Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Daily Blue America Report-- #10


This is the conclusion of a two-part piece on where all the Blue America candidates are standing as we head into election day. Part one is here and features the latest on the Senate races in Maine and Alaska are these House candidates: Sam Bennett (PA-15), Charlie Brown (CA-04), Darcy Burner (WA-08), Debbie Cook (CA-46), Larry Joe Doherty (TX-10), Judy Feder (VA-10), Alan Grayson (FL-08), Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Jim Himes (CT-4), Larry Kissell (NC-08), Dan Maffei (NY-25) and Eric Massa (NY-29). Normally we'd be picking up at the Oregon Senate seat, where progressive Jeff Merkley is in the process of ousting rubber stamp hypocrite Gordon Smith, but we'll be covering this particular race in some detail tomorrow.

So, instead let's get the ball rolling with another Senate candidate, Rick Noriega in the Lonestar State. This is one tough race and Rick has been making great strides against Bush's and Cheney's most obedient little Senate puppet, John Cornyn. Obama is barely over 40% in the polls-- Kerry managed 38% in 2004-- but Rick should do better, the latest poll showing the margin in single digits. But not better enough. Unless his substantial GOTV operation makes history Tuesday, it looks like we'll have to be dealing with one of the most clueless men ever elected to the U.S. Senate for another 6 years.

In Virginia's 5th CD, incumbent extremist Virgil Goode (bonus-- he's also on of the most corrupt members of the House and one of the most blatantly bigoted) has watched Tom Perriello methodically close the gap between them from a 34 and 25 point spreads to 13 points and most recently, only 8. It's a tough race but Perriello is an excellent candidate and Goode hurts himself every time he opens his mouth. Mark Warner just cut a radio spot for Tom and he's on the ballot (for the open Senate seat) and will win VA-05 handily). Obama is doing better than any Democratic presidential candidate since LBJ. In 2006 Al Weed only managed 40% against Goode. This year the race is tightening furiously and it's one of those races where an Obama landslide (and a Warner landslide) can help save the country from another two years of Virgil Goode's idiocy.

Michigan's 9th CD looks like double good news. First of all Gary Peters has overtaken Bush rubber stamp Joe Knollenberg and secondly, Gary Peters will be an incredibly effective and focused fighter for working families, a kind of polar opposite of Congressman Special Interests who he is displacing. All 3 public polls taken in October show Gary ahead, with the margin of victory increasing. The latest shows him 7 points over Knollenberg.

Jared Polis basically has no race. He's a very popular Democrat running in a Democratic district (CO-02) against a right-wing Republican who has gotten no traction whatsoever. On Tuesday Jared will make history as the first openly gay man ever elected to Congress as a freshman. Everyone who knows him says they expect Jared to exercise the kinds of leadership ability in Congress that has made him so successful in the business and public service realms.

Steven Porter was far and away the best candidate running against PA-03's pathetic slob of a puppet, Phil English. But the Inside the Beltway Democratic Establishment, recognizing a non-kindred spirit, never warmed to him and muscled him aside in favor of an anti-choice conservative, Kathy Dahlkemper, who they are backing to the hilt. She's utterly clueless and unworthy of being on the Board of Ed, let alone in Congress but she is running just ahead of the even more reprehensible English. After being thrown off the ballot as an independent, Porter is still running as a write-in candidate. The biggest losers in this race, regardless of what happens, are the residents of northwest Pennsylvania.

Although the race for the Oklahoma Senate seat continues to tighten, the 10 point gap between Andrew Rice and James Inhofe is probably too wide to close in the next 30 hours. And even with Obama surging nationally into what looks like a landslide, Oklahomans are determined to rival backward places like Utah, Idaho and Alabama as the diehards of Bush-style reactionary politics. Obama is currently polling 34.5% in Oklahoma, considerably less than Andrew! So... no coattails to the rescue here. But from the moment Andrew stepped into the race, one of his goals has been to resuscitate a moribund Democratic Party and inject a progressive and populist strain back into it. In this he has succeeded.

Back to Michigan for more good news. The current congressman for MI-07, Tim Walberg, is on a Michele Bachmann/Mean Jean level of stupidty-cum-wingnutery. His opponent, a can-do kind of progressive Democrat, Mark Schauer has run a picture perfect campaign and overtook Walberg in mid-September and has never looked back. This could well turn into a 10 point rout, unheard of against an incumbent who hasn't been charged with any crimes.

Our one incumbent who had us worried was Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) but after a couple of early polls in the summer showing vulnerability, she has left Jeb Bradley-- who she beat in 2006-- in the dust. The most recent poll shows her with an 8% lead-- and with Obama and Jeanne Shaheen expected to handily beat McCain and Sununu, I'd call Carol safe.

Dennis Shulman, a progressive blind rabbi (and drummer) has come a long way towards closing the gap with corrupt right-wing extremist Scott Garrett, but the most recent poll still shows a 7% lead for Garrett. Since then though, the NY Times the Bergen Record and Mayor Mike Bloomberg have all come out for Dennis and there is a chance that he will pull this one off if Obama and Lautenberg bring out enough Democratic voters in a traditionally Republican area. This one is a real toss-up.

Unlike her ideological doppelgangers the notorious Diaz-Balart Brothers, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, has had some degree of success persuading Miami-Dade voters that she's somehow-- despite her extremist voting record-- a "moderate." Even with Obama surging in South Florida, it is looking like a very tough district for Annette Taddeo to close the deal on. Her first obstacle was South Florida Democratic powermonger-- Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the female Rahm Emanuel, who worked mightily to sabotage Annette and assist Ros-Lehtinen. But since finally overcoming DWS, Annette has steadily closed the gap between herself and Ros-Lehtinen. The most recent poll shows them separated by 7 points-- not bad when the campaign started with a 31 point gap! If Obama continues to surge in Miami-Dade it could bring Annette across the finish line.

Russ Warner has a similar situation in suburban L.A. where right-wing rubber stamp David Dreier has managed to convince voters he's some kind of a moderate. Although Warner has continued to hold him under 50%, the gap looks prohibitive unless Obama absolutely sweeps the eastern L.A. 'burbs. Bush took the district with 55% in 2004. Russ has a great ground game planned for Tuesday and his camp was buoyed by an MSNBC report Friday that predicts that Dreier could lose his seat.

There are no public polls for Indiana's 6th CD and were Barry Welsh to overtake far right incumbent Mike Pence, it would be the biggest congressional news of the night. Ironically, a private Republican poll shows that the race is a dead heat-- a 3 point gap.

In 2006, Vic Wulsin nearly beat Mean Jean Schmidt in a 51-49% contest. This month, polls have shown Mean ahead of Vic by 1 point and by 8 points. Obama was campaigning in Cincinnati and a big Democratic turnout there will help Vic close the gap. But it's a prohibitively Republican district and it will take everything working exactly right for Vic to pull this off on Tuesday. the latest poll from the Columbus Dispatch Friday shows Obama up by 6 points.



At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that it looks like Barack Obama is likely to win the election, what do you expect him to do after inauguration? What policy or policies led you to vote for him (as opposed to voting against McCain)? Please reply to Thanks.


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