Saturday, February 25, 2006

What Are Kean's Stances?

New Jersey voters will be inclined to vote for Tom Kean Jr. if they believe he'll continue the great legacy his father left as governor. However, if Kean fails to establish himself as outside of the Republican mainstream establishment, Menendez, as the generic Democratic candidate will win by simply opposing the Bush administration.

Kean wisely began his campaign by opposing Bush's stance on the Dubai ports deal.

Hillary Is Better Than Kerry And Gore

A recent Marist poll showed Hillary Clinton getting crushed by John McCain in a potential 2008 general election.

However, while Clinton lost 52% to 42%, fellow Democrats John Kerry and Al Gore lost 54-37 and 55-38 respectively. John Edwards did the best against McCain, losing 47% to 41%.

Surprising that candidates with as much name recognition as Al Gore and John Kerry would do so poorly against McCain, despite the latter's national popularity. However, when it comes down to an actual election, I think Kerry and Gore would win more states than Hillary, no matter who the opponent was.

Of course, if the GOP nominates McCain, I think even John Kerry would be fighting to win Massachusetts. He'd definitely be fighting to win New Jersey.

Congress More Conservative

I haven't tired of these National Journal polls yet. This one surveys House members conservative and liberal scores based on seniority.

The conclusion of the survey is that both parties have become increasingly conservative. While Republicans have raised their conservative score 5 points in the last decade, Democrats have lowered their liberal scores 5 points in the same time.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Abortion Will Not Save Mitt Romney

Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) followed up last summer's veto of the bill that allows women access to over-the-counter morning after pills by telling a crowd in South Carolina that he is "pro-life. So the issue is settled."

Romney has little chance of building a sizable Republican base with such a dubious history of siding with liberals in his state on social issues. His only possible advantage would be his name recognition in New Hampshire, the nearby state with many Boston commuters. However, NH would be much more likely to go for McCain, as it did in 2000.

Center of Congress

On a follow up on the previous post, the National Journal rated these senators and representatives as being at the center of Congress.

The most liberal Republican in the Senate is Lincoln Chafee by far. His liberal score of 59.2 is significantly higher than his conservative score of 40.8. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both Republicans of Maine have slightly higher liberal scores than conservative scores and Gordon Smith (R-OR) is about 50-50.

Ben Nelson (D-NE) is by far the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, with a slightly higher conservative than liberal rating. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) follows with a split similar to Chafee's.

Most Conservative and Liberal Congressmen

The National Journal recently rated the members of Congress, assigning each congressman either a liberal or conservative score.

The most liberal senator is Ted Kennedy (D-MA). Wayne Allard (R-CO), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Tom Coburn (R-OK) tied for the most conservative voting record in the senate.

Of the 40 most conservative members of congress (15 in the Senate and 25 in the House), only one is from a blue state: Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), who has the 6th most conservative score in the House of Representatives.

The same list of liberals include six from red states, including two from Georgia, and one each from Arizona, Iowa, North Carolina, and Ohio. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) is the second most liberal House member.

The most conservative congressmen were all Republicans while the most liberal were all Democrats. Would this have been the case 20 years ago? It certainly wouldn't have been the case 50 years ago.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What It Takes To Be Ambassador

The ambassador to France, Craig Roberts Stapleton, has given $116,000 to the Republican Party. Earle I. Mack, our number one guy in Finland, has given $566,340 to the GOP. The most desirable position of all, the ambassadorship in the Bahamas, apparently costs a shade under $180,000.

Of Bush's ambassadors, 40 have raised large sums for the president or the Republican Party. What's heartening is that the ambassadorship to China, possibly one of the most important positions in the State Department, was not subject to a bidding war. Clark Randt Jr., the current ambassador to China, only gave $29,200 to the GOP. I'm guessing that the Vatican was a lesser priority, as the guy for the job gave a whopping $245,626 to the party. This is a Protestant administration after all.

The Last Days of Roe?

On Thursday, the South Dakota Senate passed a bill banning nearly all types of abortion. Assuming that this bill is passed in the House where it was first introduced, which is expected, a direct challenge to Roe is looming. Can the now more conservative court do the unthinkable and overturn the 23 year abortion precedent. I do not see anything stopping them apart from ugly protests in the more liberal states. I would say get your abortions when you can because they dont appear to be around for much longer.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

An NYC Republican, An American Democrat

The New York Observer reports about rumors that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is contemplating a 2008 bid for the presidency. Bloomberg, who is a recent convert to the Republican Party, would probably run as an Independent or a Democrat.

Not that anybody considers Bloomberg a conservative, but during his time as a Republican, he has donated to Republican politicians and groups exclusively, despite his refusal to endorse a presidential candidate in 2004.

Would Democrats welcome Bloomberg back to the party he deserted? They didn't do the same for Wesley Clark, who had previously supported Republican presidents.

On another note, there have been a fair share of Democrats converting to the GOP in the last 50 years. But there don't seem to be too many high profile Republican politicians who later become Democrats.

Wonder Who They're Going to Nominate

In a recent Rasmussen poll, Democratic Congressman Ben Cardin leads Lt. Governor Michael Steele by 14 points in the race for the senate seat soon to be vacated by Senator Paul Sarbanes (D). However, Cardin isn't the only Democrat looking for the nomination. Former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume is apparently a hopeful as well. However, when matched against Steele, Mfume loses by one point.

This doesn't look like a close race by any account. If the Lt. Governor can't poll decent numbers against a generic Democratic congressman in February he can't expect to win in November. Steele is an ultraconservative who is obviously out of place in a blue state like Maryland.

Democrats Gain, But GOP Keeps House

A new Gallup poll shows Democrats leading Republicans 50%-43% in a generic House race. While that could signal dramatic Democratic gains in the House, Gallup's experience shows that an 11 point lead is necessary for a Democratic takeover.

The truth is that congressional districts are so partisan these days that national polls are often misleading. It's not likely but possible that the Democrats could lead by a significant margin in the national polls and lose seats, especially if they are retiring more incumbents than the GOP.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What Is Bush Thinking?

It is rare occasion when President Bush threatens to veto a bill. However, that isn't why his most recent threat is so newsworthy.

Bush has come out strongly against lawmakers who are opposing the upcoming purchase of nearly six American ports by a United Arab Emirates owned company.

MyManMisterC describes my position on the issue well.

If Bush is looking to play the diplomacy card, it's going to fall short for American voters. If this acquisition goes through, this will be the second time that Republicans rejected Democratic efforts to prevent business with nations that have been historically friendly to Islamic terrorists. In July, Senator Frank Lautenberg proposed an ammendment to the Defense Appropriations bill that would have outlawed subsidiaries of U.S companies from doing business in certain nations deemed hostile to America.

Sharon, from Center of NJ Life has an update on how Democrats from NJ are responding.

Port Hypocrisy

Why is it considered acceptable to challenge the takeover of U.S. ports by an Arab company simply because it is Arab, while proposing that law enforcement racially profile suspected terrorists is unfathomably racist?

Is 79% Really That Good?

A new poll finds that 79% of Americans are willing to elect a woman president. Meaning, of course, that 21% do not believe women should hold the highest position in the land.

So what do the 21% object to? Women in the workplace? Women making $400,000 a year? Or women being the head of a military that they're not required to register for?

An interesting follow-up to this poll would be to find the demographics of those who object to women presidents. Party affiliation, race, class, and of course, gender.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Hackett's Forced Removal Could Prove Fatal

According to a recent Rasmussen poll, the removal of Paul Hackett from the Ohio senatorial race has consolidated republicans behind Dewine and divided Democrats. The sole democratic challenger now, Sherrod Brown, has lost support from his own party, slipping from 77% - 69%. The next poll for this race, which comes in March, will be very important to see whether or not this was just the result of some bitterness from the forced removal of Hackett or if this has truly divided the party in a senate race that is clearly winnable for democrats.

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