Via Markos comes some more interesting news out of the Mississippi special Senate election: Appointed Republican Senator Roger Wicker isn't standing by his own advertisement. Take a look:
The Pollster.com trend estimate out of the race shows it to be about as tight as possible, with former Democratic Governor and MyDD Road to 60 candidate Ronnie Musgrove within about a point and a half of Wicker. Do note, however, that this aggregate includes a recent Rasmussen Reports poll that quizzically added the candidates' party affiliation along with their names in the head-to-head match-up despite the fact that parties will not be listed on the ballot. (An inquiry to Rasmussen on the subject last week yielded no response.) So with a race as close as this one, slip ups like failing to endorse your own ad -- and the resulting negative press from the local media -- can make a real difference.
"Even Paris Hilton has a better energy plan than Roger Wicker," Musgrove said in the statement. "Roger Wicker has been in Washington for 14 years, gas prices have gone up and he's done nothing until now, right before his election." [emphasis added]
That's not so hard. Yes, politics is about issues, yes it's about substance -- but it's also about imagery, and capturing the attention and imagination of voters. A whole lot of people have heard or seen Paris Hilton's smackdown of John McCain on energy (close to 6 million on the original site, plus countless more as the message was replayed on the cable nets), so there's no reason to pretend that it's not out there. Why not go ahead and use it to our advantage as Musgrove does here and call the Republicans out for stupidly demagoguing on the issue?
If you want to reward the good behavior, head over to Act Blue and make a $5.01 contribution today to let the Musgrove campaign, as well as other Democrats, know how you feel.
Roll Call (sub. req.) has the details on the latest numbers out of Alaska following the indictment of the state's senior Senator, the longest serving Republican member in the history of the United States Senate:
The Ivan Moore Research poll taken July 30-31 showed Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) leading Stevens, 56 percent to 35 percent, with more than 5 percent undecided.
A survey by the same pollster from July 18-22 -- before the indictments were handed down -- showed Begich leading Stevens, 51 percent to 43 percent.
The earlier poll had a sample size of 504 registered voters statewide and a margin of error of 4.4 points. The later survey, taken just over a day after news of Stevens' indictments broke, polled 413 registered voters with a 4.8-point margin of error.
The poll also showed an 11-point drop in Stevens' approval rating: From the first survey to the second survey, the percentage of people who had a positive impression of Stevens decreased from 55 percent to 44 percent.
As bad as these numbers are for the Republican Party, the primary numbers are even worse (considering the remarkable weakness of Stevens as a candidate).
Though Stevens faces six opponents in the Aug. 26 Republican primary, the poll showed him with a handsome lead over businessman Dave Cuddy, his chief competition. In the same July 30-31 survey, which polled 219 Republicans about the primary, Stevens scored 59 percent and Cuddy had 19 percent with about 20 percent undecided.
Not only does it increasingly look like the case that Stevens is, if not unelectable, at least a long-shot for reelection, it also appears that he is on the inside track to renomination. In other words, Alaska Republicans appear content choosing as their Senate nominee someone who simply has a terrible shot at winning in November.
So now is not the time to let up -- it's time to turn up the heat. Head over to the MyDD Road to 60 Act Blue page and contribute to the campaign of presumptive Democratic nominee Mark Begich, the popular mayor of Anchorage, to help Alaska join the ranks of states like Virginia and New Mexico where the Republicans are all but writing off their chances of holding onto a Senate seat that they have long held.
Ben Smith reminds us just how close we are to election day: 100 days. Let's get to it. What will you be doing between now and November 4 to ensure that Barack Obama wins and is joined by a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and an even more robust majority in the House? What will you be doing to help out in the down-ballot contests in your area, be they for the state legislature or county commission, or key initiatives? How many doors will you knock on and how many calls will you make? This election brings a great opportunity for change -- but only with real grassroots action. So what will you do in the next 100 days?
The non-partisan Research 2000 company has released polling out of Mississippi commissioned by Daily Kos, and yet again the numbers show that the special election race to fill the unexpired term of Trent Lott is a remarkably tight one.
Roger Wicker (R): 45 percent Ronnie Musgrove (D): 44 percent
With these new numbers in the mix, the latest Pollster.com trend estimate actually shows Musgrove ahead by a similarly narrow margin, while the overall average of the past four polls shows an exact tie. In short, this race is about as tight as they come, and as was the case with the special election in the state's first congressional district, which was held to fill the unexpired term of Wicker, the partisan affiliation of the two candidates will not be mentioned on the ballot -- a fact that would seemingly helps the Democrats.
Musgrove's competitiveness, and the relatively high likelihood that he would be a part of the Democrats' 60-seat majority in the 111th Congress should they achieve that target, are a testament to why he's a part of MyDD's Road to 60 Act Blue page. This race is a back-breaker, one that sends a signal to the country that the regional party that is the Republican Party doesn't even have a lock on the South anymore. But it's not just that. I noted last week Musgrove's strong support for the Employee Free Choice Act, a position that shows that he is with us on economic issues. Musgrove also recently articulated his support for net neutrality (a position now held by every major Democratic Senate challenger this year), which also shows that although Musgrove won't be the most reliable vote in the Senate he will nevertheless be a part of the coalition on a number of the votes most important to our community (certainly a more reliable vote than Wicker).
So if you haven't yet had the opportunity to show your support for Musgrove -- or the other candidates on the MyDD Road to 60 list, for that matter -- head over to Act Blue today and make your voice heard. Even a $5 contribution to each candidate on the list would make a big difference in helping the Democrats reach the 60-vote, filibuster-proof threshold in the Senate.