Saturday, February 11, 2006

Broad Support For Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Maryland Lt. Governor Michael S. Steele recently likened embryonic stem cell research to the Holocaust in front of a Jewish audience. Steele is a potential Republican senate candidate this year, but it seems hardly likely that this is the issue that's going to make the people of Maryland vote Red this November.

The Hill reports that 58% of Americans support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, while only 29% oppose it.

While the support level is actually lower than I expected, the opposition is pitifully small. This means than many less people are anti-stem cell research than anti-abortion. Moreover, it must be taken into account that a fair portion of the 29% are opposed to stem cell research for economic reasons rather than moral ones.

Blue state Republicans will soon discover that not only is there little pressure from their constituencies to be anti-stem cell research, but that they will be vulnerable to Democratic challengers if they fall in step with the GOP leadership in opposing the science that most Americans believe can lead to medical advances.

Right now President Bush can count on both houses of congress upholding a veto on stem cell legislation in the near future. However, future Republican presidents will likely find that they don't have the support of even a third of either house on the issue.

Bad News For Hillary....

A new Rasmussen survey indicates that Hillary Clinton's support has fallen off dramatically in the last month. According to the report, today just 27% of Americans say they would definitely vote for Senator Clinton in a presidential race, while 43% would oppose her candidacy. The former first lady's favorability numbers are equally, ehm, unfavorable, as a mere 38% of those surveyed held a positive opinion of her.

While the 2008 election is still more than two years off, this poll certainly paints a discouraging picture for the "Draft Hillary" camp. If her numbers are any reflection of her conduct, Clinton's dive has to be at least partially attributed to recent comment comparing Republican House leadership to slave owners and some untimely clapping during the State of the Union. However, to dismiss Clinton's dive in polls as a temporary and soon to be forgotten setback would be to ignore the greater trend: Americans overwhelmingly reject Clinton's shrill panderings to her base. Certainly all politicians sacrifice some moderate support by playing to their base, but this poll seems to suggest that unlike her husband, and to a lesser extent the current president, Hillary does not have the charisma to make up for this lost ground.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Democratic Weaknesses Do Not Spell Democratic Losses

Terrorism, and to a lesser extent, crime, remain the Democrats only remaining weaknesses going into the 2006 elections.

The GOP enjoys a 14 point lead over Democrats on the issue of terrorism in the polls. 45% of the American public believes that the Republicans are better suit to deal with terrorism than the Democrats (31%).

However, the Democratic Party is winning by considerable margins in most other categories, including the most important one: general favorability. This means that terrorism isn't the number one issue in congressional elections this year. The nation is more concerned about the domestic problems that the Republican majority has yet to address: health care, unemployment, social security, and education.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Santorum Can't Hit 70 In His Own Party

Rick Santorum (R-PA), the incumbent senator most likely to lose this November is losing to State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. 50%-38% in a recent Quinnipiac poll.

Worth noting is Santorum's failure to ignite his Republican base to support him. He leads Casey 69% to 20% within the state GOP. This election may go to show how weak candidates like Santorum are without the devisive social issues in their court (Casey is pro-life and generally anti-gun control).

Your Grandad is Powerful, We Get It

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), the chairman of the Senate finance committee, appears to be passing on a political legacy that will remain in tact long after he retires (from the senate, as well as from the earth). His grandson, Patrick Grassley, is running for Iowa State Senate at the age of 22.

However, young state legislators are not a rarity. But ones that receive as much funding as Grassley are. Here is a list of Patrick's most prominent D.C contributors.

The one that sticks out to me is Max Baucus (D-MT), the ranking member on Grassley's finance committee.

Angry Women Cannot Be Presidents

Disagree. Angry women certainly can be presidents, however, it's probably not a good idea to be a publicly angry woman and run for president.

Apparently Dick Morris, the former aide to Bill Clinton and current lackey of Bill O'Reilly, says that Republicans can effectively use Hillary's negativity against her because everything she says is "bland and shrill." I guess it's hard to be shrill if you talk out the side of your mouth like Morris.

Have you ever noticed that the best way to degrade somebody is to dismiss them as "shrill?" It's the magic word that implies wimpy, pathetic, annoying. You hear it a lot if you tune into WABC 770 in the tri-state area. From listening to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and, of course, my personal favorite, Mark Levin, I've learned that apparently they're not "shrill" (not even Levin). They're just "mean." Which is way cooler.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Victory Looks Tougher for Chafee

Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) is looking increasingly vulnerable for November. The Democrats have yet to nominate a candidate but have already fielded two men that are within striking distance of the incumbent senator. Sheldon Whitehouse trails Chafee 40% to 34% in a recent poll. Matt Brown does even better in the same poll, losing to Chafee 38% to 36%.

And what about after the primary? When the Democrats unite behind a candidate and the independents get a glimpse at the press that Chafee's opponent will surely get. I'm predicting a victory for the Democrats in Rhode Island.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The House Too?

Charlie Cook's survey projects an even brighter forecast for Democrats than was previously thought possible in these times of gerrymandered congressional districts and unbeatable incumbents. However, according to Cook's estimation, the Democrats are set to pick up 10 House seats. With a margin or error of +/- 4, the Democrats could be looking at 14 pick-ups in November. 15 would be the magic number necessary for control.

I don't know how to react to such predictions. But I do know that if the House was split with a virtual tie (1 or 2 seats), there would be strong efforts by both parties to get moderates to defect from the opposition. Chris Shays (R-CT) would certainly be targeted by Democrats, a long with several other northern members of the GOP. There are probably fewer potential Democratic defectors because the most conservative Democrats were wiped out by Tom DeLay last election.

Interesting analysis of congressional trends at MyDD. Voter knowledge heavily benefits the minority party.

Why is Sean Hannity on the air?

I was listening to Sean Hannity the other day, and I couldn't help but laugh by how ridiculous he sounds. One caller was debating with him that income taxes should be divided in a way that one should pay taxes on how much one possesses. Example, if someone owns 30% of a country, they should pay 30% of the taxes. Hannity on the other hand, was totally against that going on a tirade about hard work and why people who work hard should have to pay more taxes then people who don't. Well Sean, how does it make sense to make someone who makes 25,000 a year pay the same taxes as someone who makes 50,000? How does it make sense to make someone who makes 100,000 a year pay the same taxes as a millionaire? Hannity needs to get a grip on reality and realize that the reason that the top 1% pay 40% of the taxes or what it is, is because they own 40% of the country. What doesn't make sense about that?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Don't Count Out Cheney

Bob Woodward, who is currently working on his 3rd book about President Bush, has told audiences to keep in mind that Vice Presient Dick Cheney could be a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2008. "Republicans love old war horses," said the man who brought down Richard Nixon.

Cheney? Come on. As if his health problems aren't enough, the Veep is viewed more unfavorably than his boss. As of November 2005, Cheney had a 19% approval rating, which is two points lower than adultery. Only 29% of the nation identifies Cheney as ethical in a recent poll by Newsweek. 55% say that the words "honest and ethical" do not describe Dick Cheney. Cheney does not have the overwhelming appeal that Bush does with middle of the road voters. He's unfriendly, cold, and, if nominated, would be sure to be attached to corporate scandal. Cheney would lose many states that Bush won if he's pitted against a John Edwards, Mark Warner type. Hillary is another discussion altogether.

Cartoon Protests Turn Deadly

Protests over cartoons with the Prophet Mohammed in them turned deadly today as several protesters were killed. I think that it is absolutely ridiculous that Muslims throughout the world are treating these cartoons as a crime against Islam and vowing revenge. Do you see the west retaliate when radical Muslims call for a jihad against the West and Judaism or when they burn down flags and take hostages? These cartoons are free speech and by no means represent the views of the countries of Denmark and France and the rest of the west. These protesters should get a grip on reality and realize that this was not an attack on Islam and Mohammed, but rather a way of criticizing the radical Muslims who use the religion as a way to incite violence and strike up hatred for the west.

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