NY-20 -- I'm a district captain in town and have spent the last four days canvassing. I have yet to see a single canvasser for Sweeney -- he seems to be relying on mail and phone, with campaign workers that put up lawn signs in the dead of night. His campagin office in Saratoga Springs has had only one or two people in it all weekend (it's right across the stret) -- he seems to have centralized his operation in Clifton Park. At the polls, our watchers use triplicate paper rolls of targeted voters we're picking up three time today to go after non-voters during the day. The republicans just have a voter roll -- much less efficient. And outmanned by Gillibrand.
All in all, I think that Sweeney's GOTV seems pretty thin, and until about a week ago, thinking he was ahead 14 points, he may not have really hustled. His arrogance of power may help bring him down. Wow, would that be a new story!
I'm a bit embarassed to admit it, but I'm 52 and I just spent my first real day of canvassing (NY-20). It was a great experience. As I was visiting people the campaigne felt were possible/likely to come out and vote, there were very few(but a few) who were hostile. I was canvassing a distict that was significantly covered by public housing.
I can say that I was completely humbled by a number of people who said, more or less, that the fact that I rang their doorbell and spoke with them made them feel like somebody actually cared about them, about their vote. They were very grateful.
For people who haven't done canvasing, or wonder if it's time well spent, I would say that if you pay attention, you will find there is a huge population out there that is really at the tipping point, and your coming to their house and talking with them makes a huge, positive difference for them. You may not see it on the spot, so to speak, but canvassing has a huge impact.
The last 48 hours have probably been the worst 48 in Sweeney's Life (NY-20). Outted on his wife's domestic violence call to State Police, he is in a desperate arriere garde operation, putting his wife on to play the offended innocent. NY-20 may be a real bellweather state (viz. Walter Shapiro) and it's looking bluer all the time.
I don't know if I'm getting the brush off, or if the campaign is hugely and quickly successful, but I called all the NYers (I'm in NY-20), telling them that I was from NY-20, give to other district campaigns and wanted their candidate to contribute to DCCC. I was told, often very quickly --eg. Maloney in NY-14 -- that she had given 250K to DCCC and 50k to individual campaigns since 9/30. I got similar responses from others. I would expect this campaign to work quickly if it works at all. Is there an update on who's given what?
democracyinalbany -- thanks for the heads up about the great exose of Sweeney in the times union. This story shoud be pushed into other local media -- WAMC may be sympathetic and effective. Maybe Gillibrand isn't ahead as much as this poll says, but we only need to be above 50%.
Sweeney's adds have become completely negative, feverish and 'scattershot' -- really indicative of desperation.
I would only remark on NY-20, where I am. The one indy poll -- Siena Research -- is not so 'indy' (I used to teach there and know those guys). They are pretty hardcore R's. Perhaps it's only wishful thinking, but my sense is that Cook wasn't off the mark in changing it to No Clear Favorite. One sees, for example, a lot of yard signs of local R's running, and Sweeney's name conspicuously missing. Chuck Todd on 19/6 showed this race rising to #31.
The demographics of the district have been changing significantly -- Saratoga County is the fastest growing county in the state outside Manhattan. Last fall, the Dems swept all the seats in the Saratoga Springs City Counsel. It's really not the same district Jerry "the Flag" Solomon represented. I think this may be the case with a number of upstate districts.
CQ Politics just re-rated NY-20 from Leans Republican to No Clear Favorite. This is my district; I've been doing targeted calling. Republican women who have never voted in a mid-term cycle are on the list, and I've been getting about a 70% positive response rate from these women. Sweeney is (and comes off in his ads) as a thug. Women don't like thugs.
I agree with KevStar. Run an ad that teaches the public 1) How powerful government powers are under FISA, and 2) that no, that's not enough for W. He wants a blank check (I'd show a blank check) to do anything he wants, including throw you in jail and deprive you of habeas corpus, etc.
I think that Hastert resigning would keep the story in the news primarily because the story would then move to the internecine warfare that would break out among Republicans for power. I think that's already going on, to some extent between Hastert, Boehner, et. al. If he stays in office, and says 'Sorry, I didn't cover anything up but I dropped the ball -- practically anyone would have dropped the ball" (Rumsfeldism) -- and promises to investigate, etc, etc., then I think the captivating part of the scandal will pretty much go away and be a memorable cloud over the party. I wouldn't hitch my wagon too much to the scandal. I would segue back to Iraq etc., as part of the general incompetence of Republicans to do anything right.
So far I haven't read poll analyses that include the way in which undecided generally break for the challenger. If there are 10-15% undecided in all these races, and the Republican incumbent (or heir) is more or less even, such as in MO, TN and maybe VA, wouldn't history indicate that these will go blue?
I agree with the thrust of spx151 and padraig26, and I'm very sympathetic to Chris. I have no trouble believing the media -- including pollsters -- have a bias towards Bush, but I also think that polling numbers done immediately on the heels of a dramatic event are hard to interpret as to their downstream significance. After Benson's "... and your no Jack Kennedy" line, I thought Bush (I) was dead (Quayle was always dead -- and it didn't matter!). But precisely the devastating moment was a sort of outlier, and I'm not sure having a poll done now about general stuff would be easy to gage. Now, if such polls were done every other Friday or some such thing, then over time ... Doesn't this make sense?