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News & discussion on house and senate races

 
 
realjohnboy
 
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Reply Tue 23 Aug, 2005 07:01 pm
(oops)
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nimh
 
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Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2005 09:56 am
There's an article on the race Santorum is facing next year in Pennsylvania here: Pennsylvania Candidate Lies Low in Race.

Santorum is one of the very least liked Senators of the country, but his challenger-to-be doesn't sound all too impressive either...
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nimh
 
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Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2005 09:57 am
Very interesting report from Virginia there, RJB, hadnt picked up on that earlier! Thanks!
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nimh
 
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Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2005 09:40 am
In Vermont, long-standing Socialist Congressman Bernie Saunders is going for the Senate this time - and his opponent might be a conservative favourite. Should become interesting.
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realjohnboy
 
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Reply Sat 5 Nov, 2005 08:32 pm
An update from Virginia for you, nimh. (This thread will, by the way, simmer here for about 90 days, max, before things really take off after the first of the year and the Supreme Court nominee hearings).
So our out-going Gov, Mark Warner (Dem), decided not to challenge the junior Senator, George Allen (Rep), in 2006. Instead he will spend the next couple years trying to lay the foundation for a bid for the Presidency.

This leaves the Dems searching for a candidate to challenge Mr Allen. The obvious person is the former Gov and now mayor of Richmond, Doug Wilder. I mentioned him in my last post. If elected, he would become only the second black Senator. And I think he would be elected. People in Virginia respected the job he did as Gov. But there seems to be a certain reticence on his part to get back into the fray. Is he perhaps burnt out or is he keeping his powder dry, angling perhaps for a nod as Vice President?

Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states that will be holding state-wide elections on Tuesday. I don't know much about NJ, but I expect the next Gov will be a Dem. The race in Virginia is a virtual dead-heat beween Tim Kaine (Dem) and Jerry Kilgore (Rep). The last poll I saw had Kaine ahead but meaningless considering the margin of error. A soon-to-be-exiled Russ Potts (Rep), running as a moderate Independent, is at 5% or so. No telling who that will help or hurt.

Some pundits are looking to this Virginia election as an early indicator of how voters regard Mr Bush. His ratings in the media polls have been sinking (now less than 40% approve). If the Dem or Rep candidate for Gov squeaks in, it could be concluded that Mr Bush was not a factor. But if the Dem wins by a wider than anticipated margin, there will be shock waves through all of the Repubs standing for election next November.

Mr Kilgore has not been seen with Mr Bush on the campaign trail here in Virginia, although I thought I heard that they will be together tonight for a fundraiser. I may be wrong about that.

I'll let you know how it turns out. -Johnboy reporting from Virginia-
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nimh
 
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Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2005 10:15 am
Thanks for the update, rjb!
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realjohnboy
 
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Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2005 03:31 pm
realjohnboy wrote:


I'll let you know how it turns out. -Johnboy reporting from Virginia-


Any interest in how it turned out?
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nimh
 
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Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2005 05:42 pm
Of course! I've heard about the main things - Kaine winning by an unexpectedly large margin, 6% when everyone had called the race too close to call ... read the NYT article, but any inside info beyond that is always welcome!
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twinpeaksnikki2
 
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Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2005 10:55 am
I don't have a link but I understand that Iraq War Veteran and Dem Paul Hackett is way ahead in the Ohio polls to unseat incumbent DeWine.

There are several Iraq War Veterans running for Congress as Dems.
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realjohnboy
 
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Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2005 09:24 pm
Welcome, Twinpeaks to A2K and to this thread. It is still a little quiet around here but it will pick up. Trust me. With regards to Nimh. I have never met him but he knows more about world politics than anyone I know. And he tries to be even-handed; as does johnboy in his reporting.

So the Dems won the Gov races in NJ and in VA, and Arnold in CA saw all of his issues go down. Dems and some pundits say this was an early
referendum on Mr Bush. Repubs and some pundits counter that all politics are local and that the election in VA had nothing to do with Mr Bush. The Dems held onto offices they already had, they point out.

Here in VA, Mr Kilgore (Rep), ran a bad campaign (in my opinion). He petulantly refused to participate in any debate that included the Independent candidate (and the media, to their shame in my opinion let him get away with it)
And then there was the ad about Kaine and Hitler. That was just plain stupid. More about that in a minute.
Mr Kaine (Dem) did his share of negative campaigning, too.

So Mr Kaine won by 5 or 6%. More than expected but the population of VA is growing rapidly so it may be simply a change in the demographics rather than a change in attitude. So was it a referendum on Mr Bush? I think, personally, perhaps, yes. But I can't prove it.

A couple of final notes:
--Mr Kaine responded to a question about the death penalty (which we have in VA) by saying (paraphrasing): I am a Catholic. I personally oppose the death penalty. But, if elected, I will uphold the laws of this state. Mr Kilgore's folks responded with an ad that said something to the effect that Kaine would not execute Hitler.
John Kerry was uncomfortable talking about his religious beliefs. Kaine said all that he needed to say, and when the opponents ran the Hitler ad, voters said that it was over the edge of decency. Dems and moderate Repubs need to learn a lesson there.
--When Johnboy was driving to work on election morning. 7 am and quite chilly, at every major intersection were college kids with placards for the various Dem candidates. Dozens and dozens of them. It could be that Dems get up earlier in the morning than Repub, but it seems to me that both parties need to go after the younger voter.

Somehow, Twinpeaks, this all ties in to what you wrote about.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2005 09:27 pm
The grassroots stuff is what Howard Dean has been pushing -- I approve of it.

(Thanks for the insider take!)
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twinpeaksnikki2
 
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Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2005 11:11 pm
I heard that Virginia Beach went dem for the first time in a kadzillion years.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
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nimh
 
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Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 05:48 am
Thanks, Rjb!
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realjohnboy
 
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Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 01:26 pm
Tidying this site up a bit (some dust on the tables), I call your attention to the announcement by House member Jim Kolbe (R-Arizona) that he will not seek reelection. Mr Kolbe (63 years old) has served twelve two-year terms and is in somewhat of a leadership position as chairman of at least one influential committee.
He is considered a moderate Republican in a district that is, I hear, pretty closely divided between Republicans and Democrats. He won by about 60%-40% the last time out, suggesting that many Democrats support him. Most of his battles were in the primaries, where more conservative Republicans went after him on his ideas with regards to "guest workers" and his support of gay rights. He is the only openly gay Republican member of the House.
It will be interesting to see what the Republicans do with regards to nominating a candidate to replace him.
I hope we can find a reporter in Arizona who can give us a more in-depth analysis. -rjb-
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nimh
 
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Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 06:57 am
That would be interesting. <nods>
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JustWonders
 
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Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 08:46 am
Sounds like a rarity - a decent representative. But I think he is right to retire - 20 years in office is more than enough. Sadly, his good example will not be followed by many others.


http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1123kolbe-retire23-ON.html
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realjohnboy
 
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Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2005 08:11 pm
Another race yall may find of interest is in the state of Rhode Island. It is the smallest state, geographically, but it is right up there in the New England area.
John Chaffee was one of the U.S. Senate members, representing RI. When he died in 1999, his son Lincoln was given the seat (nepotism is alive and well here in the U.S.) and won a six year term of his own in 2000. So he will be up for re-election in 2006.
RI is a Democratic leaning state. Lincoln Chaffee calls himself a Republican, but he is popular.
Critics in his party call him a RINO. Republican In Name Only. He was the only US Senator from his party to vote against the Iraq thing, and he opposes opening up the Alaskan land to oil drilling.
Chaffee will have a Democrat running against him in November but prior to that will come a challenge in a primary vs another (more conservative?) Republican.
So far, the powers that be, the National Republican Party or whatever, seem to be backing Chaffee.

Johnboy, in his last few comments here, has laid out the basis for a theory. The elections for the House and Senate will not be decided in November. It will play out in June or July, when the Republicans have to decide where they want to be. It is a party divided. The Democrats can't
gloat, though. They also seem to be out of touch. -rjb-
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nimh
 
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Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2005 10:32 am
Good article about Lincoln Chafee in this thread: Too nice for politics? Senator Lincoln Chafee

realjohnboy wrote:
Another race yall may find of interest is in the state of Rhode Island. It is the smallest state, geographically, but it is right up there in the New England area.
John Chaffee was one of the U.S. Senate members, representing RI. When he died in 1999, his son Lincoln was given the seat (nepotism is alive and well here in the U.S.) and won a six year term of his own in 2000. So he will be up for re-election in 2006.
RI is a Democratic leaning state. Lincoln Chaffee calls himself a Republican, but he is popular.
Critics in his party call him a RINO. Republican In Name Only. He was the only US Senator from his party to vote against the Iraq thing, and he opposes opening up the Alaskan land to oil drilling.
Chaffee will have a Democrat running against him in November but prior to that will come a challenge in a primary vs another (more conservative?) Republican.
So far, the powers that be, the National Republican Party or whatever, seem to be backing Chaffee.
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JustWonders
 
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Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2005 10:55 am
realjohnboy wrote:
So far, the powers that be, the National Republican Party or whatever, seem to be backing Chaffee.


No so surprising. At least, not if you consider that your present governor had the backing of the Democrats, even as he ran on the right as an NRA gun-toting former missionary and devout Catholic who is against partial-birth abortion and believes in spousal/parental notification as well.

There are RINOs and there are DINOs.
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realjohnboy
 
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Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2005 04:39 pm
I have absolutely no problem with your analysis, Justwonders, regarding RINO's and DINO's. Thank you for your comment. And to some extent, you are bolstering my theory.
The Democrats, as I am sure you are aware, used to control the South. But they lost direction as their agenda became "too liberal." Favoring gun control, opposing the death penalty, favoring abortion and on and on. The Dems lost the South (and Congress and the White House) because they drifted too far to the left. The DINO's are trying to move the party more towards the middle. It is tough. Take gun control. You will not win in the rural South if you favor gun control. That is a fact and there is no changing that.
Similarly, the Republicans (more recently) have appeared to be dominated by the conservative wing. Many traditional Repubs seem to be troubled by that, so we have the RINO's, attempting to steer the party towards the middle even if it means giving up some of its core beliefs.

As I am sure you are aware, voter participation in the US is absymal. It seems to me that whichever party can get to the middle quicker, wins.

Thank you for reading this. Johnboy
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