November 3 2002
WEATHER: With so many races so close
and turnout absolutely vital, the weather on Tuesday could very
well play a role in which candidates emerge victorious. Here is
a look at the forecast for the major metros this coming Tuesday
in states with key Senate races:
Rock, AR: cloudy, high 58 degrees, 80% chance of rain
Denver, CO: mostly sunny, high 46 degrees, 0% chane of
Atlanta, GA: cloudy, high 59 degrees, 70% chance of light
rain in pm
Des Moines, IA: cloudy, high 45 degrees, 20% chance of
Minneapolis, MN: cloudy, high 42 degrees, 20% chance of
St. Louis, MO: cloudy, high 49 degrees, 40% chance of showers
Manchester, NH: partly cloudy, high 47 degrees, 10% chance
Newark, NJ: partly cloudy, high 52 degrees, 0% chance of
Charlotte, NC: cloudy, high 54 degrees, 60% chance of rain
Columbia, SC: cloudy, high 60 degrees, 40% chance of pm
Sioux Falls, SD: partly cloudy, high 41 degrees, 0% chance
Dallas, TX: cloudy, high 57 degrees, 60% chance of rain
Houston, TX: cloudy, high 63 degrees, 80% chance of rain
(Source: Weather.com as of 11:36 pm on 11/3/02)
the list, the worst news might be for Democrats in Texas, where
the possibility of rain may hamper the big GOTV effort Ron Kirk
needs to upset John Cornyn. Rain in Little Rock, Atlanta, and
Missouri may also play a factor. -TB
PREDICTIONS: Okay, here are our
current predictions on the Senate as of tonight. We've spent
all day loading in the latest polls from Zogby, CNN/USA Today/Gallup
and the rest. Based on the latest info we're are calling for a
2 seat GOP pick up and Republican control of the Senate. We see
GOP wins in Colorado (we don't buy Zogby's nine point lead for
Strickland), Missouri, Minnesota (larger than expected margin
for Coleman), South Dakota and our "upset special" in
Georgia. We have Dems winning in Arkansas and New Hampshire. Finally,
we have the parties holding their respective seats in Iowa, New
Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. With
so many races so close, 36 hours is still plenty of time for things
to change. It wouldn't take much to switch Colorado and Georgia
back to the Democrats, and Sununu still has a chance in New Hampshire.
Stay tuned. -TB 10:12pm
THE RALLY: Want an indication as to
whether the Wellstone rally has Democrats concerned over a significant
backlash in Minnesota - and possibly beyond? How about Terry McAuliffe
on national television this morning saying the tone of the event
was "absolutely" inappropriate. McAuliffe went on to
try and distance his party's involvement in the rally and effectively
blame the Wellstone family for the outcome. Chris Dodd just said
basically the same thing on CNN. It's a nice try at spin control,
but I think that horse has already left the barn. The quesiton
is whether it will be enough. There is a gathering body of evidence
suggesting it will. -TB
MANIA : The predictions are flowing
like water these days. Here's a look at Senate predictions from
the heavyweight panel on Meet the Press this morning:
disagreement was in Georgia, where Lisa Myers of all people predicted
a Chambliss pick-up and in South Dakota where both Brownstein
and Cook gave the nod to Thune. Because they were only covering
the latest Zogby polls the New Hampshire race was not mentioned.
of other interesting notes from the discussion. Lisa Myers believes
African-American turnout won't be there for Bowles in North Carolina
and probably won't get the job done for Townsend in the Maryland
Gubernatorial race either. But Charlie Cook looked like he thought
it could very well make the difference for Ron Kirk in Texas.
our predictions will be out later today or first thing tomorrow.
-TB 12:12 pm
November 1 2002
IT FRAUD OR ISN'T IT?: A story in the
Leader yesterday which I wanted to mention, but ran out of
time, was titled "Barnett: No illegal ballots found."It
stated the following:
the controversy, Barnett has smothered discussion of widespread
voting irregularities, saying the investigation was focused
on one woman, Becky Red Earth-Villeda of Flandreau who was working
as independent contractor under a Democratic Party voter drive.
the attorney general said the woman’s actions, while likely
criminal, have not led to fraudulent voting.
far I have not found that she had any ballots that have been
illegally voted,” he said in an interview.
Marshall thinks so and rips Republicans for sending out mailers
with the headline "Tim Johnson and the Democrats are Hiding
the Truth about Voter Fraud."
on. We know this woman was a DNC contractor, that she committed
criminal acts with regard to at least 15 absentee ballots so far,
and today we learn that she
was involved with between 500-1000 absentee ballot applications,
some which were
found burned. We also know that Democrats have been doing
an aggressive registration drive among Native-Americans that has
resulted in unprecedented numbers of new Democrats being placed
on the rolls in South Dakota. This KELO-TV
story suggests that Ms. Red Earth Villeda may have also been
involved in manipulating those registrations.
So it looks
like the fraud issue is far from being resolved in South Dakota.
Ms. Red Earth Villeda and Mr. Marshall claim this is all some
sort of elaborate Republican conspiracy designed to gin up GOP
votes. Republicans are connecting the dots and believing all of
the reports cited above lead to the conclusion that Democrats
are engaged in a systematic effort to influence the election results
through fraud. Who do you believe?
- TB 1:17 pm
AND THE ELECTION: John
Judis leads off his latest article for the New Republic with
the headline "Can the GOP convince blacks not to vote?"
He uses the classic liberal debate tactic of heads I win, tails
you lose. In his mind Republican efforts to appeal to black voters
is all part of a cynical game to keep blacks from voting for Democrats,
and of course if Republicans didn't make any effort to get black
votes he would accuse them of ignoring the African-American community.
the issue of race in this country is extremely complicated. To
grossly simplify: Republicans exploited,
particularly in the South, very real racism and
prejudice during the 1960's and 1970's to their political benefit.
This rightly alienated black voters and created the foundation
for the massive political support that Democrats currently receive
from blacks today. But the truth is the "overt political
racism" that Judis and Democrats constantly refer to began
to dramatically recede during the 1980's. By 1992, it was the
Democrats who began to become the majority party that exploited
race for political gain. In 2000, the political exploitation of
race reached new lows when the NAACP ran that despicable ad essentially
showing George W. Bush dragging a black man to death tied to a
back of a Confederate pickup truck. In the last week of the campaign
Al Gore repeatedly lied to blacks in Tennessee, Pennsylvania,
Michigan and Florida that Republicans were burning down black
churches and lynching black men. Then we had the spectacle of
Florida and all the lies that there was an orchestrated campaign
to keep blacks from voting. All for what? To make the issue of
a race in our country better, to improve race relations? No, they
did it and still do it today, for one reason only, to win, to
stay in power.
bottom line for the race hustlers and the "victim advocates"
in the Democratic Party is that America in 2002 is not America
in 1962. Florida in 2000 was not Selma in 1965. Which gets me
back to the Judis
piece in the New Republic, the sanctimonious preaching from
him and other Democrats that "when it comes to race, the
GOP hasn't changed nearly as much as it would have you believe,"
( i.e. Republicans still hate black people), is
sickening. The dirty little truth in 2002 is the Democratic Party
is the party of racial divisiveness in America today. In state
after state, the only way the Democrats can compete is to lie
and radicalize the black community into going out and voting 90%
against Republicans. It almost worked for Gore. It did work for
them in Senate races in Missouri and Michigan in 2000. It may
work for them in Maryland this year and in other races. But it
won't work forever. JM
October 31 2002
VS. MONDALE: Mort
Kondracke just said on FOX News that the tracking polls in Minnesota
taken after the Wellstone "rally" show the race even.
Let's see what the next couple of polls show. Supposedly, there
will be a debate on Monday night, election eve, the race may well
come down to that debate. JM
gents over at PowerLine
continue to plumb the depths (pun intended) of the Wellstone rally.
They've found a great
article reporting that Tuesday's tasteless hyper-partisan
event did, in fact, go exactly as planned. Despite the public
pronouncements of various Dem spinmeisters over the last two days,
this was absolutely not a case of people getting "carried
away in the emotion of the moment." But we sort of knew that
all along, didn't we?
-TB 4:20 pm
start off the day with some Minnesota humor, shall we? Try this
FUNNY: Okay, enough fun. It looks like Mike Huckabee might
be going down. A reader forwarded this
investigative expose just published in the Arkansas Times
which details Huckabee's personal involvement in winning the parole
of a rapist who moved to Missouri and later raped and killed a
woman. The Arkansas media have picked up the story (here
and the Fisher campaign is all
over it (actually they've been on this story for a while.).
If this weren't bad enough, a recent
poll shows Huckabee's approval rating cratering 20 points
over the last 12 months to a current low of 49.7%.
FUNNY PART II: A couple of stories about political correctness
that will leave you shaking your head: Here
SOCIALIST: All you need to know about Walter Mondale can be
summed up by these two lines from his acceptance
will be Paul Wellstone's voice for decency and hope and better
will fight for Americans who know it's not fair when a tax bill
costs a trillion dollars and they give 40 percent of it to the
richest 1 percent."
let's work on the phraseology. What you call a "tax bill"
is known in layman's terms as a tax cut. For future reference
this can also be referred to as "giving the people back their
own hard-earned money." It might also be important to note
that the "richest 1 percent" you refer to actually bears
37.42% of the tax burden in this country - and this comparison
isn't even apples-to-apples since Walter's figure lumps together
a number of other figures like the estate tax, for example. No
wonder the guy doesn't want to debate.
- TB 11:15am
October 30 2002
DEMOCRATIC DAMAGE: "TV
networks and radio stations have been bombarded with angry calls.
The Democrats greatly overplayed their hand and violated the tradition
of "Minnesota nice." The only two Democrats who seemed to instinctively
realize how overboard they had gone were Gore and Daschle. It
is also being talked about around the water coolers at businesses
and schools, and people across the ideological spectrum did not
like it. In all, it gives Norm Coleman a fresh start.
chair reported late last night that Coleman brought in over $150,000
last night alone from angry moderates and conservatives across
the country. I was also informed that the phones continue to "ring
off the hook" at Coleman headquarters" This from a reader
of ours in Minnesota and we have gotten many more emails exactly
like this one. With only five full days between now and the election
Mondale may not be able to recover from this fiasco. The sympathy
vote for Wellstone may have been completely incinerated in 3 1/2
hours last night. JM 5:14
"I feel used. I feel violated and duped over the fact that
that turned into nothing more than a political rally. Like in
the case of Senator Lott flying all the way up here and being
booed when he is supposed to be going to a memorial service. I
think the Democrats should hang their head in shame." Independent
Governor Jesse Ventura
a complete, total, absolute sham. The DFL clearly intends to
exploit Wellstone's memory totally, completely and shamelessly
for political gain. To them, Wellstone's death, apparently,
was just another campaign event." Fmr.
Rep. Vin Weber (R)
has turned into a disaster for the Democrats. Powerline
has delved deeper into the Star Tribune's poll showing Mondale
up 8 and has found out that the poll sampled 51% DFL/Democratic
supporters and only 36% Republican or GOP leaning supporters,
a total of 11% more Democrats than their previous Wellstone/Coleman
poll. JM 4:49
initial feeling that Coleman was going to be swamped by the sympathy
vote for Wellstone is beginning to fade, and quickly. While it
hasn't gotten huge play in the national media, the "memorial
service" for the late Senator Wellstone and the other victims
was so over the top, and distasteful, it has the real potential
to backlash hard on the Democrats. Our friends at Powerline
have been all over this story and they report that the "rally"
is getting a lot of coverage in Minnesota.
"There is a lot of buzz this morning about the fact that
television cameras showed Jesse Ventura and his wife, Terry, getting
up and walking out on the Democrats' pep-fest at Williams Arena
last night. I heard Ventura being interviewed on the radio this
morning. He said that he found the Democrats' misuse for partisan
ends not only of Wellstone's death, but of the families of the
other victims of the crash, to be deeply offensive. He said that
his wife was so shocked and offended by the Democrats' conduct
that she was brought to tears, prompting their walkout."
NPR and William
Saletan at Slate also characterize the event as more a political
pep rally rather than a memorial service
it is clear it isn't just Republicans who think the Democrats
went too far. Not to mention I don't take the recent poll from
Tribune showing Mondale up 8 as terrible news for Coleman.
That poll of 47%-39% may very well be the high water mark for
Mondale from here on out. It's reasonable to assume that the sympathy
factor is going to be at its peak immediately following the tragedy.
Furthermore a poll done by the NRSC, the same time as the Star's
poll, had Mondale up only two points, with the Star
Tribune's polls long time poll bias for Dems that puts Mondale
up 5 points averaging the two polls. The clear politicization
of Wellstone's death by the Democrats last night is not going
to play well among the average Minnesotan and it will definitely
serve to energize Coleman's base. Expect that five point gap to
bottom line is I am close to doing a complete 180 on this race.
I think the offensive nature of the "memorial service"
last night has put this seat right back into play. And the trump
card in Coleman's hand are all those absentee ballots that can
not legally be counted for Mondale. This can very easily be a
potential 2%-5% boost for Coleman and if he can get this race
close in the polls, which I suspect now he will, that absentee
difference will be enough to give him the win. The Dems
lawsuit to get those Wellstone votes counted for Mondale shows
just how seriously the Democrats think those absentee ballots
can run a positive, mistake-free, proactive campaign these next
few days (and there's no reason to think he can't) these polls
will close and this will be a nail-biter. With the absentee ballot
edge I think Coleman now will win. But, hey, this is a very fluid
situation and Coleman's got to close the poll numbers. I have
to give credit to Hugh
Hewitt and Ramesh
Ponnuru who dismissed the conventional wisdom, including my
own, that Coleman couldn't win. JM
1:02 pm Comments
MORNING LINE: I've
been bullish for a while on Republican chances to take back the
Senate by a seat this November. But things are starting to look
worse. With people finally starting to focus on the election,
they've been barraged with front page stories of bad news: violent
crime is on it's way up for the first time in ten years, while
confidence has hit a nine year low.
ratings have also taken a hit.
at the key Senate races, Democrats are on the move in five states
while Republicans are showing progress in only three (Arkansas,
In the other three races, South
Dakota is too close to call, Minnesota
has swung - at least momentarily - toward the Democrats, and we
have yet to see a poll to indicate what effect the Wellstone tragedy
is having in Missouri,
where Talent seemed to be opening up a bit of a lead.
quickly and there is still a lot of campaign left. Andrew
Sullivan makes a good point this morning that thanks in large
part to French obstinacy at the UN, Bush will be making a decision
on Iraq in the next few days that will thrust the War on Terror
back onto the front pages right before voting time. Furthermore,
revelations in the DC sniper case (homeless people with GPS devices
and laptops?), the gunning down of a US diplomat in Jordan, and
the agonizing conclusion of the Russian hostage crisis continue
to make the issue of terrorism ring loudly in people's minds.
Still, if Democrats can continue the momentum they apparently
now possess, Republicans could be a very disappointed bunch on
November 6. - TB 10:53
couple interesting stories out of Florida. First, it seems they've
still got problems with
felons on the voter rolls in Duval County. You remember, of
course, efforts to have felons "scrubbed" from the rolls
in 2000 which , though mandated by Florida law, Democrats used
as yet another example of Republican "discrimination"
and "disenfranchisement." It seems things haven't changed:
of the felons' registrations were part of a local NAACP drive
this month that produced 324 registration and address change
requests from the county jail, said elections officials, who
provided the forms. Each person also requested absentee ballots.
other five felons were previously registered and remained on
the voter rolls despite the elections office being notified
of their convictions by the Clerk of Courts.
ask, is this still a problem? The answer comes in the form of
article out today in the Palm Beach Post. Now, before I get
a torrent of email calling me a racist, let me say I've highlighted
these two articles to get back to a point
I made a couple of days ago about the differences between
the two parties when it comes to campaigning and elections. The
evidence from this election cycle alone - in New Jersey, Minnesota,
Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc - demonstrates that
Democrats are more willing to push, bend, litigate, and in some
instances break, the laws and rules that govern our electoral
process. This is not hyperbole, it is fact. Many readers have
pointed out that Republicans are either consciously or unconsciously
restrained from similar behavior by deep-seated scars from Watergate.
I'm only partly convinced by this argument. There is no question
that both sides view politics as war, but evidence continues to
mount that only one side believes the "ends justify the means."
- TB 9:48 am
October 29 2002
OR RALLY?: Why
on earth would the Wellstone family not want Vice-President Cheney
to attend the Senator's funeral? Here's the
House spokesman Scott Stanzel said that it's not protocol for
presidents to attend the funerals of senators but that Vice
President Dick Cheney had planned to attend. "The [Wellstone]
family was appreciative," Stanzel said. But the plan was changed
after conversations with the family, he said.
if that meant the Wellstone family did not want Cheney to come,
he said that was correct.
a rumor floating around that the Wellstone's didn't like "the
tone" of Cheney's recent campaigning. If the quote above
is accurate, however, the private snub of Cheney leads me to a
very different conclusion: the Democrat party sees the Wellstone
funeral as a huge, last-chance opportunity to rally party faithful
around the nation for November 5. Yes, the article mentions that
Trent Lott is one of the approximately 50 Senators that will be
in attendance. But with former President Clinton, Vice President
Gore, Majority Leader Daschle and a host of others leading Democrats
prominently on display, having Cheney around might just spoil
the rally - I mean funeral. -
TB 8:41 am
AL : Gore?
No, Sharpton. Check out this
write up on his visit yesterday to SW Tennessee Community
have more reason to vote today than you ever did before," said
Sharpton, adding that the country is in a war against terrorism
"and we don't know who we're fighting." He said the President
is contemplating going into Iraq "and we don't know why."
the crowd from listing the 5,467 other things he doesn't know
about, but he did manage to squeeze in this whopper: "I agree
that if bin Laden is responsible for what happened he ought
to be brought to justice." (My emphasis) This is as funny
as any stand-up comedy material in the country - until you get
to the end of the article where audience members are quoted as
calling his message "outstanding" and "right on
target." Thank God there is absolutely no chance of this
guy ever being President.
I've decided to save time by combining the words "Davis"
and "scandal" since every mention of the California
Governor's name is always accompanied by some revelation of unethical
behavior. The latest daviscandal
involves a decade-old charge of bribery, one I'm sure will be
flicked away with the wave of a hand. I'm no huge fan of Simon,
but you gotta wonder when Democrats and Independents in California
are going to get tired of holding their noses and vote for somebody
- anybody - other than Gray. It's hard to believe that just a
couple of years ago Daviscandal was considered a Presidential
front-runner. Now he's a national joke that would be at best 50/50
to carry his home state in a Presidential election - unless he
was running against Simon, of course. Oh, and by the way, he's
up nine in a new LA
Times poll out today. -
TB 7:08 am
October 28 2002
saying it's "inappropriate" to take a critical look
at Walter Mondale's record until after they've "had a chance
to grieve and lay the dead to rest." Could someone from the
DNC explain why, after Mondale has been identified as the Democrats'
desired replacement for Wellstone, it is considered out of bounds
to examine his record as a public servant? And isn't this a textbook
definition of using Wellstone's death to suppress legitimate political
debate in the hopes it will work to their advantage in the election
that is only nine days away?
I'm not sure which is funnier, this
- TB 2:20 pm
I know this is macabre, but it's not unimportant. Jim Talent's
early yesterday. Obviously, the length to which it is reported
in the local media is a crucial factor, but it could generate
some sympathy for Talent that may combat any revitalization of
the sympathy vote for Carnahan over Wellstone's death. But take
a look at Carnahan's statement in response to the news:
has my heartfelt sympathies," she said. "I know what families
go through at times like these."
- TB 10:47 am
THE RACES: There are numerous articles
out today assessing the mid-term elections. Most seem favorable
for Republicans. Looks like Mondale
is in, and will probably win, in Minnesota. The vote fraud
to loom in SD. And over in Missouri, reverberations from the
crash and a finger-wagging debate have people rethinking a
race that looked like it was breaking for Talent. Check back for
more later - we're updating our poll
pages around the clock.
JAMES: If you missed the exchange yesterday, here
is the transcript. It was a fascinating discussion, one which
I thought Newt got the better of. After being pressed repeatedly
by Newt to explain why Daschle couldn't "deliver" in
the Senate, Carville's argument on why people should vote for
Democrats this year broke down to, "a little obstructionism
is a good thing." Now, I'm sure that liberals who watched
the show felt Carville won the argument. But what did Independents
and undecideds make of the exchange? Which line of argument was
more convincing? One more thing, did you notice Carville's repeated
references to "going slow on Iraq?" Somebody's been
the TNR kool-aid.
US diplomat gunned
down in Jordan. I went to the Jordan Times' web site for more
info but all I found was this.
was going to comment on Bob
Herbert's column today but after reading it I found myself
without much to say. The piece is a 760-word lament about cultural
violence - one of the standard, predictable kind that invariably
pop up after horrible crimes like Columbine and the DC Sniper
case. Unfortunately, the article is essentially devoid
of any ideas on how to deal with the problem, though after reading
it you get the feeling Bob wants to do away with a good portion
of the First Amendment and all of the Second. -
TB 7:14 am