Political MoJo

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

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 1:36 AM EST

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.

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CBS Calls Tennessee Senate Race for GOP

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 1:28 AM EST

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?)

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 1:25 AM EST

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...

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 1:16 AM EST

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.

Webb Slightly Ahead, Montana Also Close

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 1:15 AM EST

Recount looks possible in VA.

Orrin Hatch: Term Limits are for Nutcakes

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 12:49 AM EST

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

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The Year of the Woman?

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 12:40 AM EST

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

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 12:24 AM EST

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.

Fighting Dem Joe Sestak Shoots Down Curt Weldon in PA

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 12:21 AM EST

Weldon's loss to a war vet illustrates how swift boating efforts can backfire. Republicans accused Sestak of improperly wearing his uniform while campaigning, claiming the wrong military rank and abusing subordinates while in the Navy. For a complete rundown on Republican swift boat efforts this year, and the Democrat response, see my Mother Jones story, Swift Boating the Fighting Dems. The American Prospect later reported that Weldon's campaign had queried Weldon's Navy colleagues for dirt on Sestak, in possible violation of House rules. In more ways than one, Weldon wrapped up the month looking like a dirty bird: mid-month the FBI raided his daughter's house as part of an investigation into whether he helped her win lobbying and consulting contracts.

Yaaaawn....

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 12:14 AM EST

Ahnold, Feinstein and Senator Daniel Akaka (Sen., D-HI) win.