Remember that old Peggy Lee song, "Is that all there is?" Seems at least possible that after two years of campaigning, countless words, millions of dollars, and an unlimited amount of hand-wringing, everyone will wake up on November 8th and find out nothing's changed.
Electoral Vote Predictor now has the Republicans in control of the Senate 51-49.
OTOH, it has the House going to the Democrats 228-205-2. It gives the 6th to Wetterling, largely on the strength of the Star Tribune poll a few weeks ago. That may be right. It may be wrong, but I haven't found anybody willing to bet Friday's paycheck on it ... yet.
Posted at 9:52 AM on October 25, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The governor’s race leads the digest and boy, is it a tight contest. A new Survey USA poll says DFLer Mike Hatch and Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty are running neck and neck.
The poll also says Democrat Amy Klobuchar extended her lead on Republican Mark Kennedy.
With the race for governor so close, the candidates are leaving nothing for granted. One thing Hatch and Pawlenty are investing heavily in is tv ads. MPR has a story saying $1.6 million will be spent in the final push to the campaign. You can see the breakdown of the ad buys here.
WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler profiles Mike Hatch.
Bloomberg writes that the UnitedHealth scandal has become an issuein the race for governor.
Pawlenty also appeared at an event with the U.S. Agriculture Secretary in St. Cloud.
Hatch talks ag issues with Agrinews.
I-P candidate Peter Hutchinson talks health care to agrinews.
KARE-11 takes a look at Hutchinson’s latest ad.
The Minnesota Daily takes a look at the governor’s race.
Rachel Stassen-Berger, with the Pi Press, has a nice profile of Robert Fitzgerald, the I-P candidate for U.S. Senate.
Mark Kennedy campaigned in Marshall says the Marshall Independent.
The Hartford Courant mentions Democrat Amy Klobuchar in a story about Democratic fundraising.
First Lady Laura Bush is in town today to campaign for GOP Congressman Gil Gutknecht and GOP congressional candidate Michele Bachmann.
MPR’s Mark Zdechlik has an excellent profile on the contest between Gutknecht and DFLer Tim Walz.
The Star Tribune has a story on a debate between the candidates.
The Star Tribune endorses Keith Ellison for Congress in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District. The GOP and I-P groan. I-P candidate Tammy Lee is critical of an ad being run by the Council for American Islamic Relations in this Star Tribune story.
Roll Call reports that Michigan Congressman John Conyers held a fundraiser for Ellison.
Forum Communications has a story on the candidates for attorney general.
And finally, the Polinaut hero of the day.
Laura Bush is in the state today, campaigning for Michele Bachmann and Gil Gutknecht.
Here's a photo from Tim Pugmire
I wonder if this is the first time someone has called Laura Bush, "a cupcake"?
Posted at 12:32 PM on October 25, 2006
by Bob Collins
National Public Radio is sending its political reporters to Minnesota next week.
Looks like they'll be concentrating on the 1st District race.
Look for a segment on the national All Things Considered next Friday.
Posted at 12:45 PM on October 25, 2006
by Bob Collins
My wife called this blurb to my attention during this morning's news conference by President Bush. Neither one of us watches these things for the information, anymore. We just try to predict which segment Jon Stewart will pull out to ridicule tonight.
We think it'll be this one.
Take the child tax credit. If it is not made permanent - in other words, if it expires - and you've got a family of four sitting around the breakfast table, the taxpayers can be sure that their taxes will go up by $2,000: $500 for that child, $500 for the one right there; $500 for this one and $500 for that one.
Give up? If it's a family of four...there are only two children. I'll try to find the actual audio because I think halfway through the math, he realized he was heading for trouble.
Using the 50 House races in play on Real Clear Politics, he sees the 6th leaning Bachmann. He also sees the 1st leaning Gutknecht.
One reason I do not see this election as a "wave" is that I think Republicans have a superior turnout program. The samples in most recent polls show a Democratic advantage in party identification—quite different from the 2004 exit poll that showed party identification at 37 percent Republican and 37 percent Democratic. I think there probably has been some shift in party ID since November 2004, but I doubt that it's as great as those polls suggest. In any case, polls are not good at predicting turnout. Some but not all polls show Democrats to be more "interested" or "certain to vote" or "motivated." But responses to those questions have not done a good job at projecting turnout in the past, including November 2004. To get a really good idea of turnout, I think we have to wait for elections—or, rather, for the vote to be counted.
He also figures we won't know who controls the House on election night, a disturbing thought to us all-night types who are loathe to add an all-day to the mix.
I'm making a change in the options for the Select A Candidate module for Minnesota governor.
Specifically, the "opposed" response to the question of a gas tax is no longer linked to Mike Hatch.
Here's how I explain it on the page of candidate positions:
"I can tell you right now the public isn't interested in a gas-tax increase," Hatch said on MPR on March 7, 2006. He said the governor needs to "sell the idea" and he said he wouldn't support it until that is done.
However, on October 25, 2006, Hatch said, "I would not stand in the way of an increase in the gas tax as
long as it was reasonable. The veto should be
ultilized when the governor believes the Legislature is not
representing the will of the people."
The New Jersey Supreme Court issued its ruling today in the same-sex marriage case.
It gave lawmakers a few months to change NJ law to extend marriage rights or create a new civil union for same-sex couples.
This should be a big fat softball pitch for the Bachmann campaign, since the senator led the cry in Minnesota against "activist judges" when the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued its ruling a few years ago.
Given how the issue was used by Republicans in the late stages of the 2004 campaign, this item in the news cycle could be just what the GOP ordered.
Bachmann vs. Wetterling: "While this may not be an October surprise for Republicans, it’s certainly an October eyebrow-raising."
Rambling from the North: "No- its not about the fact that we're going to win the NJ Senate Seat (which we are) but the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that, under the New Jersey Constitution, Homosexual couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples! WoOOOOOOooOOooOO!!! 2 states down, 28 to go!"
Perhaps the Foley story as a "player" in the 6th has been OBE.
Between this and the governor's new TV ad, it's starting to look like 2004 around here.
Posted at 6:22 PM on October 25, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The poll in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District has 49% for Republican Michele Bachmann, 43% for DFLer for Patty Wetterling and 5% for I-P candidate John Binkowski. 3% were undecided. The margin of error is +/- 3.7%. See the poll results here.
Posted at 6:41 PM on October 25, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty set off the fray with this ad earlier this morning. His DFL opponent, Mike Hatch, countered with this ad. I-P candidate Peter Hutchinson issued this news release about the entire debate:
Peter Hutchinson, Independence Party candidate for Governor, today acknowledged he is taking votes away from Tim Pawlenty. Citing the latest Pawlenty campaign attack ad, Hutchinson charged his opponent with attempting to score a cynical political point by exploiting new Minnesotans who want to attend college and contribute to Minnesota's prosperity.
"Tim Pawlenty admitted yesterday he has spent the last three weeks raising money so he can run hundreds of TV attack ads in the last two weeks of the campaign," said Hutchinson. "Now he's showing his true colors and using immigration as a wedge issue to scare voters – just like he did four years ago. Apparently, my common-sense message is gaining traction with voters and the governor has decided to resort to these desperate tactics.”
Brian Bakst, with the AP, has a story on the day’s events.