Who lost?

November 9, 2006 at 4:54 pm

A conservative Hill friend of mine today in a conversation made a good point. When you look at the fallout from Tuesday’s elections, it becomes apparent that conservatives were least likely to fall victim to the wave, while moderate to liberal Republicans had a tough go at it. He followed up on our conversation with the email that I have pasted below with his permission.

The email breaks it down as he sees it:

Liberal

*       N Johnson
*       J Leach
*       Bradley
*       Bass
*       Weldon PA
*       Kelly
*       Sweeney
*       Michigan- Schwartz in primary
Race Undecided: CT-02 (Simmons),
Race Undecided PA-06 (Gerlach),
Race Undecided TX-23 (Bonilla),
Race Undecided OH-15 (Pryce),

Scandal

*       Sherwood
*       Weldon (Penn)
*       Foley seat Florida 16
*       Delay seat Texas 22 (plus hyphenated candidate’s name as a write
in!)
*       Ney seat Ohio 18 (replacement filed for bankruptcy months
before!)
*     Taylor (earmark investigations)
*     Hayworth (also Abramoff connection)
*     Pombo (abramoff connection, used committee funds for political
mailer)

Open

*       Colarado 7
*       Arizona 8
*       Iowa 1
*       NY 24
*       Wisc 8

Conservative

*       Northup (Dem Dist)
*       Chocola (Unpopular R Gov, was Tim Roemer (d) seat before)
*       Sodrel
*       Hostetler (bloody 8th)
*       Jim Ryun
*       Gil Gutknecht
Race Undecided WY-AL (Cubin) –she and her husband have been sick (he
was dying then she had heart attack), she’s missed a ton of votes
Race Undecided NC-08 (Hayes) (textile shut downs?)

Mixed Record

*       Hart (Dem Dist)- (pro-life but pro-union, pro-527 legislation
etc)
*       Fitzpatrick (this was greenwood’s seat)
Race Undecided NM-01 (Wilson),
Race Undecided WA-08 (Reichert),
Race Undecided: MI-09 (Knollenberg),
Race Undecided OH-02 (Schmidt),

Other
*       Shaw

Webb wins

November 9, 2006 at 7:07 am

The complete Dem sweep appears to be in tact.

Pick Three

November 7, 2006 at 9:39 pm

As Fox News has noted, not one Democrat Senate seat has been lost. Five Republican seats are still on the table. If Dems win three they get the Senate. Virginia, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee and Arizona are still on the blocks.

Sporadic updates

November 7, 2006 at 7:12 pm

Here are some updates from the email inbox:

HOUSE
KY-03 John Yarmuth D 51 % 17833
Anne Northup R * 48 % 16606
15% of precincts reporting (UPDATE: Fox News has Northup up to 50%)
KY-04 Ken Lucas D 59 % 400
Geoff Davis R * 38 % 258
0 % of precincts reporting

An OH Federal District judge has ordered that 16 precincts Cuyahoga County remain open until 10 pm CST due to problems with voting machines.

Exit polls conducted by a firm hired by the major networks, CNN and the AP. Here are two other polls just released:

Do you approve of Congress:
62 % Disapprove
36 % Approve
2 % Other

Do you trust that your vote will be counted accurately:
88 % Confident it will be counted correctly
11 % Not confident it will be counted correctlyWhat issue was most important to you when making your vote?
42 % corruption
40 % terrorism
39 % economy
37 % the war in Iraq

Do you approve of the war in Iraq?
57 % disapprove
41 % approve

Did national or local issues influence your vote?
62 % national issues
33 % local issues
5 % other

UPDATE: Allen is up big in the early returns.

UPDATE 8:30 pm: MSNBC Projects Bob Casey, Jr. to win…booooooooooooo…time for a much stronger drink…

UPDATE 8:34 pm: Fox News joins MSNBC in that projection. Scotch please…PA did the wrong thing…prepare to send a do-nothing Senator to Congress. Congrats to Harry, Chuck, Ted, Barbara and Dick…you just got yourselves another rubber stamp.

UPDATE 8:47 pm: DeWine is gone too. Chuck Schumer just took to the airwaves. He is absolutely giddy.

Turnout tidbits

November 7, 2006 at 6:11 pm

Patrick Ruffini of the RNC sends out a list of turnout statistics. See the extended section for the stats. Read the rest of this entry »

Whatever happened to

November 7, 2006 at 3:12 pm

“the margin of error?”

Back in 2000 (the last election I covered at CNN as an “unbiased” member of the media) we always mentioned the MoE, which was usually 4-5 points. For example, we’d say, “Bush is ahead 47-45, which is within the poll’s 5 pt. margin of error.”

These days I hear polls reported as if they didn’t have any margin for error.

“Polls show Jim Webb is ahead 52-44 in Virginia.” He is? The poll shows him with an eight point lead — but what’s the MoE? And note that the previous polls listed in the story are all very exact — Allen up two, for example.

Well, the point of a MoE (also called “sampling error”) is that the poll isn’t ever going to be exact. You’d think, since polls have proven unbelievably unreliable in recent years, they’d want to expand, not contract, the MoE.

And by the way, this explains why the polls were actually correct in 2000. They showed a slight lead for Bush going into Election Day, but within the MoE. So Gore’s narrow win in the popular vote was actually predicted by polls that showed Bush winning. Odd, yet true.

–Rich Tucker

On the air: election 2006

November 7, 2006 at 2:16 pm

I will be on the air with the Columbia Journalism School as they cover election 2006 tonight. The segment will begin streaming here at 7:00 pm.

Tracking the elections

November 7, 2006 at 10:32 am

N.Z. Bear has a new page setup dedicated to tracking the midterms throughout the day. Check it out here.

Pennsylvania turnout strong

November 7, 2006 at 8:58 am

KLO at the Corner has a reader email indicating strong turnout in PA:

Hi Kathryn, Just wanted to let you know that I reside in Hilltown Township, a small community in Bucks County, PA. I am one of those people who vote in every election usually before I go to work. Normally I am one of the first ten voters; today I was #89. I waited in line for 40 minutes. When I left there was still a line out the door and around the corner. Hopefully this will bode well for Rick Santorum.

Even at this early hour, that email seems to be true for much of the state. A friend who is a ground game Santorum volunteer working the “T” area emails me a similar report about strong turnout, but notes “some machine problems.” In southeastern PA, a liberal stronghold, I have received a couple anecdotal reports from volunteers walking the neighborhoods yesterday. The reactions they were receiving were not as hostile towards Santorum as you might expect from that area. Rather, folks seemed frustrated with the race in general. How that will translate today is anyone’s guess.

Novak blames “arrogant” GOP for Dem pickup

November 7, 2006 at 8:36 am

Robert Novak has picked the Dems to pickup 19 House seats and 2 Senate seats. One of the reasons Novak says this will happen is an “arrogant” GOP:

The first is an arrogant and politically tin-eared Republican establishment in Washington. In the handling of key issues such as the occupation of Iraq, the response to Hurricane Katrina, and a meaningful follow-through on Social Security reform, the White House displayed incompetence.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Republicans encouraged practices (such as earmarking in the appropriations process) that let corruption run free. When scandal hit, they handled it badly, particularly in the most recent case of disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.). They also went to great lengths to alienate their base on the issue of immigration reform, and they created an issue for Democrats in the form of embryonic stem-cell research. Recall that federal funding for embryonic research received a vote on the House floor only when the House Republican leadership made a deal with moderates in order to pass their budget in 2005.

GOP touts momentum

November 6, 2006 at 9:59 am

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman has issued a memo detailing GOP momentum in the closing days before Tuesday’s elections. Mehlman points to the generic ballot question in which Republicans have cut a previous 11 point Dem lead down to 4 points. He says that Republican enthusiasm is growing and that — most importantly I think for the GOP — conservatives are coming home.

Will all this pan out? It is impossible to tell, but I do think the closer conservatives get to election day the more engaged they become. The Mehlman memo is worth reading.

Meanwhile, The American Spectator’s Quin Hillyer makes a bold prediction: Republicans will keep both houses:

When Congress convenes in January of 2007, Republicans will be elected both as Speaker of the House and as Senate Majority Leader.

The new Republican speaker, who will not be Dennis Hastert, will enjoy a margin of only one vote. But in the Senate, where Republicans currently control 55 of the 100 seats and where many pundits are now saying they teeter on the brink of losing their majority, the GOP instead will lose no more than two seats.

And Mr. Conventional Wisdom, who is the lackey of the mainstream media and the supposedly nonpartisan election “experts,” again will have enough egg on his face to make omelets that feed multitudes.

Quin goes through race by race to explain his prediction. His arguments are persuasive.

Hugh Hewitt is feeling it too as he lists five reasons the Dems will not prevail.

As election day nears, GOP outlook grows gloomier

October 10, 2006 at 8:50 am

The Washington Post:

They [GOP officials] are all but writing off GOP open seats in Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Florida (the one previously held by Foley). Party officials said that three GOP incumbents in Indiana are trailing in private polling and that seats thought safe suddenly appear imperiled. These include the open Florida seat vacated by Rep. Katherine Harris, who is running for senator. “It is unquestionably closer than we would like,” said Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.).

In a sign that the political environment is getting worse for Republicans, political handicapper Charlie Cook now lists 25 GOP-held seats as a tossup — seven more than before the Foley scandal broke Sept. 29. Stuart Rothenberg, a nonpartisan expert on House races, has raised to nine the number of GOP seats tilting Democratic or likely to switch hands.

Unlike in most elections, when both parties defend several seats, Democrats are favored to win every seat they now occupy and are spending money to defend only a few. As a result, Democrats are not as vulnerable to the GOP’s campaign finance advantage in the final weeks as they have been in past campaigns.

McCain-Feingold collapsing?

September 28, 2006 at 9:15 am

The anti-free speech pro-incumbent McCain-Feingold is collapsing, says George Will:

Unalloyed good news is rare, so rejoice: The foremost achievement of the political speech regulators — aka campaign finance “reformers'’ — is collapsing. Taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns, which was in parlous condition in 2004, will die in 2008.

In 2000 and 2004, George W. Bush declined public funding — and its accompanying restrictions on raising and spending money — for the primaries, as did Howard Dean and John Kerry in 2004. In 2004, candidates accepting taxpayer funding were restricted to spending $45 million before the conventions. Bush and Kerry raised $269.6 million and $234.6 million respectively before the conventions. Any candidate who accepts public funding in the 2008 primaries will be considered second-tier. And almost certainly neither party’s nominee will accept public funding for the fall campaign.

More:

It is delicious that McCain-Feingold, the reformers’ most recent handiwork, is helping kill taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns. Before McCain-Feingold, limits on contributions of private money — set in 1974 and not indexed for inflation — became steadily more restrictive, so candidates accepted public funding. But McCain-Feingold, by doubling the permissible size of campaign contributions, made it easier for candidates to raise sums far larger than taxpayer funding provides.

Black Thursday

September 1, 2006 at 1:31 pm

A must-read editorial from the DC Examiner:

Something almost without precedent in America will happen Thursday. That’s the day when McCain-Feingold — aka the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 — will officially silence broadcast advertising that contains criticism of members of Congress seeking re-election in November. Before 2006, American election campaigns traditionally began in earnest after Labor Day. Unless McCain-Feingold is repealed, Labor Day will henceforth mark the point in the campaign when congressional incumbents can sit back and cruise, free of those pesky negative TV and radio spots. It is the most effective incumbent protection act possible, short of abolishing the elections themselves.

Could the fall elections produce a tie in the House?

August 25, 2006 at 10:03 am

David Keating describes what would be “an election night sight to behold.”

Election prognastications

August 18, 2006 at 8:13 am

The Editor at Influence Peddler describes an election prediction from a “well known, non-partisan political analyst” that spells trouble for Republicans:

First the non-partisan: he was not encouraging (if you’re a Republican). He said that it’s looking likely that the Democrats will retake the House. He noted similarities to 1994, and said that with Bush’s popularity extremely low and with Bush’s poll numbers appearing to be largely ‘frozen,’ (an assertion I don’t really agree with), it’s hard for the GOP to get much traction. This analyst said that for some months, ‘macro’ polls showed the GOP in big trouble, but that the dynamics of individual races did not seem to follow. He said that as time has gone on however, those races have materialized into ones that the Democrats are likely to win. He also noted that the GOP always took solace in the fact that while the GOP overall was unpopular, most voters still supported their own GOP incumbent. That has changed as well he said, so that now polls show that people are no longer so supportive of their own Congressman. Lastly, he said, polls show that Democratic voters are more highly motivated than their GOP counterparts.

He concluded by saying that this year looks like a big wave - on the order of 15-20 seats. But he added that in such years, the wave usually develops in such a way that about 5 more incumbents get beaten who were thought completely safe. So his guess is that unless something big happens to change the dynamic, the GOP will lose the House with a few seats to spare.

It seems to me that this observation is rapidly becoming the DC conventional wisdom amongst non party-employed political watchers. That’s not to say that the NRCC, whose contrary take on the situation is described by the Influence Peddler later in the post, will not be proved correct (miracles do occur), it is just to say that the chattering classes inside the beltway appear to be settling on this assumed outcome.

UPDATE: Speaking of the chattering classes, the significance of this trend on K Street should not be overlooked:

Washington lobbying firms, trade associations and corporate offices are moving to hire more well-connected Democrats in response to rising prospects that the opposition party will wrest control of at least one chamber of Congress from Republicans in the November elections.

In what lobbyists are calling a harbinger of possible upheaval on Capitol Hill, many who make a living influencing government have gone from mostly shunning Democrats to aggressively recruiting them as lobbyists over the past six months or so.

…Lobbying managers have for years tended to hire Republicans because both Congress and the White House are controlled by the GOP, and access to officials at both places is lobbying’s stock in trade. But, in recent months, many of Washington’s top lobbyists said in interviews that their decision-making has been altered by an emerging consensus among election experts that the Democrats will boost their numbers in the House and the Senate in the midterm elections Nov. 7 and have a strong shot of winning a majority in the House.