Blogs

CA Update: Pombo Race Close; Dream On, San Fran!

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 11:16 PM PST

Early updates from the Golden State: Pombo barely ahead of McNerny, 50.7 to 49.3—too early for either to qualify for endangered species protection. Pombo-sponsored anti-environmental "eminent domain" prop is up 50.8 to 49.2 with 19% of precincts in.

Meanwhile, 59% of San Franciscans have voted for a city policy calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. Wanna take bets on how long it takes for some savvy GOPer to use this as an example of the new Congress' "San Francisco values"?

Update: The Pombo-McNerny numbers were flipped. Advantage: treehugger.

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Webb Names Himself the Winner

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 11:13 PM PST

In a pretty gutsy move, Jim Webb just went on TV and announced that he won the Virginia senate race. Considering that everyone is saying a recount is imminent, and charges of voting irregularities are likely forthcoming, perhaps Mr. Webb is a bit premature. But, hey, good for him.

George Allen, for the record, went on TV earlier and said that the vote would continue into tomorrow.

Mother Jones ran a cover story on this race earlier today.

Allen Says Count Will Go All Night. And Virginia, County By County

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 10:36 PM PST

Allen says "stay strong for freedom and representational democracy." Which means he's trailing, but wanted to get some coverage before it gets too late.

CNN has the county by county breakdown. In Dem-leaning or swing counties —like Arlington and Fairfax in the first case, and Loudon in the latter)—a fair number of votes (say 7-10%) have yet to be counted.

CBS Calls Tennessee Senate Race for GOP

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 10:28 PM PST

Go here. If true, the Dems would need to win Virginia, Missouri, and Montana to gain a majority.

Looking to 2008: This Year's Secretary of State Races (Who will Replace Ken Blackwell?)

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 10:25 PM PST

Democrat Jennifer Brunner is solidly ahead of Republican Greg Hartmann in the race to fill the secretary of state job vacated in Ohio by (failed gubernatorial bidder) Ken Blackwell, who orchestrated the 2004 presidential election scandal in the nation's most important swing state. Across the country, returns are arriving for sec state races that could help decide whether Democrats get a fair shake in a tight 2008 presidential election race.

In general, Democrats in hotly contested swing states are running strong. Minnesota Democrat Mark Ritchie solidly leads incumbent Mary Kiffmeyer, who famously attempted to prevent absentee voters from changing their ballots after Sen. Paul Wellstone died that year in a plane crash. Nevada Democrat Ross Miller is ahead 11 points in (very early) returns against Danny Tarkanian, who wants to make voter-ID legislation his "first priority as secretary of state."

The bloodiest fights for Democrats are in the mountain West. Ken Gordon trails his opponent by roughly 100,000 votes in Colorado—a surprise in a race that had recently polled as a dead heat. In New Mexico—a swing state that went for Bush in 2004 by a margin of.79 percent--Democrat Mary Herrera leads Vickie Perea by two points.

For an analysis of how a new group, the Secretary of State Project, helped swing these races, see my Mother Jones story here.

Congress' First Muslim is From...

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 10:16 PM PST

Yes, indeed, Minnesota. Keith Ellison, an African American lawyer and father of four, Detroit-born, Catholic-raised convert to Islam (good profile here), is the new representative for the Fifth District, basically Minneapolis and its suburbs. If the experience of those of us who tangled with him back in college (yes, yours truly was an editor at the Minnesota Daily when Ellison's relationship with the Nation of Islam, an organization he's since denounced, was a major issue there) is any guide, Republicans in the House just gained a sharp, honorable adversary.

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Webb Slightly Ahead, Montana Also Close

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 10:15 PM PST

Recount looks possible in VA.

Orrin Hatch: Term Limits are for Nutcakes

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 9:49 PM PST

Halleluiah. Six more years of Orrin Hatch. By the time he is up for re-election he will have served 36 years in the U.S. Senate. To Democrats in Utah (all fifty of them), Hatch's hypocritical stance on term limits is a familiar part of the state's political folklore. During Hatch's first run for political office in 1976, he made term-limits a central part of his campaign against popular incumbent senator Frank Moss. He once told Moss, "Senator, you have served the people of Utah for 18 years; it's time to retire." (Source: "Legislators drag feet on term limits," Deseret News, December 17, 2003)

Not only has Orrin Hatch refused to follow his own wisdom that Washington should be run by citizen-legislators, not career politicians, but he--as chair of the Judiciary Committee--has been a major opponent of federally legislated term limits, this according to the Cato Institute.

-- Koshlan Mayer-Blackwell

The Year of the Woman?

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 9:40 PM PST

Some are saying that it is shaping up to be the Year of the Woman. All female senators up for re-election are projected to win and Nancy Pelosi will soon take her post as the first female Speaker of the House. But I'm not sure it is really time to pat ourselves on the back. There stand to be 15 female senators in the new Congress, but isn't 15% still pretty abysmal? In fact, in our January/February issue of this year, we reported that in comparison 35% of Iraq's parliament are women.

ExxonMobil's New Way To Spin Global Warming: Sponsor Network Election Coverage

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 9:24 PM PST

Driving the MoJo live blogging staff to distraction is that ExxonMobil seems to be sponsoring election coverage at CNN, MSNBC, Fox (for all, both TV and websites) and on the major papers' websites.

 exxon_web.gif

I guess that's where record profits go. That and to fund (as we broke in a major piece last year) global warming deniers.