MD-SEN: Push Poll for Michael Steele

I just got off the phone with a recorded push poll for "Common Sense Maryland," an apparent offshoot with "Common Sense Ohio" at It seems to be a right-wing nut organization. I didn't listen too carefully and I thought at first it was "Common Cause." Then I heard the questions:
(1) Am I voting for Michael Steele?  No.
(2) Am I voting for Ben Cardin? Yes.
(3) Don't I want someone who won't raise my taxes? No answer.
(4) Do I really want someone who will remove the words "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance?  No answer.

The poll voice then said it would end the poll.

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Racial Politics This Week -- A Roundup

Yo, I heard it's said the revolution won't be televised
But in the land of milk and honey
There's a date you gotta sell it by
Otherwise it just expires and spoils....

The revolution's here
No one can lead you off your path
You'll try to change the world
So please excuse me while I laugh

-- lyrics from Talib Kweli's The Beautiful Struggle

Welcome to another look into the cross-section of race and politics in America. Things are getting down to the wire; the clock is running out on what we hope will be D-Day -- Democrats' Day -- on Nov. 7. Republicans are desperate and trying a new flava of fear -- instead of terrorism, it's fear of the brown, fear of the Other. Trouble is, this time, it's failing. People have stopped buying the Rethuglicans' bull and between Iraq, child sex predators, indictments and other assorted crimes and misdememors. Join the beautiful struggle and let's keep working towards a Nov revolution. Please excuse me while I laugh. --Jill

Lead Story: Tan Nguyen Gets His 15 Minutes of Fame

In the CA 47 race for Congress, Republican candidate tries to erode incumbent Rep. Loretta Sanchez's base by sending out a flyer to 14,000 Latino residents in her district that read in poorly written Spanish:

You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time, and you will be deported for voting without having a right to do so.

Nguyen quickly adopted the Hastert Defence: blame a staffer. He's been asked to withdraw by Orange County CA Republican party officials. But there's more to this story than meets the eye. Nguyen had been running on an anti-immigration platform and drew support from organized, "border security" racists on the fringe of the Republican party exemplified by Pat Buchanan. DailyKos Diarist Duke1676 has the best analysis on this I've read so far.

Meanwhile over at, they're encouraging local Asian Americans to do the right thing:

...the fact that [Nguyen's] campaign was involved eliminates him from any serious consideration by anyone with any commitment to democracy in America. Orange County readers, vote for Nguyen's opponent, Democrat Loretta Sanchez. BTW, Jim Webb's campaign has had its ups and downs with VA black folk(mostly up right now post-Barack Obama visit), but hanging out at, I learned Webb's got strong cred in VA's Vietnamese-American community. Also, Tammy Duckworth, Asian-American Iraq war veteran, got a big boost in her run for IL 6 with an endorsement from the Chicago Tribune.

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The Sorry State Of Republican Senate Challenges Outside of New Jersey

I doubt that many, if any Republicans would consider the Nevada Senate race to be competitive. This is not entirely unjustified. Even after the latest Rasmussen poll on the campaign is added in,'s five poll moving average of the race will be:

Ensign (R): 51%
Carter (D): 40%

11% is a big gap to overcome on an incumbent in a short period of time, especially when the candidate trailing in the polls also faces a significant monetary gap. However, I am sure that a lot of Republicans will still crow about their chances for pickups in Washington, Michigan, and Minnesota because, you know, Mark Kennedy is such a good candidate). Let's compare the five poll moving averages in those races to the five-poll average in Nevada, shall we?

Klobuchar (Dfl): 52%
Kennedy (R): 37%

(Did you know that Mark Kennedy is a great candidate?) This isn't one poll out of Minnesota--this is an average of the last five polls. I'd stick a fork in this one, except that everyone knows that the race is a lot closer than this, and that all five of those polls are biased. This campaign has to be close, because Mark Kennedy is such a great candidate. We all know these things because that is what we have been told repeatedly for the last year. Mark Kennedy is a great candidate who massively under-performed Bush in both 2000 (by 13%) and 2004 (by 6%). It is too bad for a great candidate like Kennedy that not only is Nevada a far closer race than Minnesota, but Nevada is also clearly trending closer while the biased polls in Minnesota show the already huge gap widening. This is just not an end befitting such a great candidate like Kennedy.

Cantwell (D): 52%
McGavick (R): 39%

We were "treated" today to both Rasmussen and Political Wire telling us how this race was getting close. Of course, this is the average polling in the campaign even after the new Rasmussen poll was factored in. This is also one of the races that Strategic Vision likes to poll a lot. Amazing, Strategic Vision always shows the race closer than any other polling firm. Strategic Vision seems to have a habit of almost only polling Democratic held Senate seats and consistently showing them to be more favorable to Republicans than any other polling firm does. Kind of makes you wonder if partisan Republican Strategic Vision only exists in order to create buzz around the idea of Republican pickups using juiced numbers. In reality, the numbers also show Nevada to be closer than this campaign as well.

Stabenow (D): 52%
Bouchard (R): 41%

This is another one of Strategic Vision's favorite races to poll. In fact, they have polled this race ten times in the last ten months. However, even with a Strategic Vision poll in the five-poll average, there is exactly the same margin, 11%, separating Stabenow and Bouchard as there is separating Ensign and Carter. Only here, there are fewer undecideds, and a much larger cash on hand gap (Nevada cash, Michigan cash). Nevada is closer than this race too.

What is Nevada not closer than? Well, New Jersey, obviously, which is yet another one of Strategic Vision's favorite states to poll, as they have conducted nine New Jersey polls in the last seven months alone). The only other one is Maryland:

Cardin (D): 48%
Steele (R): 42%

So, Maryland is closer than Nevada, thanks almost entirely to the seemingly outlying Survey USA poll that showed Steele ahead 48%-47%. Maryland is actually most similar to another Democratic target tht rarely gets any press:

Kyl (R): 48%
Pederson (D): 41%

Of course, we hear a lot more about Steele's great chances in Maryland than we hear about Pederson's chances in Arizona, which are usually scoffed at by the national punditry. It is just like how we hear a lot more about the Senate races in Minnesota, Washington, and Michigan than we hear about the Senate race in Nevada, even though Nevada is actually a closer race than Minnesota, Washington or Michigan. Admittedly, that could be because Mark Kennedy is such a great candidate, and the press can't help but talk about how close that race is.

New Jersey is the only serious Republican threat right now. Maryland is an outside threat, just like Arizona is an outside threat for us. By way of contrast, we have now mounted serious challenges in Montana, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. That gives us a net advantage of plus six in serious Senate challenges, exactly the number we need to retake the Senate. It still isn't very likely, but we are slowly creeping closer to having a real chance. When I update the Senate forecast later in the day, the new rankings will reflect that reality.

Racial Politics This Week -- A Roundup

Brought to you courtesy of Jill Tubman of Jack and Jill Politics and some soy mac and cheese with cherry tomatoes, veggie Canadian bacon and extra hot sauce. Mmmm. Hey, don't knock vegetarian soul food til you've tried it.

Mind Games in Maryland -- Puppy-cuddling, nausea-inducing Michael Steele continues to camouflage his Republican identity to voters. A new ad airing in Baltimore from the National Black Republican Association attempts to remind Maryland African-Americans (who comprise 30% of the state and are among the wealthiest in the U.S.) of their Republican roots. The Washington Post reports:

The ad identifies Martin Luther King Jr. as a Republican and pins the founding of the Ku Klux Klan on Democrats.

One woman says: "Democrats passed those black codes and Jim Crow laws. Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan."

"The Klan?" her friend replies. "White hoods and sheets?"

First woman: "Democrats fought all civil rights legislation from the 1860s to the 1960s. Democrats released those vicious dogs and fire hoses on blacks."

My own grandfather was a loyal Republican for many years only finally, reluctantly turning in the 1970s with disgust and sorrow from the party that freed his own father from slavery. (BTW, it's not uncommon for voting age blacks to be separated only by as few as 2,3 or 4 generations from slavery.) He recognized that things had changed and hopefully Steele's supporters and their bright idea born of desperation to win won't bamboozle anyone. (Thanks for the photo, SparklePony)

Good Fences Don't Always Make Good Neighbors -- Ridiculous Republican efforts to build a giant fence on the Arizona border to keep the Mexicans out have hit an unexpected snag in the form of the Tohono O'odham Indians who bring a different, somehow less racist, somewhat more pragmatic view on the matter.

Jews Don't Eat Pork Chops, but Felix Does?-- George "Macaca" Allen re-discovers his own minority heritage. It's a little awkward for everyone.

There's more...

Racial Politics This Week -- A Roundup

Brought to you by Jill Tubman of Jack and Jill Politics

This week, a controversial photo snapped at a blogger lunch in Harlem with Bill Clinton is under much discussion in the progressive blackosphere. You can follow the conversation here, here, here, and here And responses here and here. I know many of the bloggers in the photo -- including Chris Bowers and Matt Stoller of MyDD -- to be tireless workers against racism in America. I agree with Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft that:

There should have been a greater attempt made to include minority bloggers. But I think it was unintentional. I will bet that when there's another such event, and there will be, whether it's by President Clinton or another Democrat, there will be a greater effort to include a more diverse group of bloggers.

There's a problem with this photo and what it implies about how the power structure is changing -- and who might get left behind. Let's not deny that and make excuses. Instead, let's talk about how to fix it. The Republic of T has a great post on Blogging While Brown that offers a thoughtful commentary on the big picture here (pun intended).

What do you think? Jack and Jill Politics asks you to help us think about how to include more diverse voices from the blogs and beyond to the table of progressive politics so that pictures like this look different from now on.

More news in minorities and politics after the jump.

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