Meetup for Senate

After spending most of the last three months with lefties who derisively take Dean's failure to win the nomination as proof that internet activism is powerless, prove me right by demonstrating your power and acting to support your local Democratic candidate for Senate.

Those in California can attend a Barbara Boxer MeetupTONIGHT at 7:00. Boxer is still blogless, but her site is full of good info.

Those in Illinois can attend a Barack Obama Meetup tomorrow at 7:00. Also, check out his great new blog for more information, including a discussion of Kos's project to adopt a Senate campaign.

In Pennsylvania, you can attend a Joe Hoeffel Meetup tomorrow at 7:00. Unfortunately, the Philly Meetup is in King of Prussia, but I'll try to start one in the city next month. Also, Hoeffel has a good blog.

In Wisconsin, you can support one of the Blogosphere's most loved politicians by attending a Russ Feingold Meetup on Thursday at 7 p.m.. No blog yet for Russ, but his campaign site is still helpful.

If you are not lucky enough to live in one of these four states you will have to wait at least one week until the Meetup for your local Senate candidate. You can find all Senate Meetups here.

LA US Senate poll

Daily Kos blogged on a poll in LA showing John in 3rd place with only 10 percent. Kennedy's camp released the Republican poll via e-mail, and Chris John's camp is calling out the poll as a bogus GOP plant:

A spokesperson for Chris John stated in his press release responding to the WRS poll, "A poll released yesterday regarding Louisiana´s 2004 Senate race "is bogus at best," exclaimed Congressman Chris John´s campaign manager Scott Arceneaux.  "When Washington Republicans see the writing on the wall, they pull out all the stops to spin the story and confuse the facts."

Arceneaux also stated, "Just like a February poll by the National Republican Party, a poll released today by Global Perspective, a Virginia polling firm headed by Republican political operatives Chris Wilson, former head of the Texas Republican Party and former Karl Rove assistant, and NRCC's Bert Ralston is another misguided attempt by National Republicans to do whatever it takes to prevent what the national and state Republican parties fear most - a Chris John/ David Vitter match-up for the open U.S. Senate seat".

Moreover, Arceneaux stated that "Bernie Pinsonat, an independent Louisiana pollster, came up with entirely different poll numbers just two weeks ago," added Arceneaux.  "Ask Louisianans who they believe - a survey conducted by an independent Louisiana pollster paid for by Louisiana journalists, or a poll bought by Washington GOP special interests conducted by Republican political hacks who cannot get their facts straight?"

"Even the press release on the poll contains misinformation.  It lists Congressman Chris John as a Republican, which he is not.  That, of course, would explain the wildly divergent numbers from those produced by independent pollsters", Arceneaux said.


Senate-wide Two-Party Vote

The current 100 Senators were elected by the following (mostly unofficial) vote totals:

Republican: 82,036,815 (50.07% of the two-party vote)
Democrat: 81,801,721 (49.93% of the two-party vote)

Sources:
CNN election 1998, CNN Election 2000, CNN Election 2002, and LA Secretary of State

These results do not include the 1998 elections in Alaska and Georgia, since those Senators are no longer serving. Further, in these totals Jim Jeffords is counted as a Republican for his election in 2000, since he ran on the Republican ticket that year.

My first reaction to these numbers is to marvel once again at how closely divided the country is, and how our undemocratic system of over-representing small states consistently allows Republicans to come down on the favorable side of this divide. By 0.14% of the two-party vote, Republicans won the Senate from 1998-2002, but still they control every single committee and piece of legislation that passes through the Senate. By 0.59% of the total vote, Al Gore defeated George Bush, yet Bush is in the White House. If states were not given two free Electoral College votes simply for existing, Gore would have won the Electoral College 225-211.

My second reaction is to marvel once again at what a blown opportunity the 2002 midterms were for Democrats. For just the elections of 1998 and 2000, Democrats managed 50.62% of the two-party vote. All they had to do was win 12 out of 32 Senate seats to maintain control of the chamber. Had Democrats won half of the 2002 Senate elections, they would have controlled the chamber 54-45-1. After a long primary season where we were consistently exposed to a host of strong Democratic candidates, sometimes it is hard to remember the disappointment, frustration and outright disgust with a party that blew such a golden opportunity because they were too afraid to stop Bush from getting his war on.

The Senate is very doable in 2004. God help us if 2002 happens again.

Colorado US Senate

Just a few days ago, polling in Colorado by Public Opinion Strategies (R) showed Ken Salazar leading both Republicans:

D-Ken Salazar 48
R-Bob Schaffer 37

D-Ken Salazar 52
R-Pete Coors 36

Released Friday, we get conflicting results from a poll of 500 likely registered voters done this week by the Tarrant group (R), showing:

D-Salazar 52
R-Coors 41

D-Salazar 52
R-Schaffer 36

Salazar leads them by double-digits in all four matchups, and given that these are both partisan Republican polling firm, the lead is probably even greater the low of 11 percent above, so that's great news.

But what's interesting here is the tango by the dueling poll firms, whose interest is probably financially built in; POS for Schaffer, and Tarrant for Coors. In fact, they release identical opposing results, showing their candidate behind Salazar by 11 percent, and the opposing Republican behind by 16 percent. Let them quibble, Salazar wins hands down either way.

Between Tarrant and POS, I'd give the nod to Tarrant for the publicity, as they actually provide us with some GOP match-up information:

Coors beats Schaffer 50-32 percent, according to Tarrant; and in terms of name recognition, Coors fared better, 85 percent of those polled recognized the name on one of the nation's best-selling beers (yes, that's a quote), compared to 73 percent name id for Schaffer.

It's a good strong matchup for the nomination, and for control between two strong factions within the state's GOP. Standing with Coors are endorsements from Gov. Bill Owens, Lt. Gov Jane Norton, Rep. Scott McInnis, and retiring Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. Schaffer is backed by Sen. Wayne Allard, former Sens. Bill Armstrong, and Hank Brown, and Rep. Marilyn Musgrave and Tom Tancredo.

If you think this reminds you a bit of Pennsylvania, your onto something. Though there is little difference on the issues of the economy, taxes, education, the war and homeland security, there's definitely an intra-battle going on here that's ideological in basis.

The GOP Colorado state convention is June 5th, for getting on the ballot, and the GOP primary is August 10th.

Coors is contemplating whether to get on the ballot via the caucus at the convention, or petition to get on the ballot; and has campaign chairs in all 64 state counties of Colorado feeling that out. Schaffer is going to run strong with traditional GOP caucus attendees, the home-schoolers, the Christian groups, rural Colorado (like the 4th, his district home), and conservative Colorado Springs. This should be another intra-party dandy (as long as Coors doesn't get the shakes and quit) to watch unfold in the GOP tent.

US Senate polls for April

Here's a summary of April polling done for the US Senate contests. In North Carolina, a Bennett, Petts and Blumenthal (D) poll shows Democrat Erskine Bowles leading Republican Richard Burr 47-38... In California, a Los Angeles Times poll shows Democrat Barbara Boxer leading Republican Bill Jones 54-34... In Colorado, a Public Opinion Strategies (R) poll shows Ken Salazar leading Mike Miles for the Democratic nomination by a 51-28 margin; and for the General Salazar leads Republicans Bob Schaffer and Pete Coors by a 48-37 and 52-36 margin respectively (Coors garners just 30% of women voters)... In New York a Marist College poll shows Democrat Charles Schumer leads Republican Howard Mills 72-17... In Oklahoma, a Consumer Logic of Tulsa poll shows Democrat Brad Carson leading Republican Tom Coburn 37-35, and Coburn leading Kirk Humphreys 34-22 for the Republican nomination.

Diaries

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