Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006
50 Days to Election Day
As Howard Dean reminded me today via email, the elections are in just 50 days! I've had the view for some time now that the Democrats are definitely ahead and looking good, but that there's plenty of time for things to turn around. With only 50 days left, there's still time, but not plenty of it.
Here's my general take, and specifically on a couple of races:
Republicans are better at turnout, and despite the sad state that party is in currently, they will still be better than us at it in November. We can expect the traditional machine to whirl into action - preachers and reverends talking of the "evil" of Democrats who believe in killing defenseless babies and letting enemies abroad amass unmolested. It's the standard bullshit laid out in "What's the Matter with Kansas" - the typical Republican pivot from caring about rich people for 3.5 years, to caring about social values for the couple of weeks before Election Day.
So while things are looking good politically for the Democrats, we can't count on a slight favorable mood to drive results at the polls. A tie will always go to the Republicans.
On specific races: In the Virginia Senate race - I like Jim Webb, and think he's a great candidated, but I think he'll need a 5-8 point lead in the last polls to pull out a 1-3 point win on election day. I think he may get that lead, but it's no sure thing whatsoever.
Similar situation with Casey vs. Santorum in PA. People seem to be coming back to Santorum recently, which is worrying. Casey needs to step it up.
Tennesse is one that I'm somewhat hopeful on, when I probably shouldn't be. Here's a really red state, where a young, African-American democrat with some disgraced family members should not do well. But I think he might. Harold Ford Jr. is a really dynamic guy and a good campaigner. His opponent, Bob Corker, isn't exciting the right-wing party base, so they might stay home. I think there's an outside chance we pick this one up.
In Connecticut, Lamont isn't getting the boost I'd hoped for from party support. Hopefully the likes of Hillary, Obama and others will campaign a little for him in the coming weeks, but I'm not holding my breath.
New Jersey is a senate seat we cannot afford to lose, and I'm really annoyed this race is as close as it is. Tom Kean Jr. is from a Jersey political dynasty, which is why he's hanging in there. Some Dem media firm better write some good ads for Menendez.
We've got to take Ohio and Rhode Island to have a shot at winning back the Senate. Both are toss-ups. I think we get one of the two, but not both.
As for the House, I'm more confident that we will get what we need there. The current conflict in the Republican party prevents them from presenting a clear national message, so these races will come down to Republicans pushing local issues vs Democrats tying Republicans to the administration/Congress's national ineptitude. The longer that ineptitude lasts and is reported upon, the better a vehicle for the Dems to harness.