Steve Benen

Steve Benen's blog is The Carpetbagger Report.

Recent Articles

Wish Upon a Czar

When it comes to food safety and public health, it's been a rough spring. Just over the last several weeks, highly publicized E. coli outbreaks, poisoned pet food, and other bacterial contaminations have undermined the public's confidence in the monitoring of the nation's food supply. Worse, these problems have led to the deaths of three people and possibly hundreds of pets, and many more illnesses.

Charmless Offensive

Fred Barnes, the prominent conservative pundit and executive editor of The Weekly Standard, seems predisposed to support John McCain's presidential campaign, but believes the senator's operation has gone astray. In a recent column, Barnes recommended a series of steps McCain could take to get back on track. At the top of the list: abandon the cozy relationship with the national media.

"In 2000, his aides joked that McCain's base was the media," Barnes wrote. "In truth, it was. And that's why he lost. Press support and the backing of voters are two different things."


ONE MORE PREDICTIONS POST. Is it too late for one more set of dart-throwing educated guesses? As the resident contributor to TAP's Midterm Madness, I feel compelled to embarrass myself with as many wildly inaccurate predictions as my colleagues.

As it turns out, my take is close to Rob, slightly more optimistic than Sam, and right on track with Ezra.

* House: Democrats +23


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.


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.