Saturday, June 14, 2008



The same people who brought us the greatest heist in the history of America-- at least $23 billion missing and unaccounted for in Iraq-- have also been stealing from each other. Yes, the Republican Party. Sure, the GOP deserves to be robbed by one of their own golden boys (Christopher Ward) but it barely makes a dent in the deficit their congressional re-election efforts are running up. They're at least $30 million dollars behind their own goal ($58 million). Panic-stricken by the unexpected losses in three solidly Republican districts in Illinois, Louisiana and Mississippi-- as well as by local legislative races in districts all over the country including a New York state senate seat that has been in GOP hands since Abraham Lincoln's days and a Florida house seat that was designed specifically to elect Republicans-- the Republican leadership has been berating caucus members about raising money. But with the GOP having given up trying to win back the majority and just playing a defensive game of trying to hold losses below two dozen, few members are doing anything but looking out for their own races. Even potential donors sympathetic to their corporatist ideas, see them as losers and don't want to give them any money.

The only Repugs who have ponied up big bucks are NRCC chairman Tom Cole, Minority Leader John Boehner, and GOP closet queen David Dreier of California. Each member of the caucus was given a goal. How have they been doing? Well, Michigan wingnut Thaddeus McCotter was assessed $950,000 and donated only $8,500 while Tom Davis of Virginia was supposed to contribute $605,000 and handed over $50,000. Currently the DCCC is holding over $45 million, while the GOP counterpart has a debt of $10 million.

Several opinion polls make the picture even gloomier... if you're a right winger. CNN reported today that "63% of Democrats questioned say they are either extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this year. Only 37% of Republicans feel the same way, and 36% of Republicans say they are not enthusiastic about voting." Only part of this can be blamed on the worst Republican presidential nominee since in our lifetimes and on the demoralization Republicans feel after assessing 2 George Bush terms that have left the country less secure both domestically and internationally, largely due to his inability to cope with any serious problems effectively. This is compounded by the widespread perception that congressional Republicans have abdicated all responsibility for governing and have been mere rubber stamps for the catastrophic Bush agenda.
"Republicans are far less enthusiastic about voting than Democrats are, and enthusiasm has plummeted among GOPers since the start of the year," said Keating Holland, CNN polling director. "There was already an 'enthusiasm gap' in January, when Democrats were 11 points higher than GOPers on this measure. Now, that gap has grown to 26 points."

...Fifty-three percent of registered voters questioned in the poll say they think that Obama, D-Illinois, will win the election, with 43 percent saying that McCain, R-Arizona, will win.

"In recent elections, the public has a good track record at predicting the outcome of presidential elections. Most polls which asked this same question in 2000 and 2004 showed more Americans predicting a victory by George W. Bush over John Kerry or Al Gore. The public also correctly forecast that Bill Clinton would beat Bob Dole in 1996," Holland said.

In the battle for Congress, 54 percent of those questioned say they would vote for the Democrat in their congressional district, with 44 percent saying they'd vote for the Republican candidate.

"Democrats lead Republicans by 10 points in the congressional vote. At this point in 2006, the Democratic lead was seven points. Democrats went on to win a landslide in 2006," [Bill] Schneider said.

Don't click if you're a wingnut

At the same time, Diageo's first June poll shows that 76% of respondents feel that the country is on the wrong track (including most Republicans!) The same survey shows that Americans are most concerned about issues where Democrats have an advantage (the economy, high energy prices, and opposition to the war in Iraq) while issues seen as advantageous to the right are way down the list in people's priorities (moral values, support for the Iraq war, terrorism, immigration, taxes, gay marriage, fear, crime, bestiality, frivolous lawsuits, gun control, avian flu and the rest of the panoply of Republicans use to seduce voters).

Diageo also reported favorability ratings for prominent politicians:

Bush- 31% favorable/66% unfavorable
Hillary Clinton- 48% favorable/48% unfavorable
McCain- 52% favorable/37% unfavorable (52% of Republican voters are satisfied with McCain as their nominee and 45% prefer someone else)
Barack Obama- 57% favorable/33% unfavorable (68% of Democratic voters are satisfied with Obama as their nominee and 30% prefer someone else)
Bill Cinton - 46% favorable/50% unfavorable

The poll also showed that most people, regardless of party, feel that Democrats would do a better job handling health care (54-24%), the economy (54-28%), and the war in Iraq (46-34%). Republicans coule lose 10 Senate seats and 40 House seats, the second of the 3 steps to bring us to a productive 1936 Congress which only had 16 GOP senators and 88 GOP House members.

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