Saturday, October 09, 2004

Swallow playing the liberal card

Down 32 points, John Swallow is in a fix against Utah's lone Democratic US Congressman Jim Matheson. So what's a mindless Republican to do in a Red State? Claim your oposition is the second coming of Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, and (these days) John Kerry. The Salt Lake Tribune is all over this story:

Last year, John Swallow said he wouldn't criticize U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson for voting in favor of the federal partial birth abortion ban.

But that doesn't mean the Republican challenger won't attack the 2nd Congressional District incumbent this election year for an earlier vote against the law.

Jim is pissed off: "This is just an election-year stunt," Matheson said. "I was up-front when I made that change in my position. I'm happy to talk about any of my votes." [he had voted against partial-birth abortion before b/c there was no health exception, this time he voted for a slightly different version, citing constiuents' influence.

It is nasty to do guilt by association tatics. Admittedly, Democrats are going the same thing in Blue States, and even some Red ones, using Tom Delay's dual admonishments from the House Ethics Committee to ask GOPers to return his donations and morph canidates faces into George W. Bush were he is unpopular (see the Chris Shay's race in CT). But it is even worse when the facts claimed are distortions.

Matheson "notes that four of the votes Swallow highlights in his ad - including one date that was incorrect - were for legislation allowing U.S. military personnel to have abortions in military hospitals if they would pay the cost themselves. Matheson notes that Swallow did nothing during his six years in the Utah Legislature to change the state's more liberal partial-birth abortion law."

This is the same tactic that Derek Smith tried against Matheson in 2000, trying to link Jim to "San Fransico Liberals" (which is code words for Gay Rights Activists) for having a fundraiser in the city with Robert Redford. I suspect that, just like last time, it won't stick.

As Jim said, "It's an act of desperation."

The morning after

As I and the polls have said, last night's debate was a slight Kerry victory overall, but a pronouced victory amoung the all important independents. Every Democrat I have talked to are so relieved (they were worried that Kerry would be Gore-like or worse) and happy with the selection of Kerry after both debates, Bush supporters got a bit worried after last weeks debate but after this one, they seem to be happier (especially after Cheney made their case for them).

And Gallup backs me up on this. Their latest poll, shows that Kerry won the debate with Indies 53-37 BC04 hasn't done itself any favors this week. Overall, Democrats have easily been able to knockdown their lies and Democratic statements that seemed fishy were actually backed up by non-partisan groups and even the so-called liberal media.

I expect to see a slight Kerry bounce and movement in the swing states in his favor. Immediately after the debate, Bush headed straight towards the pro-life questioner who was blushing left and right over his black-and-white stand on the issue. In fairness, Kerry went over to the mistakes questioner, who (as far as I could tell) proceeded to lecture him on what his answer should have been. Kerry though didn't seek out his supporters in the panel, where as Bush went for the obvious conservatives (the woman who wore the american flag shirt).

Bush has given up on moderates and swing voters and Kerry is still holding hopes for some to swing his way. The only effort Bush has made towards swing voters is scaring them into thinking he is the only one who can keep them safe. Kerry's Mount Rushmore persona and efforts over the past two debates have eased people's concerns about his spine and confronting threats to our country.

In the end, I think Kerry will end up with 290 EVs assuming that CO's iniative doesn't pass. Between the election and inauguration I will be putting out the much-delayed Third Avenue Platform. While critics may say it is just a copy of the Democratic Party Platform, you will see areas were I noticibly differ. Hopefully I will be able to do it considering the amount of work coming up after this "break."

Friday, October 08, 2004

Bonus: Bush v. Gibson

I have uploaded it onto my ISP for you all to watch that lovely exchange again here.

Why did I waste my precious publishing space for it? Because it is a bit issue that is being ignored by the press in their swooning for Bush despite snap-polls showing the public generally leaned Kerry on this debate: Bush's temper.

When cornered with bad facts, Bush either smirks, yells (like this debate he was shouting), or in the case of this clip, interrups or demeans other people. He demeaned the Rx drug questioner by saying basically you don't know what's good for you, I do and you don't want those drugs. I thought the GOP didn't want the government controlling your life like that. If people want to import drugs from Canada, let them. They are the exact same drug. Don't give us that saftely bullsh*t...maybe it isn't safe for Pharma's bottom line, but not to us. Plus, I think Bush said that Canada is a third world country. Isn't Canada one of our allies and didn't he just critize Kerry for "demeaning" them by pointing out that the collition is sham?

But really, Bush is so unaccostomed to critique and harsh questioning (and so used to applause and laugh lines, did you all notice the akward pauses while he was waiting for laughs/claps?) that he gets all righteous on people and shows the side of his personality that his handlers don't want voters to see: the one that mocked a woman on death row's pleas for mercy when he was governor of Texas (of course, he executed her).

I am glad though that Bush is just a pissed off little spoiled brat. One that, as Ann Richards said he was "born on third base and thought he hit a home run."

Post-Debate spin

Boy, that was fun. I watched the debate at my parents house with the former chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court and others.

Our impression: there were times Kerry could have hit it out of the park, but decided not to (the Environment question and the Mistakes Question). There were times Bush really messed up, like his pronunciation of facile and calling Kerry Kennedy when talking about the National Journal. On the whole, Bush was even more agressive than last time, standing up during Kerry's points.

Kerry was very solid and as good as last time mostly in terms of clarity and brefity. Since Bush was slightly better than last time (since they didn't talk about Iraq the whole time, where he gets the most defensive) many said the debate was a tie.

ABCNews' snap poll had a narrow Kerry win 44-41 with the rest saying a tie. I haven't seen other polls. I think a narrow Kerry win was about as much as you could hope for in this scenerio. Bush was bound to be better this time, more prepared, less facially ticky (although I caught every smirks), etc.

In fact, Bush had set this all up by being agressive but terrible last time and in a sense, finding a new way to lower the bar for himself. The media of course, ate it up, especially Hardball with its Hannity and Combes style panel (one wussy "liberal" versus 5 conservatives).

On PBS they pointed out why men like him: he is like the man that took the wrong turn when driving some where, and won't admit he's lost or ask for directions. And that's what Iraq, along with his domestic policy is, a wrong turn. A Bush refuses to admit he turned away from Afghanistan, that Iraq was done properly etc. This is also why Women like Kerry: he will ask for directions and he will turn around.

But back to Kerry's missed opportunities. The environmental one is obvious and I don't need to dwell on it. The mistakes one was more crucial because it was the last question. If Kerry had gone up and said the following he would have "won" the debate:

"The President can't think of 3 things he did wrong? I can think of hundreds of things, but the three biggest ones are: 1. Iraq, which I have explained why already 2. 4 years ago in this hall, he pledged to change the tone in Washington. I've been a sentor for 20 years, and I have never seen the tone as bad as it is today. and finally 3. the president's biggest mistake of the last four years is that he can't admit mistakes. He can't see them, can't do anything about them. But I will. I have a plan to fix the mess in Iraq, get our economy on the right track, and bring our country together. He asks you to give him your vote for 4 more years. Who wants to repeat the last 4 years of mistakes and distasters? I know the millions of you without a job don't, or the millions of you without health insurance, or the thousands of soldier stuck in a disasterous war. With your help ladies and gentlemen, I can help get America back to being safer at home and respected abroad."

Does it feel drafty in here, or is it just me?

Something I have been meaning to talk about in the last couple days but never got around to it was the internet rumors and worries about Vietnam-style draft being reinstated for Iraq should Bush win reelection. Republicans have charged that Democrats are just trying to scare college students and thier worried mothers into voting for their party. In fact, I have even seen one of the emails that went around from my future Mother-in-Law.

My gut reaction to her was "not to worry, there is no way in hell that it will pass." Sure enough, a day or so later, the GOP brings up Democratic Congressman (African-American and Korean War Veteran) Charlie Rangel's bill so they can defeat it 402-2 to quell the worries.

But reading DailyKos today, I came across a great speech by Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan (who replaced James "Beam me up" Trafficant in 2002) who made the point that the reason this is even an issue is due to the Bush Administration's near pathelogical-lying/knowing self-desception on the war on Iraq. "There's not one thing, not one thing that this admistration said about the war that was true!" Basically, he said, why should college students, or anyone else for that matter, trust a President that won't admit to realities on the ground and who didn't tell us the truth so many times. If you haven't clicked that link yet, please do, it really the best speech to come out of the house on a floor vote in a long time. And I should know, because I am a C-SPAN junkie.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Once again, John Stewart Nails it on the Head

(Last night's Daily Show)
"Last night, Vice President Dick Cheney faced off against North Carolina Senator John Edwards for their first and only vice presidential debate. Now for those of you who missed the debate, there were several ways you could summarize it. One of them would be this. ... [pic of Cheney] Grrrrrr! ... [pic of Edwards] Golly! ... [pic of Cheney] Grrrrrr! ... [pic of Edwards] Goooolly! ... [pic of Cheney] Rarrrr! ... [pic of Edwards] Jeepers! ... Or perhaps we could describe the encounter as a battle between Edwards, the courtly Southern student council-ass-kiss-ocity. ... Did you get the apple I sent you? did you get it? ... And of course there was that versus Cheney's um ... [clip of Cheney: 'Terrorists could smuggle a deadly biological agent or nuclear weapon into the middle of one of our own cities.'] ... unnerving troll-under-the-bridge bogeyman mentality. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station. ... The early part of the debate focused on Iraq -- the growing insurgency, a failure to find WMDs, or a link with al Qaeda, and a promise before the war that our soldiers would be greeted as liberators. Vice President Cheney displayed the growth that he's achieved through the crucible of war. ... [clip of Cheney: 'What we did in Iraq was exactly the right thing to do, if I had it to recommend all over again I would recommend exactly the same course of action. And we did exactly the right thing.'] ... Yes, there's nothing like 20-20 blind sight. Are you insane? Do you have a television? ... Actually, the vice president has learned one thing -- why it's been so difficult to build a coalition. ... [clip of Cheney: 'It's hard after John Kerry referred to our allies as a coalition of the coerced and the bribed to go out and persuade people to send troops.'] ... So John Kerry criticizing you in the Fall of 2004 is what prevented you from building a coalition in the Spring of 2003? That's power. ... But how in any way does that affect your administration?"
More Stewart: "But Cheney fought back at charges he'd led America into a paralyzing and costly war, with the equally powerful charge of truancy. ... [clip of Cheney: 'The first time I met you was on stage tonight.'] ... Really? You guys never exchanged a friendly 'Go f*** yourself' in the hallway? ... Actually, that criticism would be an awfully damning statement, if it were true, and this videotape of the 2 men together at a 2001 Prayer Breakfast didn't exist. Or if Cheney had actually presided over one of those Tuesday Senate sessions more than twice in the past 4 years. But still, you know, good zinger. ... Edwards, not known for his attacking style, took it to the vice president on the subject of Halliburton. ... [clip of Cheney: 'I could respond Gwen, but it'll take more than 30 seconds.' Ifill: 'Well that's all you've got.'] ... Ouch. Ladies and gentleman, you just witnessed a rare failure of the legendary Cheney charm. ... Cornered, Cheney pounced. ... [clip of Cheney: 'They're trying to throw up a smokescreen. ... They know if you go to ... you can get the specific details with respect to Halliburton.'] ... Actually funny story -- if you go to, you'll be re-routed and learn that George Bush is endangering our safety and must not be re-elected in a message from billionaire investor George Soros. So, Cheney actually had a slight factual error on his fact check reference. What Cheney meant to say is, which is a non-partisan clearinghouse of politicians statements, which leads today with an item about, yes, how Cheney got their web address wrong. ... Now, I know that this is confusing, but even more confusing is what happened to me when I went to my computer and typed in ... Now, it wasn't all Iraq, all the time. Cheney and Edwards did move into social issues, like gay-ness. ... [clip of Edwards: 'I think the vice president and his wife love their daughter ... and you can't have anything but respect that they're willing to talk about the fact that they have a gay daughter.'] ... Yes, we admire your love for your [yells] gay daughter! In fact, if there's a more loving father of a [yells] gay daughter, I haven't seen him and I for one know that your [yells] gay daughter is very proud of you. Mr Vice President, care to comment on your [yells] gay daughter? ... [clip of Cheney: 'Let me thank the senator for the kind words he said about my family.'] ... Umm, she's here, she's queer, next question. ... When the evening was over, the candidates greeted their families onstage. Edwards, scooping up young son Jack and daughter Emma Claire in a sign of virility. Several grunts and a herniated disc later, the vice president matched him by power-lifting his family in one hand"

Quote of the Day

"Sometimes my heart disengages from my head and I say something I shouldn't"

-- SC SEN GOP nominee Jim DeMint, trying to apologize over single pregnant teachers comment, Charleston Post & Courier, 10/7

DeMint said that single mothers shouldn't be teachers (he also said gay people shouldn't be teachers). Guess which one people found more offensive in South Carolina? But anyway, this is a non-appology, because I think he is saying I still believe it, but gee wasn't I an idiot for saying it?

Yes Jim, you were.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Funniest FL ballot joke this cycle

Courtesty of Wearable, good luck voting on this ballot.

No one at the party going to be Working for Workman

The Salt Lake Tribune reported this morning that the Salt Lake County GOP abandoned Workman for Ivory last night after her horrible preliminary hearing.

Instead of rallying behind former Republican Congressman Merril Cook, they supported Ellis Ivory, the big homebuilder/developer, as a write-in candidate. In other words, they punted.

In real life, Ivory isn't going to win, nor is Workman. perhaps this means more real-life conservatives will go over to Cook but how many who knows. Carroon has a lot of support and a big lead, which discourages turn out (especially when all the other races except governor are blow outs...but more on that later).

For the governor's race, Matheson's leaked internal polling is in direct conflict with the Tribune's public polling. Just take a look:

This is a bigger sample, I don't know which one is more respected. But how Scott could lose 15 points in a few days, so something is fishy. Worse case scenerio, I think Huntsman will be better than Levitt and more moderate than your average GOPer in Utah.

But that is just to make me feel better.

Among registered voters who watched the debate, ABCNews found 43 percent said Cheney won, 35 percent called Edwards the winner and 19 percent called it a tie. One factor is that more Republicans tuned in — 38 percent of viewers were Republicans, 31 percent Democrats, the rest independents. Yet afterwards, Cheney had cost the ticket a point (51-48 to 50-49). CBSNews had nearly the reverse: "Forty-one percent of these uncommitted debate watchers said Edwards won the debate tonight. Twenty-eight percent said Cheney won. Thirty-one percent thought it was a tie."

And that's all the political and polling news I have to share today. I am so tired again this morning. And legal reasearch doesn't help. What a waste of time and grades.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Better than Lieberman

I know that isn't a very high bar to pass, but Edwards did much better against Cheney than Leberman did in 2000.

That was a nasty, dirty fight. I feel that it was basically a partisan draw. Edwards didn't knock him out like Kerry did to Bush on Thursday, but he didn't get blown away and held his own for the most part.

The fact is, I don't think this made that much difference. But for those swing voters who watched it, I don't think Cheney's nastiness won him voters.

MSNBC is saying Cheney hit it out the park. Cheney had lots of mean retorts and lots of opposition research. BC04 team retooled after their debacle on Thursday. Both sides got their people excited, but didn't think they got other people convinced.

Will this slow the Kerry surge? Maybe, but Kerry can restart it on Friday, that is, if anyone watches. [Another good sign of higher voter turnout this time, besides huge registration surges, is the number of people who have tuned into these debates-- 60 Million for Thursday, who knows for tonight.]

OK folks, that's enough from me, I have to finish my Contracts homework. Groan.

Nancy at Workman

So our beleagured SL County mayor had her day in court. And to me, it doesn't look good. I'll get to the money quote from the Salt Lake Tribune article, but first note that county GOP leaders are going to meet tonight to decide what to do with her.

[Chief Administrative Officer David] Marshall testified that Workman called him into her office in mid-2003 and said she wanted to hire Alena Iorga to be Workman's "eyes and ears" in the community and that the mayor specifically mentioned the employee would do health work. He said there was no mention of the Boys and Girls Clubs - where Iorga was working - and because of the duties the mayor described to him, he put the hire under the Health Department's budget.

The mayor's daughter, Aisza Wilde, testified that she had complained to her mother about not having enough money to give a pay raise to Iorga. Wilde broached the issue with Workman during a car ride, and the mayor offered to "loan" an employee.

"I didn't ask for county help," Wilde said. "I was seeking advice from my mommy."

Wilde noted that she didn't benefit from the county paying for the position because she ended up doing more work. Wilde did acknowledge that Iorga got a raise with the county's help.

Mommy, I am too lazy, give me an assistant. How pathetic

Monday, October 04, 2004

Third Ave. "Exclusive": UT governor's race TIED

The poll was conducted by GarinHartYang and shows each candidate receiving 42% of support, with 16% of likely voters polled still undecided. The poll conducted on September 28 and 29 of 505 likely Utahn voters statewide has a margin of error of 4.4%. [See below for this month's versus April's]

This most recent polling reflects a significant upsurge in support towards Scott’s candidacy as more and more voters begin to focus on the Governor’s race and the important issues facing Utah.

The results of this latest statewide survey (September 28-29) show that Scott Matheson Junior has made up significant ground against John Huntsman Junior, and the gubernatorial race is now tied.

In addition to Scott’s current surge being very encouraging, other key points emerge from further analysis of the survey data:

  • Scott is winning among Democrats by 81% to 12% and he has an outstanding lead among Independent voters of 51% to 17%. Among Republicans, Scott is getting 21% (versus 64% for Huntsman).

  • Scott’s support has more “intensity” than Huntsman’s support. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Matheson voters say they support him strongly, compared to 57% of Huntsman voters who support Huntsman strongly.

  • Scott’s position in the gubernatorial race is amazing given the extremely difficult political environment he faces: 56% of the sample consists of Republicans compared to just 26% who describe themselves as Democrats, and Bush is defeating Kerry by 67% to 28%

Trial Heat for Governor, in percent.

9/04 4/04

Scott Matheson Jr. 42 35
Jon Huntsman Jr. 42 49
Undecided/other 16 16

Sunday, October 03, 2004

When is a swing state isn't one

This is the bit of bad news for Kerry...and Bush.

Most of the so-called swing states either never were or have already swung. Here's my list of pertend swing states.

  • MI: Kerry is up well over the margin of error and has never dipped below it. They have a Democratic governor and ACT has packed up its shop in the state because they were doing so well.

  • MO: Kerry has pulled all his ads from this state, the staff effort has apparently been half-assed. The only hope Kerry has there is ACT and/or Senate Candidate Nancy Farmer, who is down about 10 points to Kit Bond last time I checked.

  • OR: This might be close, but it won't be as close as in 2000, where Nader got 7 percent, same goes for WA. Nader will get less than one. See Nader's failure to get a 1,000 signatures in a day, a thousand. Now that is sorry.

  • NJ: Democrats were sweating bullets about polls showing Bush tied or leading in NJ because he has blanketed the state indirectly to blanket PA. The concern was that with 9/11 and Bush's hard-right pro-Israel stance, he just might steal New Jersey. So VP candidate Edwards showed up in Newark, and now Kerry is up over 10 points. That's all it took.

  • DE: same goes for this state...

  • TN: Kerry folks claimed that they were close, but 10 points is only a scare. Same goes with VA. Maybe in 2008, maybe with Edwards as the candidate, not with Kerry.
  • AK: Bush is up over 10 points here since forever. Maybe if we had Clark as the candidate it would be close.

  • AZ: Kerry has no ads in the state, and the staff presence has been virtually invisable. Polls show 50-38 Bush lead.

  • NM: After a brief blip, Kerry is back on top with a comfy margin. Governor Bill Richardson won't let Kerry lose because he wants to run someday.

  • LA: It goes without saying, but Kerry has no prayer here.

  • NC: Dream on Kerry-Edwards...too bad Bush isn't taking the bait.

  • ME: polls show that Kerry is still up over the MoE and only occationally have we seen Bush up. Just because his Dad lives there, doesn't mean he will win.

State's that are true swing:
  • WI: Dude, what the hell happened here? Isn't this the home of countless Democratic senators, governors, and congresspeople? Even Mondale won Wisconsin. I don't get why Bush is up 10 point here. Kerry and ACT needs to get over there and fast.

  • OH: ACT's poll and registration efforts have proved that this state is still in play, despite CW stating that it has gone Bush. But this will be a tough one for Kerry, who will have to get 2000 Bush voters to change their vote for him.

  • FL: Nobody really knows who's up or down in this crucial state because of three hurricanes. With lots of campaigning and the 2000 recount and disenfrancizement of African-Americans still in peoples minds, I feel that Democrats will turn out.

  • PA: This should be in Kerry's pocket already.

  • NH: Like PA this should be in Kerry's pocket already and in the end, I believe both states will end up in Kerry's corner.

  • IA: Everytime I see an Iowa poll, it is either tied or a slight Bush lead. I would be currious to see if Kerry gets a bump in this state after his debate performance.

  • NV: The Yucca Mt. issue is one that will make this state more up for grabs than it was in 2000. I wouldn't lay money down for either side on this state.
  • WV: Althought it is usually a democratic state, Bush won it last time. Kerry had been up due to jobs, but Bush's GOPers are scaring people with cultural issues. Last time it was "Gore will take your guns away;" this time it is "Liberals will take your Bibles away" next thing you know, they will claim the MA senator will force people to marry gay people.

  • CO: This state is closer than the last Gallap-like poll I saw, and the electoral college spliting ballot iniative make this state a sleeper pick for Kerry.

  • MN: I could say the same thing I said about WI. Isn't this the home of the late Senotor Wellstone? How come they have all these GOP elected officials?

That's it, don't believe the hype on the other states, just focus on the true swing; so goes these, so goes the nation.

Picture of the Day

So that's how it feels to go from being up by 11 point at the beginning of the month to be 2 points down (via Newsweek's Poll)... a 13 point swing!

Of course this is just one poll, and one taken immediately after the afterglow of the debate. This means it is flawed in the same way (although not to the same degree) as polls showing a big Bush lead after his speech at the convention.

Again, my bet is that the race is basically tied at about 48% each, with Nader getting a generous 1% and the other 3% undecided. Some have said that Bush's celing is his current percentage, but I think that is a bit generous to the Democratic side. Definately most of the undecides will either stay home or break for the challenger. I am guessing, based on talking to wise sage and poll-reader Ed Kilgore that 2/3 of the undecides will break Kerry's way. And assuming that ACT and the other 527s really are out performing the GOP like newspaper articles (citing numbers from secretary of state's offices in swing states), then that might get Kerry another point or two.

It's gonna be tight again, but when it is all over, I still believe Kerry is going to end up on top. And the best part is, years later, no one will admit to voting for George W. Bush. Just like Nixon.