middlemen for their transactions," said Lawrence Noble. "It seems to be a pattern with DeLay funneling money to different groups, at least to obscure, if not cover, the original source," said Noble, who was the
Federal Election Commission's chief lawyer for 13 years, including in 2000 when the transactions occurred.

None of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations DeLay collected for the 2000 convention were ever disclosed to federal regulators because the type of group DeLay used wasn't governed by federal law at the time.

Check out Blunt's spin and tell me he isn't vulnerable.

Blunt and DeLay planned all along to raise more money than was needed for the convention parties and then route some of that to other causes, such as supporting state candidates, said longtime Blunt aide Gregg Hartley.

"We put together a budget for what we thought we would raise and spend on the convention and whatever was left over we were going to use to support candidates," said Hartley, Blunt's former chief of staff who answered AP's questions on behalf of Blunt.

Hartley said he saw no similarity to the Texas case. The fact that DeLay's charity, Christine DeLay's consulting firm and Blunt's son were beneficiaries was a coincidence, Hartley said.

Whoops, the fact that money ended up going to Blunt and DeLay family members was an accident...

Much of the money — including one donation to Blunt from an Abramoff client accused of running a "sweatshop" garment factory in the Northern Mariana Islands — changed hands in the spring of 2000, a period of keen interest to federal prosecutors.

During that same time, Abramoff arranged for DeLay to use a concert skybox for donors and to take a golfing trip to Scotland and England that was partly underwritten by some of the lobbyist's clients. Prosecutors are investigating whether the source of some of the money was disguised, and whether some of DeLay's expenses were originally put on the lobbyist's credit card in violation of House rules.

Both DeLay and Blunt and their aides also met with Abramoff's lobbying team several times in 2000 and 2001 on the Marianas issues, according to law firm billing records obtained by AP under an open records request. DeLay was instrumental in blocking legislation opposed by some of Abramoff's clients.

Noble said investigators should examine whether the pattern of disguising the original source of money might have been an effort to hide the leaders' simultaneous financial and legislative dealings with Abramoff and his clients.

"You see Abramoff involved and see the meetings that were held and one gets the sense Abramoff is helping this along in order to get access and push his clients' interest," he said. "And at the same time, you see Delay and Blunt trying to hide the root of their funding.

Blunt is just as crooked as DeLay:

Blunt and DeLay have long been political allies. The 2000 transactions occurred as
President Bush was marching toward his first election to the White House, DeLay was positioning himself to be House majority leader and Blunt was lining up to succeed DeLay as majority whip, the third-ranking position in the House.

The entities Blunt and DeLay formed allowed them to collect donations of any size and any U.S. source with little chance of federal scrutiny.

DeLay's convention fundraising arm, part of his Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee (ARMPAC), collected large corporate donations to help wine and dine Republican VIPs during the presidential nominating convention in Philadelphia in late summer 2000. DeLay's group has declined to identify any of the donors.

Blunt's group, a nonfederal wing of his Rely on Your Beliefs Fund, eventually registered its activities in Missouri but paid a $3,000 fine for improperly concealing its fundraising in 1999 and spring 2000, according to Missouri Ethics Commission records.

Blunt claims he had no clue he was crooked:

Hartley said Blunt was unaware that Mrs. DeLay worked at the firm when he made the payments, and that she had nothing to do with Blunt's group. [...]

Hartley said Blunt always liked to help the state party and the fact that his son got party help after his donation was a coincidence. "They are unrelated activities," he said.

When Congressman Roy Blunt runs for re-election, he needs to be met with a full court press. The voters deserve a choice.

Posted at 12:29 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Activism, Culture of Corruption, Missouri, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

MO-Sen: Dead Heat

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The first poll is out on the Missouri Senate race since Claire McCaskill tossed her hat into the ring.

Jim Talent: 46%
Claire McCaskill: 46%
Other/DK: 8%

The report discussed how support for either candidate is closely associated with support for President Bush, not a surprise. McCaskill is probably getting a bit of a post-announcement bounce, having just announced two weeks ago.

The survey was of 500 likely voters, but they didn't release the margin of error. It's also a bit strange that those numbers are so high with the election more then a year away. Certainly an opportunity to for us to pick up a seat here.

Posted at 01:44 PM in Missouri | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, August 25, 2005

MO-Sen: McCaskill Running?

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Arch City Chronicle:

As official as it's going to get before it's official.

McCaskill is telling her statewide colleagues that she is running for U.S. Senate. Announcement around Labor Day.

If this happens, this is great news for the Democratic Party. Here's hoping she runs, runs strong, and makes us all proud!

Hat tip to Chris Bowers.

Posted at 06:48 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Missouri | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

DCCC: Health Insurance for the Troops

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the subscription-only Hotline:

Using Memorial Day as a backdrop, the DCCC went up in 12 CDs over the weekend to pick at Republicans for opposing military benefit expansion.

John Havens, who identifies himself as a retired adjutant general in the Missouri National Guard, says in the 60-second radio spot that "thousands of brave National Guard members and reservists" serving on active duty "lose the same health insurance other soldiers can count on" when they return home. An announcer, noting that Congress recently "defeated a plan to extend health coverage to members of the Guard, the Reserves and their families," mentions a Republican who opposed the plan and asks listeners to tell the member "he owes those who serve our nation more than Memorial Day speeches. "

The spot takes issue with the members for opposing a procedural motion to H.R. 1815 that would have expanded the TRICARE insurance program to National Guard members and Reservists.

The targets?

According to a DCCC spokeswoman, the spot airing in airing this week in a "strategic buy" covering the home districts of 12 GOP lawmakers: Vito Fossella (NY 13), Sam Graves (MO 06), John Hostettler (IN 08), Tim Murphy (PA 06), Bob Ney (OH 18), Richard Pombo (CA 11), Dave Reichert (WA 08), Rick Renzi (AZ 01), Rob Simmons (CT 02), Mike Sodrel (IN 09), Charles Taylor (NC 11) and Ed Whitfield (KY 01). Different versions of the spot mention each representative by name.

These 12 Representatives should be ashamed -- our troops deserve better.

Posted at 04:33 PM in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington | Comments (2) | Technorati

Saturday, April 23, 2005

MO-Sen: Jim Talent's Gift for Unpopularity

Posted by Bob Brigham

Regular Swing State Project readers know that when a sitting Senator has a re-elect number under forty, it means they are headed towards a loss. It doesn't mean they will lose, but it does mean they are losing. The latest poll numbers on Missouri Senator Jim Talent are in the range normally reserved for politicians under indictment or in the throws of a major scandal. In Senator Talent's case, it looks like he earned his dangerously low popularity through consistently demonstrating his aptitude for voting against the interests of Missouri families.

From the Missouri Democratic Party:

Now a new survey shows that Talent is the most vulnerable Senator in the nation.

Just 36 percent of Missourians say that they would vote to re-elect Talent in 2006, while 64 percent say that they want someone else or are undecided. Despite 11 years in Washington, Talent has failed to show an overwhelming majority of Missourians any reason why they should keep him there. "We cannot recall an incumbent senator with lower positive ratings than Talent," said Harstad Strategic Research, which conducted the survey of more than 600 likely voters. (emphasis mine)

Senator Conrad Burns re-elect number is also 36, but for that Burns had to repeatedly lie to Montana voters about only serving two terms (he is running for his fourth) and be bolo tie deep in a major corruption scandal.

It looks like Jim's talent is pissing off Missouri voters every time he casts a Senate vote.

Today's trivia challenge: Can anyone cite an instance where the year before successful re-election a Senator had a re-elect number of 36?

Posted at 02:16 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Missouri | Comments (3) | Technorati

Friday, April 22, 2005

MO-Sen: Referendum on Stem Cell Research?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

In 2002, Republican Jim Talent eeked out a 22,000 vote special election victory for U.S. Senate over Jean Carnahan. This time around, Democrats are clammoring for a chance at defeating Talent, with a very interesting storyline emerging, even before the first official declaration.

Democratic state Sen. Chuck Graham, a symbolic leader of stem-cell research supporters, said he will probably challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, who has endorsed legislation to criminalize a certain kind of stem-cell research.

Graham, D-Columbia, who would be his party’s first candidate for the 2006 Senate race, is paralyzed from injuries he suffered in a car accident while a teenager and has helped lead the effort against Missouri legislation that would ban a type of stem-cell research commonly known as therapeutic cloning.

I haven't seen much polling data on stem cell research since the election, but the last numbers I found indicated a vast majority of Americans not only favor embyonic stem cell research, but federal funding for projects.

"Do you favor or oppose federal funding of research on diseases like Alzheimer's using stem cells taken from human embryos?" (Aug. 2004 - MoE +/- 3%)

Favor: 64%
Oppose: 28%
Don't Know: 8%

Several other Democrats have expressed interest in running for Talent's seat, including: Attorney General Jay Nixon and State Auditor Claire McCaskill. McCaskill, lost in Missouri's 2004 race for Governor, earning 48% of the vote against Matt Blunt. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is also seriously considering a run.

Long-time Swing State Project readers might recognize Carnahan after expressing my angst over the uninspiring Russ Carnahan's (Robin's brother) primary victory over Jeff Smith in 2004.

Posted at 08:22 PM in Missouri | Comments (4) | Technorati

Monday, April 11, 2005

Tom DeLay Scandal: Reps. Blunt, Nussle, and Gerlach hit with ads

Posted by Bob Brigham

Press Release:

Public Campaign, a nonpartisan money and politics watchdog group, will launch television advertisements in three congressional districts tomorrow to build pressure on Republican members of Congress to demand Majority Leader Tom DeLay's resignation. The ads will run in:

-- The 7th Congressional District of Missouri, currently represented by Majority Whip Roy Blunt

-- The 6th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, currently represented by Rep. Jim Gerlach

-- The 1st Congressional District of Iowa, currently represented by Rep. Jim Nussle

"With Rep. Chris Shays' courageous statement yesterday calling on Tom DeLay to step down, we are turning up the heat on Republican members to join him," said David Donnelly, National Campaigns director of Public Campaign. "DeLay's big money scandals and cash-and-carry politics should be repudiated by elected officials everywhere."


Posted at 06:25 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Iowa, Missouri, Pennsylvania | Comments (1) | Technorati

Saturday, April 02, 2005

U.S. Senate "Nuclear Option" and 2006 midterm elections

Posted by Bob Brigham

Over at DailyKos, Kargo X has kickstarted a conversation on the coming "Nuclear Option" -- the Republican scheme to end the filibuster and gain absolute power.

If the GOP pushes forward with this power grab, it will force a major backlash against Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections. During the Schiavo usurpation, Bush dropped 10 pts in the time it took for Santorum to permanently tie himself to the issue.

If the GOP continues their quest for absolute power, the backlash will be severe. Already, Democrats have 12 Republican Senators (facing re-election in 2006) on record with their Social Security vote.

It has become conventional wisdom that Americans oppose the GOP plan to privatize Social Security. If the GOP moves for absolute control of the Senate while Bush forces privatization then the storyline gets a villian in a potent way. Add Tom DeLay as the public face of Republicans in Congress, a splintering of the conservative coalition, and a united Democratic Party. Together, this could result in a major restructuring of party perception in a nationalized 2006 midterm election cycle.

Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) wants to be President so he needs to protect his record. In addition, the following Republican Senators need to worry about running for re-election in 2006:

  • Senator George Allen (R-VA)*
  • Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT)*
  • Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)*
  • Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH)
  • Senator John Ensign (R-NV)*
  • Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)*
  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)*
  • Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)*
  • Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)*
  • Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)*
  • Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)*
  • Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
  • Senator Jim Talent (R-MO)*
  • Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY)*

* Social Security: on record voting in favor of "deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt."

In addition, such a move would allow the following Democrats a hero vote to bolster their 2006 re-elections:

  • Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
  • Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
  • Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)
  • Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE)
  • Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
  • Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)
  • Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ)
  • Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN)
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
  • Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI)
  • Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
  • Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)
  • Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Posted at 06:36 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Nuclear Option, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming | Technorati

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Vote on Social Security

Posted by Bob Brigham

Yesterday, the Senate gave the following statement an up or down vote:

"It is the sense of the Senate that Congress should reject any Social Security plan that requires deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt."

Here are the 12 Senators (standing for re-election in 2006) who voted for deep social security cuts and massive debt:

Allen, George VA
Burns, Conrad MT
Chafee, Lincoln RI
Ensign, John NV
Hatch, Orrin UT
Hutchison, Kay Bailey TX
Kyl, Jon AZ
Lott, Trent MS
Lugar, Richard IN
Santorum, Rick PA
Talent, Jim MO
Thomas, Craig WY

Here is the link to the vote.

Posted at 09:24 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming | Technorati

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Say What?

Posted by Tim Tagaris

This has got to be the most unique use of a blog by a candidate running for public office.

From the weblog of St. Louis mayoral candidate Bill Haas on Monday:

...and unless something breaks professionally in the next couple of months, I'm going to be out of money and then I'm going to put the animals to sleep and take my life.

Thirty years ago, December 1974, almost exactly half my life ago, I sat with a gun in my lap in a similar situation, and was going to take my life that night at 5:00pm.

His next entry was yesterday:

I just got home from Walmart, and read your comments: you made me cry. Some days that's not too hard, but it's always special. More later. In the meantime, I'm not going anywhere, hope to be around another 30 [...]

Thank you again. And you'll come to my mayoral fundraiser at Bar Italia, Maryland and Euclid, central west end, Saturday February 5th, 1-4pm, open bar, some free oerdoevres (sp?), suggested $25 contribution but no one not welcome.

The AP confirmed the blog actually belonged to the candidate.

Posted at 09:40 AM in Missouri, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Take it Back: MO-3

Posted by Tim Tagaris

1995 House break-down "The Republican Revolution": 235 (R) to 198 (D)

2005 House break-down entering the 109th Congress: 232 (R) to 201 (D)

Missouri's 3rd CD: As most of you don't know, I am a strong advocate of getting involved in Democratic primary elections as the principal means of shaping the face of our party. Much of that has to do with Jeff Smith, a little known House candidate who lost by 1733 votes against party establishment favorite, Russ Carnahan in an open-seat race.

Carnahan eventually eeked out what should have been a blow-out victory in November. Now the sharks are circling.

[N]ew U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis - already is making some Democrats nervous. Dick Gephardt generally won re-election easily during his 28 years representing the 3rd District, but Russ Carnahan barely won the right to succeed him. [...]

Veteran Republican consultant John Hancock said, "The 3rd District is definitely in the equation for targeting in 2006." The GOP believes that the right candidate could oust Russ Carnahan.

So, it is with great pleasure that I found the name of Jeff Smith begin to resurface this morning.

The summer's Democratic runner-up, Jeff Smith, is now a visiting political science instructor at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Smith plans to return to Missouri and says he hasn't decided whether he'll make another bid for any political office.

You'll have to forgive me. Not only am I a big fan of Jeff Smith, but I see his race and situation as a microcosm for the current state of the Democratic Party. As long as the party continues to back status quo candidates, whether for president, congress, or DNC Chair - we will continue to lose elections. Getting involved in primaries will also also help us field candidates in general elections that are more in-line with our ideological beliefs.

I am through waiting for a group of consistent losers to pick which candidates I should support in the months before November. (More numbers below the jump)

109th Congress (2005):

Republicans 232
Democrats 201

108th Congress (2003):

Republicans 229
Democrats 204

107th Congress (2001):

Republicans 221
Democrats 211

106th Congress (1999):

Republicans 222
Democrats 211

105th Congress (1997):

Republicans 225
Democrats 205

104th Congress (1995):

Republicans 235
Democrats 198

Posted at 11:01 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Missouri | Comments (1) | Technorati

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Rally for Kerry in MO

Posted by DavidNYC

Speaking of Missouri, Team Kerry is having a big ol' rally after the debate this Friday night. If you're in the St. Louis area, go, have fun, listen to JFK and then go get some beers afterwards. But sign up for (free) tickets first. If that's not enough revelry, you can Drink Liberally next Wednesday, too.

And if you are still thinking about doing volunteer work in a swing state but haven't made any plans yet, ACT will hook you up.

P.S. More callback interviews this Friday, plus I'll be staying in NYC for the weekend. (Gonna do a little J-E-T-S on Sunday.) I'll be posting, but probably a little lighter than usual.

Posted at 02:48 AM in Activism, Missouri | Technorati

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Missouri Still in Play?

Posted by DavidNYC

Well, well, well - whaddya know? After a slew of polls showing Bush over 50% in Missouri, SUSA pegs him at 49% (likely voters, early September in parens):

Kerry: 47 (46)
Bush: 49 (48)
Other/undecided: 4 (5)
(MoE: ��3.8%)

It's also a one-point fight in the Governor's race, though we are getting smoked in the Senate campaign.

Anyhow, I swear I read somewhere that even though the Kerry campaign isn't spending any more money in MO, the 527s have stepped in big-time. I thought I had read it around a week or two ago in the New York Times, but I have been utterly unable to retrieve it. If you've seen any similar stories anywhere else, kindly post a link.

I think it's important to keep the other side sweating in Missouri so that they can't pull out their resources and funnel them to Florida or Ohio. There are also several important House races in the mix, so staying strong on the ground is essential.

At this point, I'd predict that MO will likely be a very narrow loss for us. However, if Kerry can stay strong in the last two debates and the media narrative is "Wow! This race is close!" rather than, "Kerry is still struggling," then I think Missouri is a definite possibility for us.

Posted at 02:25 PM in Missouri | Comments (8) | Technorati

Saturday, September 18, 2004

CO, MO, PA Poll Roundup

Posted by DavidNYC

DemFromCT has new polls for Colorado, Missouri & Pennsylvania.

Posted at 05:05 PM in Colorado, Missouri, Pennsylvania | Comments (29) | Technorati

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Two More SUSA Polls (MO & PA)

Posted by DavidNYC

There's no way I'm going to be able to keep up with all the polls. The prolific Survey USA makes things especially difficult for an obsessive poll-watcher like myself - they use an entirely automated system to collect their samples, so they can keep churning out polls as fast as their robo-dialers can make calls. They've released two more swing state polls today (in addition to several that cover non-swing states). Hopefully I'll get the numbers in order this time.

First up is Missouri (PDF) (likely voters, mid-August in parens):

Kerry: 46 (47)
Bush: 48 (48)
Other/undecided: 5 (5)
(MoE: ��3.9%)

As in Ohio, Bush and Kerry do almost equally well among their respective bases (90%+ for both), and Bush leads among independents, 49-40.

Perhaps not surprisingly, 80% of Bush voters say they are voting "for" Bush, while only 19% say they are voting "against" Kerry. For Kerry, though, only 41% say they are voting for him, while 56% say they are voting against Bush. I wish SUSA included questions about favorability, because then these numbers would mean a lot more. If Bush's unfavorables are high, then this sort of split is nothing to be concerned about - it means the "anti" vote will come out in force.

SUSA's results also show a deadlocked Governor's race. In a somewhat unusual development, the incumbent Democrat Bob Holden actually lost his primary to challenger Claire McCaskill. McCaskill, though, went from a five-point margin against Republican Matt Blunt in August to a one-point margin this time around. We can definitely hold on to the Governor's mansion here. The Senate outlook, however, is fairly bleak.

Missouri is not a terribly likely pickup for us - I certainly think we have a better shot at (bigger) Ohio. And I don't see us taking MO but not OH. Nonetheless, this is a state in which we want to remain competitive, given the other important races here. And a final note: This poll was taken not long after the Republican convention, at a point when Bush should be riding highest. So the fact that things are still so close here is very good news for us.

And now, Pennsylvania (PDF) (likely voters, early August in parens):

Kerry: 49 (53)
Bush: 47 (41)
Other/undecided: 5 (7)
(MoE: ��3.8%)

Those trendlines sure are ugly, but a lot has happened since this poll was taken - not least of all the Swift Boat Liars and the Republican convention (which appear to have had a greater affect here than in MO). At the same time, I don't think any reasonable person could have expected Kerry to win PA by 12 points, so that early August poll strikes me as something of an outlier - it was taken right after the DNC.

Speaking of the Swift Vets, SUSA shows those with a military/veteran background preferring Bush 50-46 in this poll. The previous poll had Kerry winning this group 52-42. I'd caution against reading too much into this particular observation, though, for two reasons: First, again, the August poll seems too pro-Kerry to me, and second, for polling sub-groups, margins of error can skyrocket because you're likely dealing with tiny numbers of people.

As above, both candidates do just about equally well with their base (86% for Bush, 82% for Kerry). I bring this up again partly because SUSA actually provides this info, but also because a lot of polls seem to show Bush doing significantly better with Republicans than Kerry does with Democrats (on the order of 15 points or so). At least we aren't seeing evidence of that here.

One side note: The Senate results again are quite disappointing here - SUSA has Hoeffel back 18 points. Like many other people, I wonder how things might have been different had Arlen Specter lost his primary.

Posted at 12:21 AM in Missouri, Pennsylvania | Comments (5) | Technorati

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Four Gallup Polls (MO, OH, PA & WA)

Posted by DavidNYC

Gallup released four new polls today, for Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania & Washington. All were taken after the convention, and all pushed leaners. (The questioning: "If undecided: 'As of today, do you lean more toward Kerry and Edwards, the Democrats, or Bush and Cheney, the Republicans?'") That means that a certain amount of Bush's support has to be quite soft. Polling firms like to do this because it produces "cleaner" data, but I actually think it makes the picture look murkier.

Missouri first (registered voters, no trendlines):

Kerry: 42
Bush: 53
Other/Undecided: 5
(MoE: ��4%)

Gallup also polled LVs here, who favored Bush by a 55-41 margin. In mid-July, Gallup had the race tied at 48-48 among LVs. The fact is, though, we know that Bush will not triple or quadruple his 2000 margin in Missouri this time around.

And Ohio (registered voters, mid-August in parens):

Kerry: 47 (52)
Bush: 48 (42)
Other/Undecided: 5 (6)
(MoE: ��4%)

Similarly here, we knew that Kerry wasn't going to win Ohio by ten points, so it's hardly surprising to see this race tighten up. What is very intesting is how skewed the LV numbers are for OH. Gallup has Bush up 52-44 among LVs, but as you can see, just one point up among RVs. And again, Bush isn't going to win OH by eight points (no matter what Zogby might say), so this just seems like pretty conclusive proof that Gallup's likely voter models skew absurdly Republican.

On to Pennsylvania (registered voters, late August in parens):

Kerry: 47 (49)
Bush: 47 (44)
Other/Undecided: 6 (7)
(MoE: ��4%)

Unlike OH, the LVs don't show a big jump for Bush - he's up 48-47. However, back in August, the LVs had Bush doing four points better and Kerry doing two points worse than the RV horserace that month (which was, as indicated above, 49-44 Kerry).

And finally Washington (registered voters, no trendlines):

Kerry: 51
Bush: 43
Other/Undecided: 6
(MoE: ��4%)

The other/undecided category includes two points for Nader. (The other polls didn't ask about him.) For once, LVs don't show a big difference: 52-44 Kerry.

Detailed poll results are available here.

Posted at 12:52 PM in Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Rasmussen Polls for MI & MO

Posted by DavidNYC

More polls from Rasmussen that were taken before, during & after the GOP convention. The first is for Michigan (likely voters, August in parens):

Kerry: 48 (50)
Bush: 44 (45)
Undecided: 4
Other: 4
(MoE: ��5%)

Favorability ratings are Kerry at 54% and Bush at 49%.

And Missouri (likely voters, August in parens):

Kerry: 42 (44)
Bush: 48 (49)
Undecided: 7 (4)
Other: 2 (3)
(MoE: ��5%)

I almost hesitate to post this poll, as the sample was collected over a two-week period - but you can judge its validity yourself. For some reason, Show Me State Democrats aren't cottoning to Kerry - he gets 74% of the Dem vote, while Bush gets 90% of the GOP vote.

Posted at 04:17 PM in Michigan, Missouri | Comments (10) | Technorati

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Nader Dinged in Two Swing States

Posted by DavidNYC

According to this AP piece, Nader has failed to get on the ballot in two swing states: Big-time MO and up-and-coming VA. (He also got dinged in IL and MD - sort of an Alan Keyes special.) The NYT map Chris posted a while back showed MO as a "likely" state for Nader.

Elsewhere, it looks like Nader is struggling in OR as well. His campaign says they have 20,000 sigs - they need over 15K valid ones, and the deadline is this Tuesday. I say he has no chance.

Nader is vowing to fight on in a lot of these states, but he's stretched incredibly thin. His campaign says they are fighting adverse rulings in AZ, MI and TX. But not only that, the Dems are training big guns on him. In PA, for instance, a team of ten attorneys from Pittsburgh-based Reed Smith - the thirty-third biggest law firm in America - is working pro bono to keep Nader off the ballot. I don't think Ralph is going to get on the ballot in too many more states.

Posted at 08:24 PM in Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia | Comments (2) | Technorati

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A Quick Note on Rasmussen

Posted by DavidNYC

Rasmussen has by far the most annoying - and quite possibly silly - polling methodology out there. In fact, I'd almost say Zogby's "interactive" polling is prima facie more sound. Rasmussen polls over the course of a month which, as someone cleverly observed, is not a snapshot but rather a daguerreotype. I'll quickly mention the swing state results he released today, but since the vast majority of the polling was done before the convention, I think they are even more useless this month than in the past.

�Ģ Missouri: 50-46-4 Bush (May: 44-43-13 Bush)
�Ģ North Carolina: 50-45-6 Bush (June: 49-42-8 Bush)
�Ģ Virginia: 49-46-5 Bush (June: 48-45-6 Bush)

I just want to re-iterate: I'm giving these polls short shrift not because they show Kerry losing, but because I have deep reservations about Rasmussen's methodology. If a more traditional pollster showed results like these for NC and VA, I'd actually be quite happy.

(Thanks to glibfidget.)

Posted at 08:30 AM in Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia | Comments (2) | Technorati

Monday, July 26, 2004

Another Batch of Polls

Posted by DavidNYC

I've been quite busy the past few days. Many law schools have a wonderful process called "Early Interview Week," a hellish few days during which you interview with about 8,000 different law firms to get a job for summer 2005, and for many people, the rest of their lives. (Firms wind up giving almost every summer associate a full-time offer for after graduation.) It sucks to have to think about next summer while this one is still just in July, but there it is.

Anyhow, every students who participates in EIW bids on the firms they want to interview with. (Each firm only has so many interview slots available.) So my bid list is due in a couple of days, and assembling it has been occupying a lot of my time. Sussing out the differences between Dewey, Cheatem & Howe versus Oliver & Dunne is a little bit like trying to distinguish between Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld... and right here, in case any potential employers are reading, I'm gonna quit with the analogy. But if you have any thoughts about any of the big New York firms, let me know.

Oh, yes, there was an actual point to this thread. Kos has another battleground poll roundup. There may be some repeats, but it does include the new SUSA Nevada poll (PDF) which was mentioned in comments here that I hadn't yet posted:

Kerry: 49
Bush: 45
Other: 4
Undecided: 3
(MoE: ��3.5%)

SUSA's low undecideds have always made me a bit uncomfortable, yet despite their all-automated surveying, they apparently have a pretty good track record. All things being equal, Bush can afford to lose NV - in a way, it's sort of a neither-here-nor-there state. That is to say, if we take Nevada, it means we've held NM, but I don't think it says anything about AZ. In other words, NV is part of a very small group of states which could change hands without a single other state changing hands.

Posted at 02:42 AM in Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio | Comments (18) | Technorati

Thursday, June 10, 2004

LAT Polls Three Swing States: MO, OH, WI

Posted by DavidNYC

As part of a larger national poll, the LA Times also ran polls in three swing states: Missouri, Ohio & Wisconsin.


Kerry: 37
Bush: 48
Nader: 5
Unsure: 10

Kerry: 42
Bush: 48
Unsure: 10


Kerry: 45
Bush: 42
Nader: 4
Unsure: 9

Kerry: 46
Bush: 45
Unsure: 9


Kerry: 42
Bush: 44
Nader: 4
Unsure: 10

Kerry: 44
Bush: 44
Unsure: 11
Other (vol.): 1

(MoE for all polls: ��4%)

The MO result is pretty disheartening - but of course, we don't need it to win. On the flipside, we can't afford to concede it, either. If we do that, then the Bushies can pour that money into Ohio instead.

(Thanks to mattb25.)

UPDATE: I added in the polling numbers without Nader. Kerry looks a lot better in MO - indeed, five points better - without Nader in the mix.

Posted at 01:34 AM in Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin | Comments (13) | Technorati

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Electoral College Reform Revisited

Posted by DavidNYC

Back in the very early days of this blog (aka last October), I wrote a post about electoral college reform. It produced a great set of comments which, if you're a numbers geek, I highly recommend checking out. Anyhow, I was primarily discussing what would happen if every state adopted a system like ME and NE's - where EVs are awarded for the winner of each Congressional District, and the overall popular vote winner gets the final two EVs.

At the end, I asked what I thought was a throwaway question, though it wound up sparking most of the comments:

Could a state pass a law appointing electors simply in proportion to the total popular vote won? I don't see why not. Article II �� 1 of the US Constitution says: "Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress." Seems like the states have free reign here.

The consensus was that, nationally, such a move would likely be bad for the Dems. But in particular states, it might help. And indeed, in Colorado, one group is apparently attempting to establish such a regime via ballot measure.

While this would help Dems in Colorado (had this system been in place in 2000, Gore would have gotten 2 of CO's EVs, rather than zero), it would hurt the Dems if it were adopted nationwide. And if such a system passes in CO, you can bet that Republicans in big Dem states (like CA, where getting an initiative on the ballot is easy, or NY, where both the Governor and State Senate are Republican) will try to push for similar measures there. In short, this is a war we don't want to start, as this right-wing columnist correctly observes.

Interestingly, while poking around for more information on the CO ballot measure, I discovered that a similar effort is underway in Missouri. Brad Ketcher, former chief of staff to the late Mel Carnahan, is apparently circulating petitions for two different electoral reform plans: One just like that in CO and one identical to the ME/NE system. Neither seem to have been given a spot on the ballot yet.

I couldn't find out any more info on this topic - most of the news about MO ballot measures concerns an attempt to ban gay marriage. (Sigh.) If any locals know any more about this (especially if you've been asked to sign this petition), I'd be grateful if you could let me know.

And again, while this system would have helped Gore in MO in 2000 - indeed, the straight-proportional plan would have split the state's EVs 6-5 and tipped the entire election to Gore - we really don't want to go down this path. If you want empirical confirmation of that, I once again suggest that you check out the comments to my old post mentioned above. And if we can win MO this year - which I think we can - then this system would hurt us.

My personal feeling is that the only appropriate voting reform is to abolish the electoral college and go to a national popular vote. This would, however, require a constitutional amendment. And since such a move would draw down the power of small states (and hence, Republicans), this is just never gonna happen.

(RMN column thanks to John Smith.)

Posted at 01:08 AM in Colorado, General, Missouri | Comments (8) | Technorati

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Purple People Watch

Posted by DavidNYC

There's a new Purple People Watch column up at TAP. The PPW is the only other place I've seen so far (apart from this ol' site) that's dorky enough to say about Maine: "It's less a battleground state than a battleground congressional district." (Thanks to Maine's unusual process for awarding electoral votes.) I'd love to see some more polling from ME - the last one, taken ages ago, gave Kerry a huge lead - but my instincts tell me it's not seriously in play.

In Missouri, Kerry's finally appointed a campaign chief - but, oddly, he won't start work until mid-June. The bad news is that Bush has had someone in place for half a year. The good news (I guess) is that Kerry's setting up shop in MO before Gore and Clinton did.

And following up on a previous item, Kerry did raise the issue of Yucca Mountain on a trip to Nevada back on May 17th. I hope he starts airing ads on the subject, because Nevadans seem to be hopping mad at Bush on this topic - the Las Vegas Sun uses the verboten "L-word" and outright calls Bush a liar for backing down on his promise to halt the project.

Posted at 04:31 PM in General, Maine, Missouri, Nevada | Comments (1) | Technorati

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