Allen in Jeopardy as Voters React to "Macaca"

Don't think George Allen's stupid comments are going to affect his chances at reelection this fall, let alone his presidential ambitions? Take a look at the latest numbers from SurveyUSA.

In an election for the United States Senate in Virginia today, 8/21/06, incumbent Republican George Allen edges Democrat challenger James Webb 48% to 45%, according to an exclusive SurveyUSA poll conducted for WUSA-TV Washington DC.

Since an identical SurveyUSA poll released 6/28/06, Allen has lost 8 points and Webb has gained 8 points. Allen's lead has shrunk from 19 points to 3 points.

Interviewing for this poll began 8/18/06, 1 week after Allen singled out a Webb campaign worker at an Allen rally. Allen has lost support across all demographic groups, but in particular, among younger voters, he has gone from Plus 23 to Minus 17, a swing of 40 points. In Southeastern VA, Allen has gone from a 2:1 lead to a tie, a 31-point swing.

When Rasmussen Reports came out with polling last week showing Allen's lead over Netroots-approved fighting Dem Jim Webb down to just 47-42, I was at least somewhat skeptical (even more so than my normal skepticism about Rasmussen). However, that now a second pollster has found Allen to be in a statistical dead-heat with Jim Webb seems to lend credence to the idea that the "macaca" comment has fundamentally upended the Virginia Senate race.

Could it be that George Allen is this cycle's Jim Bunning, a candidate who buckles under pressure and completely loses composure as the media begin to take a real look at him? Could it be that Allen's "macaca" comment will affect his campaign as much as Bunning's teleprompter incident affected his in 2004? If so, Allen's in a whole heck of a lot of trouble because he doesn't have anyone up-ballot to pull him into a narrow victory this fall. So if Allen does not right his ship soon (and it doesn't seem like he is anywhere near doing this yet), he could just be the sixth pick-up opportunity Democrats need to retake the U.S. Senate this fall.

Tags: Senate 2006, VA-Sen, Virginia (all tags)

Comments

30 Comments

Re: Allen in Jeopardy

You know this isn't the first time that Allen has been accused of racism. There was an article several weeks ago by some Washington mag laying out Allen's racist past. However, Webb basically let him off the hook by saying something to the effect that he didn't want to play those types of games.

Well, I hope he doesn't make the same mistake again. This was a huge break for his campaign which has been somewhat floundering since winning the nomination. From what i've heard, Webb raised a ton of money and BC is coming in to raise some more. This is when Webb should knock Allen over the head.

Webb should go on the air and begin talking himself up as someone who wants to represent ALL the people, versus Allen, Bush et al. who seem interested in only representing a select few.

THIS IS A HUGE OPPORTUNITY. I hope Webb doesn't mess this up.

by JackBourassa 2006-08-21 01:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Allen in Jeopardy as Voters React to

I've had it with these motherf**ing snakes on this motherf**ing Senate!

by HellofaSandwich 2006-08-21 01:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Allen in Jeopardy

  Allen is a joke.  That said, didn't Bunning still win in 2004 even as he proved himself an idiot?

by ocdemocrat 2006-08-21 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Allen in Jeopardy

yeah, but Virginia is DEFINITELY not Kentucky.  And Allen's gaffe is probably a lot worse.

No way this race is not at least a toss-up the rest of the way, if Webb can get any kind of funding at all and has at least half-way competent campaign people.

by jgarcia 2006-08-21 09:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Allen in Jeopardy

Yes Bunning won...but barely. Against some no-name guy who Bunning out spent like 10 to 1.

by JackBourassa 2006-08-21 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Allen in Jeopardy

Doesn't Macaca mean "monkey?"

Since when has calling someone of color a monkey NOT been a racist slur?

by JackBourassa 2006-08-21 01:42PM | 0 recs
Allen in Jeopardy

If Allen loses I'll be happy to chip in on buying him a brass monkey as a parting shot gift.

by Sitkah 2006-08-21 01:45PM | 0 recs
Pyrrhic victory

Allen loses ... say hello to President McCain.  This jackass is our dream candidate in 2008 barring Frist, and great as it would be to have Allen retired to his Civil War re-enactments permanently, who else is gonna stop McCain? Romney?  Huckabee?  Rudy?  And to deny McCain would sail home in the general is denying reality.  

by tuffie 2006-08-21 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Pyrrhic victory

Allen's already done.

You think he can survive a Presidential primary now that he's a known racist, EVEN if he's a Republican?

Nuh-uh.  He's toast.

Which is why we should go for the kill now.

An even worse outcome would be to give Allen a pass, and let McCain win the Presidency.  The worst of both worlds!

by HellofaSandwich 2006-08-21 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Pyrrhic victory

Don't be so sure.  McCain has recently called for MORE troops to be sent to Iraq.  That will be an extremely unpopular position in two years...

by feynman 2006-08-21 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Allen in Jeopardy

This is really good news.  Having once lived in VA I figured this would have little impact on his re-election race but would kill his Presidential campaign.  Glad to see I was wrong.

Go Jim Webb!!!

by John Mills 2006-08-21 03:36PM | 0 recs
This is no where near over.

Have you people forgotten that VA has an anti-gay marriage amendment in the fall???

This is virginia, the fundies will be out in force. Webb will need a full-court press of support. Every popular democrat needs to hit Northern Va and South Eastern VA...that is, General Clark, Big Dog, Cleland.

by PHDinNYC4Kerry 2006-08-21 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: This is no where near over.

General Clark, Big Dog, Cleland.

Don't know about Clark, but Clinton is a liability. If he's helped even one Democrat win since leaving office that would be it. His political batting average is pocket change if not .000

As for Cleland, Georgia voters tossed his NeoDem ass out. Why would VA voters think any better of him for sticking his nose into their election?

by Sitkah 2006-08-21 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: This is no where near over.

PS.....Cleland didn't help Kerry much if any either.

by Sitkah 2006-08-21 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Allen in Jeopardy

say hello to President McCain.

Too many Repooblicans have been trained to hate McCain. The Bush Mafia, which operates -- if not downright owns --  the propaganda and political machinery of the GOP, will never allow him the nomination.

We'll talk about the Clinton Mafia and their similar grip on the Democratic Party some other time.

by Sitkah 2006-08-21 03:45PM | 0 recs
think again

About the "Bush Mafia."  They're all signing up with McCain. Odd, that ... if they all hate him so much.  From the American Prospect: "For those who remain convinced that John McCain will prove unacceptable to the Republican base, news that McCain is increasingly locking up the support of Bush's loyalists and campaign operatives has to be rather disconcerting. These guys and gals, after all, won't want to hitch onto a losing horse so soon after being on the winning team, and their preferences and willingness to make common cause with an old enemy says something pretty profound about their estimation of McCain's primary chances."  We can deny it all we want.  The GOP has one chance only in 2008: the Phony Maverick.  They'll swallow whatever they need to keep power.  It's not like McCain doesn't share their views.  

by tuffie 2006-08-21 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: think again

after all, won't want to hitch onto a losing horse so soon after being on the winning team

What do they know? It's not likely that they're any smarter than the average dumbass Democratic operative and climber.

And it's not they who will choose the next GOP nominee anyway. That will be done by the Bush Mafia who wants someone who will lose and set the table for Jebthro in 2002 or 16 -- just as Dole was chosen to lose and set the table for Boy George in 2000.

We'll go into how the Clinton Clan wanted Gore to lose and then Kerry or one of the other souless DCDems to get the nomination and lose in 04 in order to set up Hillary for 08 later.

Never underestimate the depravity of most politicians, regardless of party.

by Sitkah 2006-08-21 05:34PM | 0 recs
By the way

Clinton has a 60% approval rating, per the most recent polling (a few months ago, I believe). He is a major asset, especially with minorities, a group Webb has struggled with.

Your wild paranoia about Clinton wanting Gore and Kerry to lose is asinine. Gore made the decision to avoid Clinton like the plague, which cost him many votes (despite his winning the election, he could have won it far more easily and avoided the recount fiasco). The Clintons also hooked Kerry into their ginormous fundraising circle and made him financially competitive with Bush.

by OfficeOfLife 2006-08-21 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: By the way

Clinton has a 60% approval rating.

And about a 5% success rate at helping Democrats get elected. Ask Lieberman about it.

Your wild paranoia about Clinton wanting Gore and Kerry to lose is asinine.

It isn't wild paranoia nor asinine -- it's just 40 years of watching what disingenuous and selfish assholes most politicians are and how in the case of the Clintons and Bushes, when bad things happen to their parties it works to their advantage. Why shouldn't they just help it along?

Gore made the decision to avoid Clinton like the plague, which cost him many votes (despite his winning the election, he could have won it far more easily and avoided the recount fiasco).

Where the Clintons and their DLC allies in the recount fight? Nowhere to be seen.

The Clintons also hooked Kerry into their ginormous fundraising circle and made him financially competitive with Bush.

I think the Clintons would have been just as happy with Kerry, or Lieberman, or Gephardt, or Edwards -- all certified congresscritters bound to stumble on their own twisted records and conflicting words and automatically distrusted by most of the public no matter how much money the Clintons helped them raise (and got good PR for doing, by the way).

And if a Democratic were president now Hillary wouldn't be the frontrunner for 08. The presidency is high stakes politics where no one in contention looks out for another and everyone does whatever possible to poisition themselves and knock others off the board.

To think otherwise is simply naive.

by Sitkah 2006-08-21 08:59PM | 0 recs
Well, younger voters need to turn out

Never a cinch, especially in a midterm. The article indicates that's where Webb has gained the most.

I think this is a perfect opportunity for Webb to go positive. The new negativity toward Allen is already built into this poll number. But much of that is flimsy and will revert unless Webb seizes the moment and provides a reason for Virginans to say, "yes, there's the guy who I want to vote FOR." A positive message will have much more lasting impact in this moment of indecision than standard piling on. But our handicapping always sucks so no doubt the ad campaign, if any, will be negative.

by jagakid 2006-08-21 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: This is no where near over.

Oh well, it's not my funeral.

by Sitkah 2006-08-21 04:56PM | 0 recs
Not just a slur

A really unusual slur ... Christ, what is it with all these GOPers?  

by jcjcjc 2006-08-21 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Not just a slur

Allen must have thought it was one of those code slurs that conservatives use among themselves and outsiders don't understand.

"Macaca" went right over my head the first time I heard it on the video since I was completely in the dark as to its meaning.

by Sitkah 2006-08-21 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Not just a slur

It went over my head, too.  But, it sounded really, really weird.  The kind of weird that requires further inquiry.

Obviously that worked against Allen.

In fairness, you can get away with almost anything in US politics except seeming weird.

Look at Ross Perot's first run for president.  It went swimmingly until he got all weird.

by jcjcjc 2006-08-22 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Not just a slur

Ross stuck his head under the hood and it slammed on him.

by Sitkah 2006-08-22 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Not just a slur

Say what you will, but the 1992 presidential election was a pure classic.  Straight-forward issues.  Two priceless personalities and the third one worth laughing at.

I think 2008 has the potential to be more fun, since it will be the first free-for-all presidential election in my lifetime.

On a level, I'm disappointed that a purebred loser like Allen won't be there for this race (more reassuring, he may not be in the Senate) for us to point at.

In a way, a 2006 tidal wave is going to deprive us of the best GOP losers.  No Santorum.  No Allen.  No Frist.

All emminently beatable candidates.

by jcjcjc 2006-08-23 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Not just a slur

....the 1992 presidential election was a pure classic.  Straight-forward issues.

Those were the good old days. Since then DCDemocrats have been afraid of their own shadows.

by Sitkah 2006-08-23 08:15AM | 0 recs
Let's hope the reaction is like this everywhere

I just sampled a few Virginia editorial pages and letters to the editor and it was amazingly high percentage of anti-Allen.

Here's a sample from the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Four letters and all ripping Allen: http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Sat ellite?pagename=RTD/MGArticle/RTD_BasicA rticle&c=MGArticle&cid=114919008 3898

by jagakid 2006-08-21 06:20PM | 0 recs
Can you trust the poll?

I have the impression that racism is one of those far-below-the-radar characteristics that tend to mislead polls.  So if there's a strong negative response to Allen's racist remark in the polls, I suspect that it won't be borne out at the ballot box.

by carlmanaster 2006-08-21 07:17PM | 0 recs
the power of YouTube and why....

Ah the power of YouTube...now when a guy who talks one way to the media and another to "his folks" can be exposed whereas ni the past he could BS his way out.

Now you know why they wanna change the internet...and block YouTube + the rest with all sorts of BS fees.

Scary, when the peasants have the tools to match the big kids.

by Schadelmann 2006-08-21 07:31PM | 0 recs

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