Political MoJo

Hostettler's Out in Indiana

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 9:03 PM EST

Roll Call reports that John Hostettler, the Indiana Republican, has been unseated by Brad Ellsworth, a county sheriff. A handful of other Republican incumbents in Indiana could share Hostettler's fate, among them Mike Sodrel, Anne Northrup, and Chris Chocola. Stay tuned.

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Massachusetts Elects its First Black Governor

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:47 PM EST

Deval Patrick, a former Clinton administration official, has just been declared the winner of Massachusetts' widely watched gubernatorial race, becoming the first black governor in the state's history. Judging from the poll figures, he gave his opponent, Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, a drubbing too.

Bye, Bye Katherine Harris

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

The Republicans that Democrats love to hate are continuing to fall. CBS reports that Bill Nelson has taken the Florida senate race, meaning Katherine Harris is out. Harris has sunk her personal wealth into the race and may face a criminal investigation on bribery/corruption allegations. Difficult days ahead...

Bye, Bye Mike DeWine

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:39 PM EST

CBS names Sherrod Brown the winner of the Ohio senate race. Not a particularly close one in recently weeks, because Mike DeWine was a firm member of the culture of corruption that plagued the Republican Party. A reborn and more voter-friendly GOP has to get rid of members like DeWine.

Values Voters, Again?

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:34 PM EST

Earlier today, I reported that gay marriage was not likely to succeed as a conservative vote-getter this election cycle. The issue is not whether conservatives support gay marriage, but rather whether anti-gay measures bring conservatives to the polls who might otherwise have stayed home. CNN's early exit poll results indicate that six in ten voters say values issues like abortion and gay marriage influenced their choices.

But the question is too broad to suggest that gay marriage got conservatives into the polling booth--it does not specify, for instance, whether the voters support or oppose "values" legislation. CNN's results—which are currently only available for two states, Virginia and Tennessee, where anti-gay marriage amendments are on the ballot—also show that the single strongest predictor of a vote against gay marriage is strong approval of how George W. Bush is handling his job. Read: extreme Republican partisanship of the sort that would lead someone to vote with or without the proposed constitutional amendment.

Both amendments are likely to pass. But amendments in Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota and Wisconsin face uncertain outcomes and promise to tell us more about the status of gay marriage in 2006.

Laura Ingraham Tells Listeners To Jam Voter Protection Hotline

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:33 PM EST

It was only a matter of time before radio host and talking head Laura Ingraham crossed the line from ridiculous to dangerous, and today was her big day. Ingraham encouraged her radio listeners to jam a free voter protection hotline after playing an audio tape of DNC Chairman Howard Dean informing Democrats to use the hotline.

Wait a second! So — (Laughter) you call 1 888 DEM VOTE — otherwise 'Dim Bulb Vote' or 'Dumb Vote' — and all you do is get tranferred to muzak, then they cut you off. This is what I'm thinking. 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. And, by the way, when you call, when you call the number — and remember, it's 'Dem Vote' not 'Dumb Vote' — when you call the number, as we did, and we got transferred, transferred, then we just got hung up upon. You know, we're supposed to have these election teams within a matter of minutes, they're supposed to be coming to the polls. Can you imagine what those people look like? Halloween all over again. So if you have trouble with the poll, you're supposed to call, via 1 888 'Dumb Vote,' and this is what you get.

Given the trouble that people have gotten into for intentionally jamming election phone lines in the last few years, Ingraham may be on thin ice.

Think Progress has the audio available here.

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Bye, Bye Santorum

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:31 PM EST

CBS calls Pennsylvania for Bob Casey, meaning America (maybe? hopefully?) has seen the end of Rick Santorum.

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

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:11 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.

Results Show Webb Taking a Narrow Lead in Key Senate Race

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 8:11 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 8:11 PM EST

The notorious secretary of state of Ohio has gone down.