Political MoJo

Voter Protection Lines May Be Jammed. Guess Who's to Blame?

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 9:11 PM EST

Earlier this morning we reminded you of the outlet you have for voter outrage should you notice anything fishy as you engage in your civic duty. The phone number is 1-866-OUR-VOTE. The Dems also have a voter protection phone number 1-888-DEM-VOTE, where voters can call to report fraudulent activity as well as get advice on new machines, but you probably won't be able to get through. Today, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham told her listeners to bombard the lines.

Tell me if you think I'm crazy. This is what I'm thinking. I think we all need to call 1-888-DEM-VOTE all at the same time.

Fair play, huh?

And Ingraham didn't just let her callers handle the phones. You can listen to Ingraham here.

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Results Show Webb Taking a Narrow Lead in Key Senate Race

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 9:11 PM EST

Jim Webb is leading Republican incumbent George Allen in one of the nation's most closely watched Senate races. Early results give Webb 50 percent of the vote to Allen's 49 percent. The Democrat has soared in the returns after being down more than ten points in the tally just an hour ago.

CNN exit polls showed factors working at cross-currents for Webb: 57 percent of veterans and active duty military personnel voted for Allen vs 42 percent for Webb. Webb has hoped his credentials as an ex-Marine and Navy officer would give him a boost with security minded voters. However, Webb seems to be holding up against Allen with women voters. The polls showed 56 percent of women going for Webb and only 43 percent for Allen. Women tend to support Democrats by a margin of 8 percent, which would seem to indicate Webb hasn't been unduly affected by Allen's efforts to trumpet the Democrat's early 1980s opposition to women in the military.

The Webb/Allen race has been viewed as key as Democrats try to win the Senate and woo conservative voters in the upper south with a message of changing the course in Iraq.

Bye, Bye Blackwell

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 9:11 PM EST

The notorious secretary of state of Ohio has gone down.

1/3 of White Evangelicals Vote Dem and 57% of Late Deciders Slated to Vote Dem

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:45 PM EST

The Associated Press exit polls show results that initially mirror what many had been wondering to the run-up to today. Will evangelicals stay loyal to their Republican party? Maybe not. As of less than hour ago, 1/3 of white evangelicals voted Democrat. And yes, it's early, but US News and World Report has just reported that Fox exit polls show that 57% of late deciders will vote Dem.

DeLay To 110th Congress: 'Make My Day'

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:40 PM EST

Via ThinkProgress.org:

Moments ago on MSNBC, Christ Matthews asked former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) about what he would do to "stop" the 110th Congress from investigating the misdeeds of the 109th Congress and the administration. "My only answer to that," DeLay replied, "is make my day."

Bush Snubbed By GOP Candidates on Campaign Trail

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:27 PM EST

Get the details here.

In our current issue, April Rabkin reported on host of candidates running as fast as they can from Bush. Check it out.

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A Big Day Calls for a Big Lie

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:26 PM EST

Yesterday, in an attempt to rally the conservative base before the midterms, Bush's press secretary Tony Snow had a sitdown with Rush Limbaugh. Snow urged listeners to take the media's portrayal of gloom and doom in Iraq with a grain of salt, saying: "The war is more popular in Iraq than it is in the United States because the Iraqis actually get to see the Americans in action."

Now, no one expects Limbaugh to keep a close tally of the facts, but sitting in a recording studio shouldn't give his guests, especially those from the White House, carte blanche to mangle the truth. Considering that Iraq couldn't be much less popular stateside ("most polls show that only a third of Americans approve of the President's handling of the situation), Snow's remark is akin to Bush pointing at Robert Mugabe and saying, "hey my approval ratings are higher than that guy's."

Even using a low threshold of popularity as a basis for comparison, sentiment in Iraq towards U.S. forces hardly seems convivial. To put it in perspective, a recent poll done by Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes, found that six in ten Iraqis approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces. Moreover, it found that 78 percent of Iraqis think "the U.S. presence provokes more violence than it prevents." These findings are confirmed by the State Department's own poll that found two-thirds of Iraqis in Baghdad favor an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. The dismal situation in Iraq can be described as many things, but "popular" probably isn't one of them. In any case, it's safe to say that the White House's version of truth always comes with a not-so-small margin of error.

—Koshlan Mayer-Blackwell

A Soldier's Letter or Death Rattle?

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:20 PM EST

A Republican poll watcher writes in to the National Review's Jonah Goldberg:

Jonah,

Spent my lunch hours working the polls in the People's Republic of Old Town, Alexandria. My polling place is city hall, where Clinton et al. had their rally last night. I couldn't avoid the rally, since it was right around the corner from my house. The turnout and the energy of the crowd made me very concerned about the results today. True, this is a very liberal area, but I've been through many elections and never seen that sort of buzz for a political rally here. These people are pretty fired up. True to form, Clinton arrived late and spoke to long, crowding others off the schedule.

Turnout today was about 1,000 voters by lunchtime. Last year for the gubernatorial election, it was less than half that. While passing out Allen literature, I was called macaca once, and another person said he was getting his noose for Allen – a reference to a Post story about a noose he kept in his office I believe. The talk was generally that Allen ran a terrible campaign, and if this election decides anything, it is that Allen and Kerry are both toast for 2008.

A pickup truck with a coffin in it was parked in front of Market Square, the site of last night's rally. The owner appeared to be a middle aged Hispanic man, mourning his son who was killed in Iraq. He had a pickup truck with information on his son, and a coffin in the back with his service information. I wasn't close enough to hear, but he appeared to be blaming Bush for his son's death to the TV cameras. It was really a pretty moving sight. Although I think the conclusions he has drawn are incorrect, I am sure that sort of thing can sway many people.

My report from the front.

First Numbers of Key Senate Races Released

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 7:55 PM EST

What are supposedly CNN's early exit poll numbers (Hat Tip, ThinkProgress):

VIRGINIA

Webb (D): 52
Allen (R): 47

RHODE ISLAND

Whitehouse (D): 53
Chafee (R): 46

PENNSYLVANIA

Casey (D): 57
Santorum (R): 42

OHIO

Brown (D): 57
DeWine (R): 43

NEW JERSEY

Menendez (D): 52
Kean (R): 45

MONTANA

Tester (D): 53
Burns (R): 46

MISSOURI

McCaskill (D): 50
Talent (R): 48

MARYLAND

Cardin (D): 53
Steele (R): 46

TENNESSEE

Ford (D): 48
Corker (R): 51

ARIZONA

Pederson (D): 46
Kyl (R): 50

Lawsuits Filed by Democrats in Two States Push to Keep Polls Open Late. More Suits May be Pending. In Colorado, a Suit Rejected.

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 7:52 PM EST

A judge in Colorado denied an emergency request by Democrats to keep polls in Denver open an additional two hours after computer problems and unusually high turnout led to lines of up to 100 people.

According to the Denver Post, District Court Judge Sheila Rappaport argued that she didn't have the authority to keep the polls open, citing case law from Missouri and Arkansas. The Post story and a story in Denver's Rocky Mountain News didn't elaborate on the judge's reasoning.

In Ohio, CNN reported Democrats are awaiting a ruling on a similar suit. Democrats are asking that 16 precincts in Cuyahoga County—the Cleveland area—stay open until 10:00 pm tonight. Confusion over the use of new electronic voting machines had created long lines there. (Four to five House Republicans are in danger in Ohio, as well as Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who has been running behind in his race for governor)

According to Bloomberg, the voting rights group Election Protection is considering filing suits in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Florida to extend voting hours due to similar delays.