Saturday, October 20, 2007

Jindal Wins In Louisiana

Bobby Jindal has won the gubernatorial election in Louisiana, according to WWLT-TV. With 81% reporting, he has 53%, enough to avoid a December runoff.

Democrats should not generally be discouraged. As recent as a few weeks ago, Jindal was forecast to win by much more. And the fact that Democrats nearly forced a runoff with this incredibly popular Congressman in post-Katrina Louisiana is a big deal.

Sen. Landrieu should be somewhat concerned. A 60% win by Jindal would have been cause for panic among Landrieu's camp. This is not the panic zone, but the demographic shift in Louisiana as a result of Katrina is writ large in these results. Jindal even narrowly won Orleans parish.

WWLT-TV results
Live, Interactive Results Map

Trivia: In fact, maybe we should not be too discouraged by Jindal's victory. Since LA elections take place in odd-numbered years, they are frequently looked at as harbingers for the next year's general election. Here's some of the track record since LA became a competitve state:

1987: Democrat Roemer wins; 1988: Republican Bush elected President
1995: Republican Foster wins; 1996: Democrat Clinton reelected
2003: Democrat Babineaux-Blanco wins; Republican Bush reelected

Take heart.

Huckabee Wins Straw Poll

More on Huckabee later. He has, as of today, become a big enough story to write about. He was governor here for 10 years, and I confidently believe that he would not be a good President. Even with inheriting most of Brownback's support, I don't think he is a real threat to win the GOP nomination, but he must be on Romney and Guiliani's short lists for VP. I will have more on the Huckabee record later...

The Story Today is Huckabee (David Brody / CBN) - The Evangelical propoganda machine is out in full force for Huckabee. This is an example.

Guiliani Hits Speedbump with Evangelicals

The Family Research Council is meeting this weekend in Washington. A cattle call of Republican candidates are speaking over two days, and they are conducting a straw poll, widely expected to be won by Mike Huckabee. Surprising to many is not that Guiliani is not well-liked among this group but the level of vitriol aimed at his candidacy. I watched Tony Perkins, the head of the group, bluntly state last night on CNN that he would vote for a third party candidate before voting for Guiliani, a sentiment expressed by many of the conference's attendees.

More from MyDD

UPDATE: (4:00 pm) Huckabee wins FRC's straw poll with 51%.

Obama's Donors Nervous About Prospects with a very interesting piece today...

An interesting observation from the article:

When Obama's top fundraisers gathered for a national finance committee meeting in Iowa at the beginning of October, “The elephant in the room was, ‘What are we going to do, the polls, the polls, the polls,’” said one donor who was there, adding that Obama and his aides soothed the crowd with a focus on Iowa.

Iowa- where Obama is running second, at best.

Obama's top donors are very nervous about Hillary Clinton's upward movement in the polls. Recently, Obama has either plateaued or been frozen. chart:

Martinsville Picks

Martinsville is my least favorite race track on the Cup circuit. Why there are two races at Mville (and a chase race to boot!) is beyond me...It is like watching a merry-go-round for hours....

My picks, if I must. I won't be watching...


24 - Gordon
48 - Johnson
5 - Kyle Busch
2 - Kurt Busch
07 - Bowyer
8 - Earnhardt
20 - Stewart
11 - Hamlin
29 - Harvick
19 - Sadler

New Clinton Ad: Trapdoor

Good ad....

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cook Political Report: VA Sen. Seat Rated "Likely Dem"

Great news for Mark Warner and Democrats' efforts to expand their Senate majority...the pre-election year polls are uniformly pointing to a huge Warner advantage, and pre-eminent prognosticator Charlie Cook is now rating this seat to likely change over.

Cook Political Link

Also today, a new poll out from the Washington Post showing a 30+ point lead for Warner over both of his prospective GOP rivals, former Gov. Jim Gilmore and Cong. Tom Davis

from MyDD

House Voting Now on Override of SCHIP Veto

Results soon...

Live stream from CNN

Update: Looks like they will fall a few votes short of override at this point... (63% in favor of override right now, 2/3 required)

Update: Override fails. Not entirely unexpected, but an amazing show of party unity by the Democrats...only one votes against override, and two were absent. Also, in excess of 40 Republicans voted to override. Kudos to them.

Brownback Out

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) has decided to end his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. RCP story

Brownback, a very conservative evangelical Senator, had hoped that his candidacy would catch fire among religious conservatives, but he had much of his thunder stolen by the former Governor of this state, Mike Huckabee. I am actually a little surprised that the reverse was not true. Brownback is much more conservative than Huckabee in reality, which is easily verified if anyone can get past Huckabee's soundbites and look at his tenure as Arkansas governor. Alas, Huckabee seems more personable and has performed well in debates. Further, I think that Brownback's surprisingly responsible stance on Iraq probably hurt him among doctrinaire conservatives.

In any event, Brownback is doing the responsible thing and ending his campaign. He wasn't going to win. There are several other candidates on both sides that should follow his lead.

Brownback has designs of the Kansas governorship in 2010.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday NASCAR Roundup

With Johnson, Gordon, and Bowyer gathering such a huge lead on the rest of the Chase field, ESPN columnist Terry Blount explores possible solutions to keeping the Chase field closer. His column here.

Martinsville preview- Rusty Wallace

Two New Iowa Polls: Good news for Clinton

Outlier of not? Remains to be seen. Rasmussen today:

Iowa - Likely Dem Caucusgoers

Clinton 33
Edwards 22
Obama 21

Clinton leads even among younger voters in the poll, a deathknell to Obama's Iowa prospects if it plays out on caucus night.

Strategic Vision- a GOP outfit:

Clinton 28
Obama 23
Edwards 20

No internals immediately available.

That is four Iowa polls with Clinton in the lead with at least a five point spread on her rivals. Too close for comfort, but encouraging nonetheless.

Hastert to Resign This Year

Denny Hastert, who was Speaker for almost 10 years, has decided to call it quits...this year. Good riddance.

From Swing State

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

David Yepsen's Latest Jewel

David Yepsen from the Des Moines Register is developing a real reputation for being Obama's lapdog. He is a far cry from the Yepsen of past caucuses, who provided insights into the development of the campaigns in Iowa. Now, he seems to have made a career of Clinton bashing.

Hoping against hope, his latest column is wrought with one-sided analysis against Clinton. From today's DMR.

Some of my favorite parts of the column:

*In Iowa, Clinton leads the Democratic pack with 29 percent of the vote. That means 71 percent of the likely Democratic caucus-goers in the state want someone else to be their nominee, are undecided or have enough concerns about her not to commit.

True. But it also means that roughly 75 percent have decided that they want a nominee other than Obama, and roughly 80 percent want a nominee other than Edwards. These people have "enough concerns" about Edwards or Obama "not to commit."

*Of those Democrats who've decided on a preference, 53 percent say they could still be persuaded to change their minds. On the Republican side, it's 67 percent.

Of course that omits any reference by Yepsen to the analysis of the most recent Iowa poll from his own paper that indicates that Sen. Clinton's support is the strongest and least likely to change of any of the Democratic candidates.

*But early leads in national polls reflect only name recognition, and these two are well known. If others start winning, or beating expectations in places like Iowa and New Hampshire, those national surveys will shift overnight, thanks to the free media those candidates will receive.

Does any prospective Democratic Iowa caucus voter not know Obama or Edwards? Are they unfamiliar with Obama's "Edwards and Clinton voted for the war but I was against it" schtick? Do any of them not know that Edwards is now a screaming populist? The people of Iowa (bless their hearts) have endured nearly a year of incessant politicking. It seems to me to write off Hillary's Iowa support as coming from dunces who have picked her because they know her name is both incorrect and ungracious. Further, I think it is empirically disproven that Hillary's massive margin will be erased overnight if she loses in Iowa. As evidence, I offer the 1988 GOP caucuses, where George H. W. Bush lost to Bob Dole and then won out. I also offer the 1980 caucuses, where George Bush beat Ronald Reagan. This is not 2004, when we were faced with basically unknown candidates with the same message.

I suspect that Hillary Clinton is going to win the Democratic nomination for President. I don't know if she is going to win in Iowa or not. She seems to be a bit ahead, but not enought to confidently declare that a victory for Clinton is assured in these caucuses. But, I think that Yepsen's shoddy analysis does a disservice to his Iowa readers. The fact is Hillary could lose the Iowa caucuses and still win nearly every other primary with ease. What David Yepsen isn't telling is readers is that the converse is not true for Obama or Edwards. If they lose in Iowa, it is likely game over for them.

Two Polls Put Hillary at 50% or Greater

Gallup this time....

Clinton 50
Obama 21
Edwards 13

CNN too...

Clinton 51
Obama 21
Edwards 12

Remarkably consistent results.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Validation: Rothenberg Opines Edwards not More Electable

The money quote, from tomorrow's Real Clear Politics, which encapsulates what I have been saying about the relative lack of acquantence of voters with Edwards and Obama:
The former North Carolina Senator seems to think that his Southern accent and stories about his father's work in a textile mill and his mother's days as a letter carrier will ingratiate himself with moderate and conservative populists. But after Republicans hammer him for his expensive haircuts, huge home and liberal views, his appeal to swing and socially conservative voters will suffer. For now, Edwards' negatives aren't as high as Clinton's because he hasn't been a national target for more than a dozen years.
Exactly what I have been saying all year. Clinton has (only slightly) higher negatives because she has been the #1 target of the Republican filth machine for nearly two decades, and she is still standing tall. Edwards, Obama and the rest of the lot have not even begun to experience the scrutiny that these people will subject them to if they are nominated. We don't know if they can withstand it. Add into the the mix that Rothenberg presents above Edwards' involvement with hedge funds and forclosures of homes in New Orleans and I imagine that he would lose handily.

Cash on Hand: Democratic Primary

In spite of the fact that Drudge has been headlining Obama's $32M cash on hand figure for hours, Sen. Clinton has released her total in advance of the midnight deadline, and she actually leads by $3 million.

Time: Clinton Edges Obama In Cash on Hand

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Heartbreaker: Newman Spins on Way to Easy Victory; Gordon Gets Win By Default

From the What Should Have Been Dept:

Ryan Newman ran the quickest lap of the Bank of America 500 last night while leading with three laps to go, and then promptly hit the wall on the backstrait. In the heartbreak of the season for those of us who root for the 12 team, we are left to ask:

What happened? Apparently he blew a tire...damn the luck.

Jeff Gordon, who was essentially completely out of gas, sputtered across the finish line for his 81st career victory. Is anyone who is not a Hendrick fan even paying attention anymore? I am about ready to chalk this season up to a total loss and start to get ready for the Daytona 500, hoping for better results.


CBS Sportsline

Clinton Leads by 21 in NH

Another poll in New Hampshire, another Clinton lead. Marist University (NY) conducted this poll last week showing the Democratic frontrunner with 43 percent of the respondents choosing Clinton. Even more telling is that when considering the poll's internals, Clinton leads among all segments.


Clinton 43
Obama 21
Edwards 12
Richardson 8

On the Republican side, the race is much closer and up-for-grabs.

Romney 26
Guiliani 21
McCain 17
Thompson 10