Misc Political Commentary For Oct 10, 2006

— From John Zogby:

“This could very well be a pox-on-both-parties election. The Republicans are severely wounded, but while Democrats are leading in the House races, it’s hard to see any enthusiasm there.”

Right now, the voters seem to despise both political parties. While that hurts the GOP the most, because they hold the most seats, it will help Republicans in another way. That’s because when the atmosphere gets this poisonous and voters don’t like either party, it kills turnout. However, the GOP is generally thought to have a far superior Get Out The Vote campaign. So, if turnout is really low overall, the effectiveness of the Republicans GOTV push could be amplified. That could be enough to swing a victory for the GOP in a few key races.

“In an unusual move, the Republican National Committee is investing heavily in television advertising in Senate races in Ohio, Tennessee and Missouri in what officials describe as a firewall strategy designed to limit Democratic gains in the Nov. 7 elections and maintain the GOP majority.” — Seattle Post-Intelligencer

If your strategy is, “Ok, we know we’re going to get shellacked, so let’s pick a few key Senate races and really pour it on in hopes of holding the Senate,” the RNC should be pumping money into Tom Kean’s campaign in New Jersey instead of the Talent campaign. Talent has already raised more than $20 million dollars and if that campaign can be won by simply outspending the other side, Jim Talent is going to win. On the other hand, Tom Kean is right in the thick of it in New Jersey despite the fact that his opponent, Robert Menendez, has a huge money advantage. You have to think that if Kean can get the money, he can pull out a win.

— My current projections, post Foley, are Democrats +5 in the Senate and Democrats +11 to +19 in the House. Despite everything you’re hearing, Republican control of the House IS NOT definitely gone yet, although the Foley scandal has certainly made things tougher.

— Post Foleygate, here are the latest numbers from Election Projection:

Senate
This week: 49 GOP, 49 DEM, 2 IND – DEM +5, GOP -6, IND +1
Last week: 52 GOP, 46 DEM, 2 IND – DEM +2, GOP -3, IND +1

House
This week: 220 GOP, 215 DEM, 0 IND – DEM +13, GOP -12, IND -1
Last week: 221 GOP, 214 DEM, 0 IND – DEM +12, GOP -11, IND -1

Governorships
This week: 24 GOP, 26 DEM – DEM +4, GOP -4
Last week: 22 GOP, 28 DEM – DEM +6, GOP -6

“A new CBS News/New York Times poll discovered, that despite day after day pounding from the news media, two-thirds said the Foley matter will make “no difference” in how they vote — with 72 percent of independents saying so as well as a majority of Democrats (51 percent).” — Newsbusters

— Peter Brown from Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, provides this wacky analysis in a column at RealClearPolitics:

“If you want to know how John McCain will run for president in 2008, just watch Joe Lieberman’s campaign this fall as an independent candidate in Connecticut’s three-way Senate race.

There will be a lot of similarities in the strategy, rhetoric and even some personnel between the two, although since McCain and Lieberman come from different political parties it is an inexact comparison.

Three-term Democratic Sen. Lieberman, his party’s 2000 vice-presidential candidate, lost an August primary to Ned Lamont. Lamont ran a stridently partisan campaign, capitalizing on resentment among Democratic activists to Lieberman’s support of George W. Bush’s Iraq War policy, and working relationship with the president.

McCain is an early favorite for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. He has provoked antagonism from some in his party who view him as not partisan and conservative enough. And, he will need to appeal to the GOP’s conservative base in the primaries to get nominated.”

But, if McCain is Lieberman and Lieberman lost the primary…ehr, well, the candidate who loses the primary isn’t going to be the Republican nominee. Moreover, if McCain were to lose and try to “pull a Lieberman” and run as an independent, it would be impossible for him to win because the Republican candidate isn’t going to be pulling only 5%-7% of the vote like Alan Schlesinger. Moreover, McCain isn’t going to capture 20%-30% of the Democratic vote like Lieberman will likely do in November, either. In other words, McCain’s campaign would actually have very little in common with what Lieberman has been doing.

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