Archive

  • AS GOES CT-05....

    AS GOES CT-05. Alec 's report on robocalls in the CT-05 race is terribly worrying. Mostlly because just before I read his post, I wrote the following: If the fifth congressional district in Connecticut goes to the Dems today, then I�ll predict a Democratic pickup of more than 21 seats. If the district goes Republican, the Dems will still win a majority of the House, but by a smaller margin -- possibly not greater than four. Why CT-05? In 2002 redistricting caused two incumbents, Republican Nancy Johnson and Democrat Jim Maloney to run against each other. Johnson won by about 10 points -- a larger margin than was expected at the time. And since then, Johnson has a gained reputation in the district for being something of a moderate. Johnson�s opponent is Chris Murphy -- a state senator from Waterbury, who by most accounts a fairly charismatic guy and attractive candidate. The most recent polls have shown the race to be neck and neck as Johnson�s lead evaporated over the summer. The...
  • ROBOCALLS.

    ROBOCALLS. Our own Alec Oveis , who sadly left the Prospect few months ago, calls in from Connecticut, where he's volunteering on behalf of Chris Murphy (one of Tom 's "Dropkick Murphys" positioned to defeat GOP incumbents this year). He reports that voter fury over robocalls is amazing and palpable at the polling site he's near. Several people have gone out of their way to tell him and other Murphy people that they're voting for Republican incumbent Nancy Johnson strictly out of anger at the harassing phone calls they've been receiving from the Murphy campaign. Alec and other's explanations that those calls are actually paid for by Republicans have generally been falling on deaf ears (they are, after all, holding Murphy signs while offering these explanations). Discuss what you're seeing, here . --Sam Rosenfeld
  • THIS IS WHAT VOTER SUPPRESSION SOUNDS LIKE.

    THIS IS WHAT VOTER SUPPRESSION SOUNDS LIKE. A recorded call from the "Virginia Elections Commission" informing this voter -- by name -- that he's registered in New York and will be arrested if he goes to the polling booth in VA. Remember kids, it's not just unethical, it's illegal . Daly, by the way, has voted in Viriginia for the last four election cycles. I'm getting independent e-mail reports of other calls like this, but this is the only one I know of that's been recorded. Hey media! Look over here! It's a story! --Ezra Klein
  • VOTER EXPERIENCES THREAD.

    VOTER EXPERIENCES THREAD. From a correspondent in a heavily Republican district in Ohio: We've got five statewide initiatives on the ballot, and the minimum wage one is the only one that the Democratic party has taken a stand on. It's issue 2. On my machine, Issue 2 began at the bottom of the page and said simply "constitutional amendment" (although with a few more words) and continued on next page. The only thing the next page had was Yes and No. No description of the initiative. A poll worker brought me a paper description, but she wasn't concerned when I asked what was going to happen to all the rest of the people who use that machine. Also, there were eight machines in the room for two precincts (same as when we used punch cards). At one point while we waited in line, three of them were down. A tech guy fixed them all, but then he left. I was very happy that the first race on the ballot allowed me to vote against Ken Blackwell. And this had nothing to do with Diebold's machines,...
  • HURRY UP AND WAIT.

    HURRY UP AND WAIT. It's safe to assume just about anyone with even a passing interest in politics is anxious to see what happens today, but it's worth taking a moment to remember that, in some of the very close races, it's possible we may not know the results tonight, or even tomorrow. [E]lection experts warn that the number of voters forced to cast provisional ballots Tuesday because of eligibility questions could delay some results in tight races for days or weeks. New statewide voter databases, strict ID requirements and other factors may increase the percentage of voters whose paper ballots must be reviewed by local officials. If there's a question about a voter's eligibility, he or she will still be able to cast what's called a "provisional ballot," the validity of which will be determined after other votes have been tallied. It's likely to come up with a voter goes to the wrong precinct, lacks required ID, is listed by a slightly different name than appears in state databases,...
  • VA VOTE SUPPRESSION

    VA VOTE SUPPRESSION : As Sam pointed out yesterday the Republicans last minute vote suppression and misleading phone calls and other shenanigans could swing some close races where the margins are minuscule. And wouldn't it be appropriate if one of the offenders was neo-confederate George Allen ? Well, sure enough, the Richmond Times Dispatch reports : The FBI is looking into possible voter intimidation in Virginia's hard-fought U.S. Senate contest between Republican incumbent George Allen and Democrat Jim Webb. The FBI is staying mum at the moment as to what this is really all about. But, VA Sec of State Jean R. Jensen said in a written statement "Voters should not be intimidated or deceived by phone messages purporting to be from election officials." Unfortunately at this point the damage to democracy may already have been done and there's no way to ameliorate it after the fact. According to the Times Dispatch : The In a written statement issued by the Webb campaign, state Democratic...
  • RUMORS, RUMORS.

    RUMORS, RUMORS. Just got off the phone with a friend of mine who's running a Democratic campaign in heavily Republican Colorado Springs. He passes along this delicious tale about disgraced Reverend Ted Haggard , he of the methamphetamine-and-gay-hookers infamy. Apparently, the Sunday before the story broke, Haggard held a gigantic candidate forum. The good pastor was running around the church, meeting and greeting, irrepressibly enthusiastic. "This wasn't some I-feel-the-spirit corniness," my friend says. "I mean, he was bouncing off the walls, going, 'Are you pumped up? Are you ready for the election? Wooooo!!!' My first thought was, 'This guy is seriously on coke.'" When my friend read about Haggard's fondness for the methamphetamine, he thought, "Oh, ok, that makes some sense." Has anyone checked Haggard's office for signs of a laboratory? --Spencer Ackerman
  • BRING ON THE LAWYERS.

    BRING ON THE LAWYERS. Roll Call reported last week that in addition to the parties, candidates, and voters who've been gearing up for today, the lawyers are also ready to go to work -- if they have to. With an usually high number of competitive House and Senate contests on tap this Election Day, lawyers, consultants and strategists are already beginning to mobilize for what could be a divisive and expensive aspect of the post-election process: recounts. The fact that many states will be using increasingly controversial electronic voting machines -- in some cases, for the first time -- increases the likelihood that some results will be in dispute. "Most cycles there are three or four races that are unresolved in the days immediately following the election," said Chris Sautter , a Democratic recount consultant and lawyer. "Because of the large numbers of races in play this cycle -- combined with the changes brought on by the Help America Vote Act -- there will be a greater number of...
  • THE COMING CONSTITUTIONAL SHOWDOWN.

    THE COMING CONSTITUTIONAL SHOWDOWN. I didn't manage to get in on yesterday's orgy of electoral predictions, but I do agree with AEI's most honest analyst, Norman Ornstein , as to what will happen when Democrats take the House: a showdown between the White House and Congress over executive privilege. Dick Cheney has already said he would "probably not" appear if he is subpoenaed. John Holbo thinks the crisis would take the form of: 2-years of semi-successful executive branch stonewalling, followed by Bush proving himself his father�s son in at least one way � by handing out a bunch of Christmas pardons, meaning the guilty are never brought to justice, and even the truth about what happened is never officially investigated to the fullest extent. And the Constitutional framework is, in this way, brutalized in one final way even as the door hits Bush�s ass on the way out. Maybe so, but I think it is more likely that the House will threaten to cut off funding unless Bush cooperates, he...
  • OR ELSE! From...

    OR ELSE! From the Rev. Rob Schenck , president of the National Clergy Council (the folks who tried to pick a fight with the government of the District of Columbia by putting an 850-lb. Ten Commandments monument in their front yard without getting a permit), I received an urgent message in my e-mail box bearing this title, "Christians Must Vote Today or Else": If Christians don't show up to vote today, babies will continue to die in abortions, fewer children will grow up in married homes, many more will grow up with two daddies or two mommies, God will ultimately be purged from the public square. In short, America will soon look like godless Europe. It's that simple. Good pastry and lots of jazz clubs . From the good reverend's lips to God's ears, say I. --Adele M. Stan

Pages