Political MoJo

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.

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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.

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.

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

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 7:45 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 7:40 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 7:27 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.

A Big Day Calls for a Big Lie

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 7:26 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