Archive for October 2010
In the past two weeks, Republican Christine O’Donnell has narrowed Democrat Chris Coons’ lead in Delaware’s U.S. Senate race from 19 points to 10 points. The latest Monmouth University Poll finds Coons has the support of 51 percent of likely voters to 41 percent for O’Donnell. Two weeks ago, this race stood at 57 percent to 38 percent.
O’Donnell has actually pulled into a 49 percent to 43 percent lead in the southern part of the state (i.e. Kent and Sussex counties). Two weeks ago, this region of the state was divided at 47 percent for O’Donnell and 46 percent for Coons. The Democrat continues to hold a sizable advantage in New Castle County, but the current 56 percent to 36 percent margin is down from the 63 percent to 33 percent edge he held earlier this month.
O’Donnell has also made gains among independent voters, now leading Coons 47 percent to 42 percent among this voting bloc. Two weeks ago, she trailed in the independent vote by 51 percent to 41 percent.
“While Coons still has the advantage, it has to be uncomfortable knowing that O’Donnell was able to shave nine points off his lead in just two weeks. The interesting thing is that while her vote total has risen, the majority of Delaware voters still say she is unqualified for the post,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
The poll found that just 35 percent of likely voters in Delaware feel that Christine O’Donnell is qualified to be a U.S. senator, while 56 percent say she is unqualified. That contrasts with their opinion of Chris Coons, who 65 percent say is qualified for the U.S. Senate to 25 percent unqualified. These qualification results for O’Donnell and Coons are basically identical to the Monmouth University Poll results from two weeks ago.
However, O’Donnell has seen some improvement in voters’ opinion of her personally, while Coons’ rating has dropped. O’Donnell is now viewed favorably by 34 percent of the electorate and unfavorably by 51 percent. Two weeks ago, this stood at 31 percent favorable to 58 percent unfavorable. Coons has a 45 percent favorable to 39 percent unfavorable rating, compared to a 50 percent favorable to 33 percent unfavorable rating two weeks ago.
While the Senate election has experienced some movement, there has been little change in the race for Delaware’s at-large House seat. The poll finds Democrat John Carney holding a 51 percent to 44 percent lead over Republican Glen Urquhart in the race to fill the vacant House seat. That marks a slight narrowing of the gap from Carney’s 53 percent to 44 percent margin two weeks ago.
Delaware voters’ personal ratings for the two major party House candidates have remained fairly stable. Carney has a 46 percent favorable to 28 percent unfavorable rating, with 26 percent offering no opinion. Urquhart has a 38 percent favorable to 27 percent unfavorable rating, with 35 percent offering no opinion.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone with 1171 likely voters from Oct. 25 to 27, 2010. This sample has a margin of error of + 2.9 percent.
Karl Rove sounded the warning bell for the Democratic Party in Tuesdays elections: It will be a crushing rebuke of first two years of the Obama administration.
He writes this morning in the Wall Street Jounral:
Midterm elections are almost always unpleasant experiences for the White House, especially when the economy is weak. But key races that should have been safe for the party in power demonstrate the extent to which President Obama and his policies have nationalized the election.
In Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a huge war chest in a state Mr. Obama won in 2008 by 12 points. Mr. Reid trails Sharron Angle by four points in the latest Rasmussen poll.
In West Virginia, Joe Manchin, a popular Democratic governor, is running for the Senate, yet he lags behind John Raese by two points in the Oct. 23 Fox News Poll, largely because of Mr. Obama’s 30% approval rating in the state. Mr. Manchin is running away from the president, telling Fox News that Mr. Obama is “dead wrong on cap and trade,” and that he would not have supported ObamaCare had he known everything that was in the bill.
Or take the Illinois Senate seat held by Mr. Obama before he was elected president. It should be safely Democratic. Instead, Republican Congressman Mark Kirk has led Illinois Treasurer and Obama basketball buddy Alexi Giannoulias in eight of the 10 polls taken this month. It will be a terrible embarrassment if the president’s former Senate seat flips.
Elsewhere, some powerful Senate Democrats were either forced out by popular Republican challengers (North Dakota and Indiana) or they trail badly because their races became nationalized over the Obama agenda (Arkansas, Missouri and Wisconsin).
One of the more interesting Senate races is in Ohio, where Rob Portman, a former trade negotiator and budget director for George W. Bush, leads Democratic Lt. Governor Lee Fisher by an average of 19 points in a state Mr. Obama carried by four points.
Ohio is no longer friendly Obama territory. An August survey by Public Policy Polling reported that Ohioans would prefer George W. Bush in the White House today rather than Mr. Obama by 50% to 42%. Mr. Portman campaigns relentlessly on jobs, presenting a principled, optimistic case that conservative policies mean economic growth. It’s a winning strategy.
The Washington Post announced that it will join with Intersect.com in an effort to get on-the-ground answers from participants in Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” on the National Mall this weekend.
Rally patrticipants will “help us cover the rally and answer reporters’ questions about the event.”
Comedy Central estimated in its permit application for the rally that as many as 25,000 people would attend the event, which is scheduled for Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. More than 220,000 people had RSVP’d for the event on Facebook as of late Monday, but it’s difficult to gauge how many will actually turn out.
The Story Lab team will be filing stories throughout Saturday’s events on the Mall via Intersect, a new site designed to collect and present stories live and from the scene. Here on washingtonpost.com and on Intersect’s site, we’ll be documenting the scene and asking those in attendance and those watching at home to weigh in on the politics vs. entertainment question. Please join us.
SIGN UP: If you’d like to share your own rally stories on Intersect, visit Intersect.com and use the invite code “washingtonpost” to create an account.
Maybe the first question could be: Have you found a port-a-potty yet?
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Post’s link to Intersect.com is broken on the Post’s site. A ticket has been ordered to fix it. Here is a working link to the web site.
MSNBC host Chris Matthews yesterday compared Tea Party activists to the Nazi SS thugs of the 1930s and wondered when they will start wearing uniforms.
His comments were made during a “Hardball” segment concerning on the MoveOn.org activist who was stomped on by a Rand Paul supporter earlier this week.
This is the “kind of stuff we saw from hoodlums in the ’30s in another country I will not mention,” he said. “What is this behavior by American political activists where they now arrest people, stomp them? These are supposed to be people who are just good old American tea partiers.”
Matthews also talked about what happened in Alaska when security for GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller briefly detained a blogger.
“I gotta wonder when people are gonna start wearing uniforms. I mean they’ve got an army out there in Alaska of militia people. You’ve got these guys going around acting like street thugs. I mean it isn’t far from what we saw in the thirties, where all of a sudden, political parties started showing up in uniform.”
Here is the AP video:
Conservatives have said that eyewitness reported Valle was lunging at Rand Paul, trying to shove a sign in his face and start trouble. They have pointed to this video for their evidence.