Sam Boyd

Sam Boyd is a former assistant web editor at the Prospect

Recent Articles

STEVENS CONVICTED ON ALL SEVEN COUNTS.

Well the Alaska Senate race was almost certainly decided today: WASHINGTON (AP) -- Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens has been convicted of lying about free home renovations and other gifts he received from a wealthy oil contractor. The Senate's longest-serving Republican, Stevens was found guilty on all seven counts of making false statements on Senate financial documents. The verdict throws the upcoming election into disarray. Stevens is fighting off a challenge from Democrat Mark Begich and must now either drop out or continue campaigning as a convicted felon. It also could doom already-endangered Rep. Don Young , who was making a comeback after falling behind his Democratic challenger Ethan Berkowitz , but who probably needed an acquittal for Stevens to put him over the top (he is closely tied to Stevens and both candidates' ethics problems were linked in voters' minds). -- Sam Boyd

GOP "DEATH LIST" PREDICTS BIG LOSSES FOR REPUBLICANS.

This is pretty impressive: A document provided to Washington Whispers from a House GOP official shows that they could lose a net 34 seats. That means the Democrats would have a 270-165 advantage in the 111th Congress. In the Senate, Republicans expect to lose also but to keep up to 44 seats, ensuring their ability to stage a filibuster. The document provided to Whispers is no gag: It comes from one of the key House GOP vote counters. The source called it a "death list." The tally shows several different ratings of 66 House Republicans in difficult races or open seats held by retiring Republicans. "Rating 1" finds 10 Republicans "likely gone." Those districts are New York 13, Alaska, Arizona 1, Virginia 11, New York 25, Illinois 11, Florida 24, Michigan 7, Nevada 3, and North Carolina 8. Under "Rating 2," nine Republican seats are listed as "leaning Democratic." Under "Rating 3," some 22 GOP seats are listed as "true toss-up." For perspective, 290 votes in the House are needed to...

MCCAIN SUPPORTERS PROTEST VOTING.

Recently, group of Republicans actually protested an early voting location in North Carolina: As you can see from these videos, no one held anything back. People were shouting about Obama 's acknowledged cocaine use as a young man, abortion and one man used the word "terrorist." They also were complaining that Sundays are for church, not voting. And I guess protesting is OK? These folks are going beyond the McCain campaign's previous attempt to demonize ACORN and doing something that looks very much like voter intimidation -- especially disturbing considering the history of racist violence surrounding voting in the South. --Sam Boyd

THE CONSEQUENCES OF A QUICK DECISION ON NOV. 4 DEPEND ON HOW HONEST THE MEDIA IS.

Politico reports today that networks are grappling with the possibility that an Obama victory will become apparent early in the night on Nov. 4th. If, as seems likely, Obama wins Virginia, where the polls close at 7 PM EST, the piece points out it will be fairly clear fairly how the election will shake out (we could have a good idea even earlier if Obama win Indiana where the polls close at 6). The question is how up-front news anchors will be about the implications of such a victory: “As to the presidential race, it's pretty simple: We will try to call a winner in each state as soon as possible after the polls close in each state,” Friedman e-mailed. “If that adds up to 270 for someone before the polls close in the West, there's not a lot we can do. If there are not enough electoral votes for one man to win it before the Western states close, but we're pretty sure how they're going to fall, we will be ready with language which states the obvious without being too obvious. We can't be...

DEMS SET FOR MORE BIG GAINS IN THE HOUSE.

You may not have noticed amid the clamor over Democrats' chances of reaching 60 seats in the Senate, but they're also set to make big gains in the house -- perhaps even equaling their 30 seat gain in 2006: Independent political analysts like Stu Rothenberg and Charlie Cook have upped their predictions of Democratic gains in recent weeks -- with a 20-seat Democratic gain now seen as the floor for November. Most strategists -- in both parties -- privately believe Democrats are positioned to pick up well more than 15 seats especially given the developments of the last few weeks. During that time, the bottom, which many GOP operatives believed had long ago been reached, dropped out further with seemingly safe incumbents like Reps. Dan Lungren (Calif.), Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Lee Terry (Neb.) and Peter Roskam (Ill.) now in real races. If the likes of Lungren et al. wind up losing, Democrats could well score seat pickups of 35 or more in 19 days time -- a wave that...

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