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Slate Updates

Our most recent Slate Scorecard update focuses on some changes to the races for Governor.  Specifically, we have seen recent gains by Democrats Ed Rendell in Pennsylvania and Deval Patrick in Massachusetts.  We had already classified both states as "strong" Democrat and both candidates appear to be widening their leads.

Our most recent Senate Scorecard update yesterday reviewed news polls in New Jersey.  The Garden State polls all confirm that the race is very close, with Republican Tom Kean Jr. running a few non-significant points ahead.  Meanwhile, the spate of new surveys in Pennsylvania confirm that Casey's double-digit lead is as commanding as ever. 

The most interesting thing about the tracking is the continuing showing of trends to Democrats in many states, despite the apparent slight improvement in the Bush job rating nationally.  The Slate feature includes "momentum meter" for each contest based on an algorithm Charles Franklin created that looks for significant changes in the margin of the last five polls within each state.  The Senate Scorecard also features a national "momentum arrow" that looks at changes in the average of averages across all of the 13 states we are tracking. 

Right now the overall momentum arrow is pointing in the Democratic direction, and six states (Arizona, Minnesota, Missouri, Rhode Island, and Tennessee) indicate trends in the last five polls toward the Democrat.  None of the Republican candidates are showing recent momentum shifts.  This trend is definitely something to keep an eye on.  If the national political environment improves for Republicans, we would expect to see some impact on these Senate races.  So far at least, no such improvement is evident. 



That's because there's been a politically insignificant improvement for the national climate for Republicans. A 2 point improvement when you're at 38 doesn't change "everything". All these claims that "any talk about national security MUST a priori benefit the GOP" is talking points, not fact. it depends on who says it and what they say. The important poll on this (not because it"proves" it but because it encapsulates it) is the Gallup poll:

According to a recent Gallup Panel survey, the American public puts the primary blame on Bush rather than Clinton for the fact that bin Laden has not been captured. A majority of Americans say Bush is more to blame (53%), compared with 36% blaming Clinton.

For all the talk of the 9/11 offensive on Bush's ratings, let's see what the NIE discussion does to them over the next week.



Is there a reason New York is not listed among your key governor's races?



All I ever hear from the Libs is "GET BUSH","CRUCIFY BUSH","BUSH IS THE DEVIL". I guess I would give them more creedance if the one's that keep demonizing our president would spend their time coming up with real solutions. All I have heard today is how the Dems think we have to get out of Iraq based on some new daming evidence that is no different than the old daming evidence which is not true by my own Iraqi Freedom Vet eyes. But when you challenge them and say should we just cut and run the answer is, "No, we have a plan". You ask what it is and they say, "Elect us and then we'll tell you." Yeah right, I don't agree with everything the GOP has done but I am not about to just take a politicians word for it that they have a better plan. Show me! Besides, everytime the Dems have been in power I have been taxed to within an inch of my life while so called poor people sit at home and what for my money to show up in their mail box in the form of a government check. I don't think so, I clawed my way to 100k a year by working 2 jobs and going to school. I'm not electing a Dem who will just give that hard earned money to someone else. And as far as UBL goes, Clinton had him and wouldn't take him. We are were we are because of 50 years of feminization of this country by liberals!



That's a great link, DemFromCT. It's good to see that Americans are finally starting to wake up to the fact that 9/11 happened because of the Republicans. Had Al Gore been rightfully inaugurated, I'm confident 9/11 never would have happened.

TNRep, it's sad to see that you (and most other Republicans) are such a hyper-partisan that you continue to support someone who was never legitimately elected, who deliberately lied to enter us into an unjust war, and who continues to shred the Constitution by paring back our civil rights. Objective people see this administration for the evil and corrupt group that it is.

It's a shame that you are putting your party over your country just to defend someone who has an "R" next to his name.



The link I provided was a poll link (hence relevant to the site).

I'm a partisan, but I don't intend to engage in spiteful rhetoric here or anywhere else. I am most interested in what conservatives and Republicans think, so thank you for posting, TNRep. I certainly don't agree with your analysis, because I don't think any of the straw man arguments are real (Dems don't really say or think those things).

But, TNRep, you happen to be located in a state where one of the most fascinating Senate races in the country is going on. How's it going? Do Mark's points about the difference between congress and presidential standing apply?


I don't see how you can have some of those double-digit races in your "key" governor's contests and not include Illinois, where the incumbent is still below 50 despite spending well over $10 million (except for one poll, which was a complete outlier).


Gary Kilbride:

Hmm. The comment section here has definitely veered somewhat after the move to Pollster.com, and not necessarily a bad thing.

As a Democrat I think we should look at TNRep's summary not as something to condemn, but as numbing proof why our ceiling is so low. I'm continually frustrated by insistence that Kerry will win in a landslide or Democrats will take '06 in similar wave to '94. Not going to happen in a vote-against dependency, which is all the Democrats are relying on. ABB was supreme idiocy and in '06 all we've done is alter the final letter, ABR.

The GOP has done a spectacular job of putting simpleton talking point themes into the national vocabulary and keeping them there, particularly effective in terms of white men. I'm in Las Vegas and when I talk politics to apolotical types they repeat TNRep's items virtually word for word down the line.

That's not going to change significantly until Democrats provide a national message. I would be doing national commercials saying Democrats support a raise in the minimum wage. Show Bush raving about a strong economy then relay devastating specifics regarding health care and energy and other rising costs under his regime. You can't allow the paycheck tax issue to define the economic relationship between one party and the other but Democrats have done that by never stressing how much more the average American pays under GOP leadership.

Every day I log onto Kos and MyDD and DU and a handful of other sites and the lock of all eternity is I will be greeted with an avalanche of anti-Bush and anti-Republican messaging, virtually nothing focusing on our candidates or positives in favor of our side. It's only as incredible as pathetic that the young progressives running the new lefty blogs handicap that as the proper course. It is a natural regulator. You fire up the people who are already fired up. Meanwhile, you do nothing to attract newcomers or the hesitant, not a threat of a foundation.

In that regard, I almost think it will be better for the progressive movement longterm if Lieberman defeats Lamont. That may sound blasphemous but consider the faulty conclusions if Lamont wins. Let's face it, that race is all anti-Lieberman. No one really cares if it's Lamont replacing him or a can of mud. All the polling indicates Lieberman supporters are voting for him while Lamont votes are anti-Joe. Since the primary, the liberal sites have been laser focused on bashing Lieberman, seemingly no concern about Lamont's campaign or his stands on issues, other than how they impact the polling with Lieberman. Down the road, that is masochistic and limiting to the extreme. We don't want to be in future cycles desperately searching for people to oust, as opposed to isolating superior candidates who can earn 50+% in vote-for mode regardless of the opponent.

It's actually beneficial in that regard heading to '08, an open race with no clear frontrunner for the GOP nomination. Democrats should look for a superior candidate, one who has the easiest path to 270 electoral votes, and not someone who supposedly matches up best against the Republican nominee. I can only give my opinion, same as I've been posting for more than a year: Mark Warner. For '04 I liked John Edwards' chances against an incumbent much better than Kerry's or anyone else, and began posting that in '02.



OK, Gary. ;-)

Let's have a reality check.

Tester, Ford and many other Dems are running very positive campaigns locally, and doing quite well. Lamont is an open question. Success will be judged on election day. Most of the negative campaigns are coming from republicans (it's really ABD) and as Casey Stengel said, you can look it up.

As to whether TNRep represents much beyond his own opinion nationally (as opposed to regionally), well, that where the polls come in.

Warner is a reasonable candidate, though he'll have to have better national security creds than currently to win. I don't know that he'd run all that well in New England, but he might. Maybe he should team up with Wes Clark.

But spending too much time worrying about 2008, like the Hillary-obsessed, will make you miss all the fun in 2006.

And I can't speak for DU and myDD but the Kos crowd is very pragmatic and not at all anti-Warner.



I will try and answer everyone. Actually Gary makes a lot of good points. I look at the very radical of the left wing and think that there is no way I would elect someone who panders to that crowd yet one Dem after another will bend over backwards for the few that are crying the loudest and forget their base as a whole. I tend to think more conservatively and align more with conservatives but I like Lieberman and it I was in CT I might vote for him. I vote for who I think is the best candidate not vote against someone else because I think he's devil.

The TN Senate race is gearing up to be a good one. While Ford is very likeable and has alot of charm he does not hold many of the same views as I do and Corker does. Ford is a career politician having been handed the seat his dad held and he has never done anything else. He comes from a family of politicians and it is widely known that they are very corrupt. All in all Harold Jr is the best one of the bunch. Of the rest one is under investigation for accepting bribes, one has spent time in jail for threatening a police officer that pulled him over for doing 90 in a 55 as well as DUI and one has an ex wife that drove her car through the new wifes house. A very good family for leading this state. Like I said Harold Jr is the best of them.

Aaron, it is odd that by the time Bush took office the highjackers were already in this country and planning/training for the attack. Did they plan the attack just in case he won? Come on come up with a better one than that. How about Bush summoned up Katrina, I haven't heard that one in a while. And as for Iraq, been there! 4 months in Pakistan, 4 months in Baghdad at Baghdad International. If you wnat me to speak about the war I can because I have been there. Saddam funneled millions to funding terrorism, he had WMDs (first hand experience), he was a major force in the Mid-East that needed to be replaced to start that region as a whole down the road to peace. Iraq wasn't done for oil or to settle daddy's old score or whatever. It is a country that has rich reserves which makes it possible for the people to build a good country, it is centrally located so democracy can spread across the entire region and with democracy taking hold in Iraq and Afghanistan that leaves Iran, the real threat, surronded by countries that will be our allies. I definitely think farther than R and D but sometimes you have to make hard choices to bring about positive democratic change on this kind of scale and unfortunately most democrats (politicians not every day folk) can't or won't make those choices because they are too touchy feely and think everything can be talked out. Some people in this world can't be dealt with, can't be talked to. They only respond to action. What it all boils down to is we have too many career politicians on both sides that make their life and their wealth off us. If you want to see what the public really thinks have new Reps. and Sens. every 8-12 years. Two terms only. Too many people today vote for who they voted for last time. New candidates every two terms would let you know how people really feel.

Sorry if I rambled.



TNRep, if you actually know (or knew) where the WMDs were, then why in hell haven't you showed them to Rummy? Man, you could just save his job if you shared that knowledge.

You're right, AQ was in the USA by Jan. 2001 training for the attacks. Though neither the Clinton nor the Bush team knew exactly what they were planning, the outgoing president and his braintrust had tried to eliminate AQ in their last two years in office but failed. But they also provided the incoming administration with clear evidence that AQ should be Priority One in the terror-watch. The Shrubbies ignored it, and 9/11 happened.


Marty H:

Anyone who believes that a Gore Adminstration would have destroyed Al Queda or prevented 9/11 is delusional. In the best case, Bin Laden would have been killed in a missile strike, leaving the 9/11 plotters and AQ infrastructure intact. In order to destroy AQ prior to 9/11, America would have had to have waged a preemptive war in Afghanistan, something the American public and world community would not have stood for. To have prevented 9/11 would have been dumb luck, just like stopping the millenial bomber at the Canadian border was, or stopping Operation Bojinka in 1995.

Pretty much the entire country-from the Clinton/Gore to Bush/Cheney and down to the vast majority of citizens-underestimated the country's vulnerability prior to 9/11. To believe otherwise is a stupendous rewriting of history.

Marty H.


I spent last night watching Ford's and Corker's ads online. I'm in CA, and we have no really competitive races in our market this year.

Ford's ads were expertly manipulative, but I found Corker's highly insulting. In one ad, he has his mom ask him if he'll be "tough on airplanes." In another he just says "church" over and over again. Oy. I wrote up an analysis of both candidates' ads here.

TNRep, you need some smarter Democrat friends. Perhaps you should engage them in civil conversation. Maybe you'll change their minds.



Sky, the government is waging a public war against terrorism but they must also wage a very covert war perform a lot of actions that the terrorist cannot and by proxy the American citizens cannot know about. It is documented that Saddam had enough chemical weapons to kill millions. No evidence was ever produced that he destroyed it. The world was just supposed to take his word for it. So it is up to the US to find it in all the little caves and holes that it was stuffed in. Why would the administration come out and blast it all over the world that we found a stockpile knowing that AQ would see those news reports and it might give them a better idea of where that stuff is so that they could then use it on the world. Some things just have to be done covertly. Unfortunately a lot of people don't realize that. UBL has been on the radar for over a decade and the US government D and R has done a very poor job overall in dealing with him. But I think the events of that last 5 years has shown us what was coming eventually. It is naive to think that if we had not attacked Iraq none of this would have happened. Bush has taken the fight to another country and gotten it out of ours. Would you rather have our soldiers proudly fighting and dying in Iraq or cleaning up the aftermath of car bombs here?

As far as Ford and Corker go, Ford is a master at PR. His family has spent their lives in poilitics. I don't track the family all that closely though they are in the news here in W. TN constantly but, of course, you have Harold Sr the retired Rep. who pretty much gave his seat to Jr, Harold Sr has either 3 or 4 brothers that all have held local or state elected positions and 1 sister that was just forced to resign her seat on the state senate for accepting bribes from an UC FBI agent. Like I said in my previous post Jr is the best of the bunch he does show some symblance of intelligence and level headedness. Corker knows that the largest collection of voting base in the smallest area in W. TN is Memphis. That is where Ford is from and he wins inside the city limits roughly 65/35 every time. Outside the city limits he pretty much loses 65/35. Since more people in his current district live inside the city he wins by a landslide each time. Corker knows that in order to pull this one out he has to appeal to the more rural voters who tend to have more conervative principles like mom, apple pie, and church. I don't know but my guess is he is targeting the large rural areas trying to pull up enough votes to beat the large Democratic population in Memphis.


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