14 New Polls (4 Senate, 10 House) From CIS

The Right-Wing Anti-immigration group, the Center for Immigration Studies, has 14 new polls out from 10 different House districts and 4 different Senate races. The polls focus on immigration, but also ask which candidates the poll respondents plan to vote for in these 14 races. The polls are all from about the time the Foley scandal broke, with polling done both before and after the scandal (Foley resigned on September 29th). Generally speaking, the Senate polls seem to have been conducted before Foley broke, while the House polls were done shortly after.

CIS did not report candidate percentages, which I calculated from the raw crosstabs in the "detailed breakdown" for all the polls. If anyone wants to check my math, that would be greatly appreciated.

Having just glanced over the results, some of the samples seem to skew a bit to the R side, so keep that in mind, along with the Right-Wing leanings of CIS. The 14 races polled are MO-Sen, PA-Sen, NJ-Sen, MT-Sen, AZ-05, CT-04, IN-08, KY-04, PA-06, TX-17, LA-03, GA-08, CO-07, and OH-06.

For the results, see the flipside.

There's more...

NJ-SEN: Does anyone believe that Menendez won't win?

Alright, I know what the polls say, and many of them put Menendez tied with Kean, but isn't that what always happens in New Jersey.  Every election cycle there seems to be some statewide election in the Garden State where the Democrat and Republican are tied.  And every election cycle the Democrat wins by 10 points.  

Making my point, here's Jerome Armstrong's post on the recent polling in New Jersey:

"Mark Blumenthal writes:
Today's results run the gamut, showing Democrat Bob Menendez either leading Republican Tom Kean Jr. by 10 points (Reuters/Zogby), leading by seven points (Fairleigh Dickinson-PublicMind), or trailing by five points (Republican-affiliated Strategic Vision). Random sampling error alone cannot explain the gap.
I agree. Maybe what explains the gap is that the Republican pollsters delivered a poll for Kean? Nah, that couldn't be..."
(forgive me, my computer skills suck)

So what's the deal?  Despite the polling, New Jersey is a solidly blue state.  And we see this time and time again. When will the madness stop?

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NJ-Sen: Kean Jr Spokewoman Busted Astroturfing Blogs

(Distilled from a post at Blue Jersey. This just has to go on the front page--Chris)

After Blue Jersey exposed another Tom Kean Jr campaign lie yesterday (which state media is now picking up as well), the campaign went into panic mode. Their spokeswoman, Jill Hazelbaker, registered multiple accounts on Blue Jersey and posted what were obvious "concern troll" comments. The accounts were registered within 10 minutes of each other, the comments from the different users were posted 15 minutes apart, and both comments were posted from the same exact IP address (70.90.20.85), which is for a Comcast business account that can be traced to a node within 5 miles of the campaign. But there's more. Below is the header information from an email sent out by the campaign spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker. Some information has been removed to protect the innocent, but the important thing here is that Jill Hazelbaker's IP address is 70.90.20.85:

Return-Path: <jill@tomkean.com>
Received: from tomkean.com (mail.xquizit.com [66.194.14 8.20])
by XXXXX with ESMTP id XXXXX;
Received-SPF: neutral (XXXXX is neither permitted nor denied by best guess record for domain of jill@tomkean.com)
Received: from KFS05 [70.90.20.85] by tomkean.com with ESMTP
(SMTPD32-8.15) id XXXXX;
From: "Jill Hazelbaker"<jill@tomkean.com>
To: "XXXXX"

This is the same IP address that several troll comments last night were posted from. It's pretty obvious that those comments were posted by Hazelbaker herself. The content of the comments is a dead giveaway. In one comment, "cleanupnj"says:

"What happened to Mr. Mark Davis, the counsel who apparently gave Boss Bob "verbal approval" to line his pockets with tax-payer funded federal money."
This sounds like nearly the exact same thing Jill Hazelbaker said to reporter Herb Jackson in his story today:
"Menendez said it was another person that originally gave him approval, now his corroborating witness doesn't remember the act of approval."
And then there's this highly defensive comment from "usedtobeblue" protesting attacks on Hazelbaker:
Also, you guys are upset about the attacks on Menendez, but isn't it a little bit hypocritical to then attack his press secretary.
Wow. I'm sure that's what random, rank-and-file supporters are thinking: "Why is that blog attacking the press secretary?" Uh huh.

And perhaps the most damning evidence, again from "cleanupnj" (emphasis mine):

She is also married to Russ Feingold's legislative director.  Unbiased source?  A conflict of interest certaintly. And the woman isn't even sure if she gave Boss Bob approval anyway.
That was not public information until Herb Jackson's article appeared this morning. That's something only Herb and the people he spoke with for the article, like the campaign spokespeople, could have known at 7:15 PM yesterday.

In an embarassingly funny twist, even after being exposed as trolls, the campaign created yet another account and posted another "concern troll" comment, pretending to be an ardent democrat who used to enjoy reading this blog. Again, with the same exact IP address.

All hilariousness aside, this raises serious questions about the Kean Jr campaign. If they're willing to lie about simple things like this, what else would they lie about to win? Does Tom Kean Jr condone this type of unethical behavior in his campaign? And will he fire all those involved?

soon-to-be-ex-Senator Menendez?

So it all started with this article on 9/11. Then, four days later, another Political Wire story showing the NJ-GOP trying to avoid a Torricelli Redux. Now most recently, the NY Observer gets involved with a more in-depth article detailing the particulars.

Now when the NJ-Dems pulled this in 2002 with Torricelli, I must honestly say I was amused and supportive. I mean the GOP as a whole gets away with far more dirtier tricks than this (mostly ones that never make it public), so I didnt feel that much remorse. Not to mention it was quite amusing fodder for conversations with my NJ-GOP friends. However, Menendez is not Torricelli and may not bow to pressure as easily. Nor may it be as easy to ring the bell twice, but with Kean polling ahead in what is shaping up to be a potential Democratic landslide, we should not have to be fighting tooth and nail for a state that hasnt "elected a Republican to the Senate since M*A*S*H was a first-season show" (from the Observer article).

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Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

First, here is the latest ad, entitled "Tough," from Senator Menendez. It is on the air in all markets in New Jersey:



This is a pretty good ad. Not only does it pick a fight with the Bush administration, it actually details a fight that Senator Menendez picked and won. This is a good tactic for a Democratic incumbent. Instead of trying to claim that things are going great, ala Stabenow, it points to a very specific moment when one of Bush's many bad policies were stopped. It also does a good job of connecting homeland security to jobs, something which should play well in New Jersey. On the negative side, it is a little strange that the commercial opens to quietly, and instead of talking about Iraq it talks about "homeland security." That is a very Republican way of talking about things.

Next, we have netroots endorsed Joe Sestak with his introductory bio ad:

First things first--this ad prominently states that Joe Sestak is a Democrat, which is desperately needed in more commercials. (I actually brought that up with President Clinton yesterday, arguing that we were not going to trick people into accidentally voting for a Democratic Congress). The ad quickly lays out Sestak's extremely impressive resume, which speaks for itself and should go over well with voters. After that, it quickly moves into two issue areas, in very cullet point type fashion, indicating that affordable health care is his top priority and that he opposes Bush's policies in Iraq. I am not sure if that part of the ad works as well for me, simply because both ideas are glossed over so quickly. Also, is "opposing" Bush's policies in Iraq enough? The ad isn't bad, but suffers from a similar problem to Patrick Murphy's ads: trying to do too much in one shot. Maybe it is the local focus, but I still have to believe it will work well.

Finally, we have another netroots endorsed candidate, Linda Stender, in NJ-07:

The ad focuses entirely on choice, and asks the question that I think more people should be asking: do people who want to outlaw abortion also want to throw women who have them in jail? It is a good questiont hat puts people on the defensive.

The ad is strong in that it talks to real women in New Jersey, and speaks mainly in their own words. The problems I have with the ad include the interviewer being male, and that it doesn't come right out and say that Mike Ferguson wants to throw women who have abortions in jail. Instead it only asks the question.

I also wonder about the effectiveness of running a House campaign against a Republican incumbent focused on choice (of course, she may have other ads too). I don't that issue is something that is close to the top of the list on voters minds this year. I certainly have not seen defending reproductive rights ever appear on any list of top priorities facing the country according to voters this year. I don't think that anything is going to swing this election except for Iraq, Iraq and Iraq. This ad could work as part of a more wide-ranging ad campaign that would include tough language on Iraq, as I also think it could work in a Democratic primary when little else separates the candidates, but I have a very hard time believing that this will swing the NJ-07 in our favor.

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