Politics: October 2004 Archives

Jay Cost's Horserace Blog has a fascinating review of the major polling companies and what each says publicly about the methodology used to select a sample and weight results.

Another issue that has come to my attention is the problem of methodological publicity. As a person involved in academia, I cannot tell you how important it is for academics to make their methods available to the public at large. Most academic articles go to great lengths to explain their method before they actually provide you their results. The reason for this is that method matters. Unfortunately, a surprising number of polling firms do not make their methods available.

In addition to my own snooping on the internet, this evening I found an article written by incredible DJ Drummond that gives a superb summary of the methods and openness of each of the major polling firms in this election. I have relied on him for much of this piece. I believe many of these results will surprise you.

Cost summarizes Drummond's findings (click that link for Drummond's detailed and link-rich discussion of the major polling firms) and adds his own perspective. He considers Time, Battleground, and Gallup to be the only reliable polls -- the others weight too heavily toward Democrats or use questionable methodology.

Of course, polls can't tell you who really will turn out on election day, and in a close race it comes down to which side does a better job of getting their voters to the polls. That's why your involvement in Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts are crucial. In the Tulsa area, you can stop by Coburn for Senate HQ at 61st and Memorial (between Jason's Deli and Atlantic Sea Grill), the Republican election office at 52nd and Harvard (in front of Mardel's), at the Republican County Headquarters at 15th and Denver, and at 2191 E. Kenosha in Broken Arrow (on 71st west of 193rd East Ave aka County Line Road). They'll be calling through this evening and tomorrow, and tomorrow at 9, they'll be sending out precinct walkers from the 52nd and Harvard location. There will be more going on Monday and Tuesday until the polls close.

It will take a lot of volunteers to counteract all the paid workers the Democrats are using. This is a crucial election, especially for U. S. Senate and state legislature, so jettison your plans and make yourself available to help. It matters.

Demystifying the polls


Karol calls attention to The Horserace Blog, a great blog focusing on polls, and analyzing what they really mean, with a lot of information about how the different polling organizations do their work and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Jay Cost, the author of the site, is looking for about 45 people to watch and help analyze county-by-county results in battleground states as they come in. He points to the Florida situation in 2000 as an example:

In 2000, I attended an election party at my alma mater. My friend -- who, at our conservative newspaper, went by the name "Hawk" -- and I (and a few others) were keeping tabs on the vote totals in Florida. I gave up on this after the MSM called the state for Gore. But Hawk tenaciously kept his eyes on the county-by-county returns. While I was busy formulating a contingency strategy for Dubya to get to 270 ("if he wins IA, WV, TN, AR and WI..."), Hawk kept telling me, in his wonderfully understated southern drawl, "I don't know, Cost. I think they called Florida wrong!" I told him he was crazy, but sure enough...they called it back. Hawk was ahead of the curve by about 2 hours because he kept his eyes on the vote totals and knew what to expect in every county.

He lists a number of requirements to make this effort work. It looks pretty interesting, and I think his site will be worth watching on election night.

It's still (barely) Wictory Wednesday, the final one before what we hope will be a real victory celebration in seven days' time.

The polls are all over the place, especially in the presidential battleground states and here in Oklahoma's Senate race. Different pollsters have different ideas about which voters are likely to turn out. There are millions of new registrants -- will they show up at the polls? Which party's supporters are most motivated to show up on Tuesday?

Turnout is the key.

In Georgia in 2002, no one believed that the Republican Party could win the governor's mansion, take over the state legislature, and defeat incumbent Senator Max Cleland. But they did because a disciplined, focused turnout effort -- known as the 72-hour Task Force -- got Republican voters to the polls.

The Wictory Wednesday appeal this week is twofold. First, vote early, if you can, for President Bush and the Republican ticket. In Oklahoma, you can go to your county election board for in-person absentee voting from 9 to 6 on Friday, 9 to 1 on Saturday, and 9 to 6 on Monday. By voting early, you'll make sure you won't be too busy or forget on election day.

Second, volunteer for the 72-hour task force at www.72hour.com. There are roles for all sorts of volunteers. (They're even looking for attorneys to volunteer to help with any legal issues that may emerge.)

Signup for volunteers takes just a minute -- you provide contact information and when you're available to help from Friday morning through Tuesday evening. Do it now!

Below is the list of blogs participating in Wictory Wednesdays. If you're a blogger and would like to join in, e-mail PoliPundit at wictory@blogsforbush.com.

I've been wondering when someone would point this out. Mark Steyn does it as an aside in his latest column in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Speaking of which, if there's four words I never want to hear again, it's "prescription drugs from Canada." I'm Canadian, so I know a thing or two about prescription drugs from Canada. Specifically speaking, I know they're American; the only thing Canadian about them is the label in French and English. How can politicians from both parties think that Americans can get cheaper drugs simply by outsourcing (as John Kerry would say) their distribution through a Canadian mailing address? U.S. pharmaceutical companies put up with Ottawa's price controls because it's a peripheral market. But, if you attempt to extend the price controls from the peripheral market of 30 million people to the primary market of 300 million people, all that's going to happen is that after approximately a week and a half there aren't going to be any drugs in Canada, cheap or otherwise -- just as the Clinton administration's intervention into the flu-shot market resulted in American companies getting out of the vaccine business entirely.

Well, duh. TANSTAAFL.

Faithless in West Virginia


Monday morning on KFAQ, Michael DelGiorno, Gwen Freeman, and I were discussing the Electoral College, and the oft-forgotten reality that when you vote in the presidential race in Oklahoma, you're really voting for a slate of electors who will go to the State Capitol in December to cast the only votes that really matter for President and Vice President. Here's one of Tulsa County's sample ballots to illustrate the point (PDF format). Note that next to where you mark the ballot is a bracket containing the names of the seven electors nominated by the political party.

In most states, the political parties choose electors for their slate based on their years of service to the party and the expectation that the electors will remain faithful to their pledge to support the party's nominee. Oklahoma Republicans selected one elector nominee in each of our five congressional district conventions (which also selected three delegates and three alternates each), and then approved two electors, nominated by the state executive committee, at the state convention.

In some states, electors are bound by law to vote as pledged for their party's nominees. (Here are the state-by-state rules from 2000.) In Oklahoma, electors take an oath and are subject to fine if they violate that oath, but it is not known whether such penalties would be upheld by the Supreme Court. Here is an article, also from 2000, that looks at the legal issues, and past court rulings that might have a bearing on the question. In many states, electors are not bound by law or there are no legal penalties for voting contrary to pledge. (A defection would certainly mark the end of an elector's involvement in his political party, particularly if the defection mattered to the final result.)

West Virginia is such a state, and one of the five Republican nominees for elector has expressed his openness, if elected, to voting for someone other than President George W. Bush. Richie Robb is the mayor of South Charleston, West Virginia, and finished fourth in the Republican primary for Governor, which is apparently how he was chosen to be an elector. I can't find the reference, but I recall reading that the West Virginia Republican Party decided to nominate the five runners-up in the primary for Governor as the elector nominees. They didn't bother to find out whether all of them were Bush loyalists or not. Richie Robb is not a Bush loyalist.

It is often said that the presidential race is not one election, put 51 separate elections -- actually 56, when you add in the separate battles for individual congressional district electors in Maine and Nebraska. In 2000, there was talk of efforts to sway some of Bush's electors to vote for Gore out of respect for the popular vote result. If it's that close again, we may have a further 538 contests -- one each for the heart and mind and vote of each of the electors.

John Hospers, the founding father and first presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party back in 1972 (and the third-place Electoral College finisher with one vote, thanks to faithless elector Roger MacBride of Virginia) has endorsed the reelection of President Bush. His endorsement is worth quoting at length. All the complaints, however reasonable, about the growth of government during the Bush administration pale in comparison to the threat to life, liberty, and property posed by those who want to subject the United States to the rule of the speech-suppressors and money-grabbers of leftist fascism, and by the Islamo-Fascists who intend to subject the west to their laws or kill us all in the attempt.

Hospers believes that there is more than a "dime's worth of difference" between the two parties and that a John Kerry presidency poses a grave threat to civil liberties and national sovereignty:

The election of John Kerry would be, far more than is commonly realized, a catastrophe. Regardless of what he may say in current campaign speeches, his record is unmistakable: he belongs to the International Totalitarian Left in company with the Hillary and Bill Clintons, the Kofi Annans, the Ted Kennedys, and the Jesse Jacksons of the world. ...

The Democratic Party today is a haven for anti-Semites, racists, radical environmentalists, plundering trial lawyers, government employee unions, and numerous other self-serving elites who despise the Constitution and loathe private property. It is opposed to free speech: witness the mania for political correctness and intimidation on college campuses, and Kerry's threat to sue television stations that carry the Swift Boat ads. If given the power to do so, Democrats will use any possible means to suppress opposing viewpoints, particularly on talk radio and in the university system. They will attempt to enact "hate speech" and "hate crime" laws and re-institute the Fairness Doctrine, initiate lawsuits, and create new regulations designed to suppress freedom of speech and intimidate their political adversaries. They will call it "defending human rights." This sort of activity may well make up the core of a Kerry administration Justice Department that will have no truck with the rule of law except as a weapon to use against opponents.

"There's nothing wrong with a little indecision, as long as your job doesn't involve any responsibility."

David Zucker, director and writer of the "Naked Gun" series and "Airplane!", has directed a funny new ad for ClubForGrowth.net. Steve Moore, president of ClubForGrowth.net, would like you to take a look at it, and if you like it, to help fund its airing in key battleground states. Go here to view the ad (in Real Player, Windows Media Player, and QuickTime formats) and learn how you can help get it on the air.

There were rumors of bad news for John Kerry coming in the Washington Times this morning. Here it is (hat tip to Power Line). Kerry has repeatedly claimed that he conferred with the entire UN Security Council prior to his vote authorizing the use of force in Iraq. Not so. Read it for yourselves.

Nobel laureate quote of the week


"The idea that you can increase taxes and stimulate the economy is pretty damn stupid."

-- Arizona State University Professor Edward Prescott, 2004 Nobel Laureate in economics, in an interview in the Arizona Republic.

Election legal issues loom large


Maybe I should consider changing careers. The field of election law looks to become a booming industry.

Over at Rick Hasen's Election Law Blog, you'll find links to news stories around the country -- especially in swing states -- dealing with the nuts and bolts of administering elections. A sample:

  • The butterfly punchcard ballots in use in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, are even more confusingly designed that the notorious Palm Beach County, Florida, butterfly ballots used in 2000.
  • The U. S. Justice Department has filed a brief in support of Ohio's law requiring voters casting provisional ballots to do so in the correct precinct. A U. S. District Judge had thrown out the rule in response to a lawsuit from the state's Democrat Party. (Since the races on the ballot change from precinct to precinct, this seems only reasonable, but I guess not to the Democrats.)
  • Voters in Florida don't have much confidence in the paperless balloting to be used in 15 counties. One Palm Beach County Commissioner is urging voters to submit paper absentee ballots instead of voting on election day.
  • Four swing states allow voters to register when they come to the polls.
  • Columbus, Ohio, residents are getting phony calls, claiming to be from the County Election Board, telling them that their polling place has changed.
  • Colorado's proposition to allocate its electoral votes in proportion to the popular vote is slipping in the polls.

And much, much more. If nothing else, the 2000 election has alerted us to what can go wrong in an election. If we're honest about the problems, we're in a better position to fix them.

Kathryn Jean Lopez reports on NRO about Senate Democrat Leader Tom Daschle's attempts to reinvent himself as pro-life and pro-marriage, another example of the Democrats attempting to blur distinctions on issues that matter deeply to many voters. The article links to a blog that has been keeping a close watch on the South Dakota U. S. Senate race between Daschle and former Republican congressman John Thune: Daschle v. Thune.

(Daschle is also trying to reinvent himself as a South Dakotan, after claiming a homestead exemption on his house in DC, thereby declaring the DC house to be his domicile.)

Following up my entry about last night's edition of "Hardball", here's the relevant section of the transcript, an interchange between host Chris Matthews and William Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights:

MATTHEWS: Lets talk about the president‘s position.

What is the president‘s position on abortion rights, Bill?

DONOHUE: The president is a opposed to abortion. The president is a pro life person. The president understands and if a women is pregnant and carrying a child, then if you kill that woman, you‘re also killing the child as well. John Kerry doesn‘t understand that. The president understands that life begins at conception, as does John Kerry, except that the president is willing to take it a step further and say that is why you cannot destroy an embryo. Because if you destroy and embryo, your destroying life.

MATTHEWS: There are two ways—Bill—

DONOHUE: Kerry, is the one that is really the problem.

MATTHEWS: There are two ways, Bill, to outlaw abortion in this country. One is to have a constitutional amendment to change the constitution overturn Roe v. Wade. Well, you know this as well as I do, just reciting the obvious. And the second is that you appointment Supreme Court justices, a couple of them at least and that shifts it back against the Roe vs. Wade position, the Scalia position.

Very clearly, the president of the United States has not promised to do either of those. He‘s not promoting a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion, to overturn Roe v. Wade. He‘s not saying he‘s going to pick pro life judges. How can you say he‘s pro life, then, I don‘t get it.

He‘s not pro life.

DONOHUE: Take a look at the judges he has appointed already. I don‘t think there‘s any question about it, Kerry‘s the one says there‘s a litmus test. You can‘t be pro life to be on a bench.

MATTHEWS: The president has not said he‘s going to outlaw abortion. You know that, he makes a point of saying that all the time. I‘m not going to outlaw abortion, he said. The country is not attuned to right now. He says it all the time.

DONOHUE: But Christians know as well as I do, most Americans don‘t want to go back to the Roe v. Wade day, but they also don‘t like abortion on demand. There‘s a consensus in this country which neither the conservatives or liberals are paying attention to.

MATTHEWS: Don‘t call the president pro life—don‘t call the president pro life if you mean it...


MATTHEWS: But he doesn‘t want to outlaw abortion.

DONOHUE: Look, there are a lot of—the pope himself has said, he has come out and said it‘s OK for a legislature to vote for a law which doesn‘t outlaw all abortion, provide that it‘s more restrictive than the current law. He didn‘t say you have to get all or nothing.

MATTHEWS: I just think. I‘m only interested in the politics of this.

The president‘s getting vote from pro lifers because he‘s pro life.

I don‘t think they should be voting for think he‘s going to outlaw abortion if he gets another years. Bill, if the president gets another four years is he going to outlaw abortion, is he going to be pro life president?


DONOHUE: No, I don‘t think he‘s going to -- I don‘t think he‘s going to outlaw abortion. But what I think what he‘s going to do is put people on the court who won‘t have reflexive tendency to say that, if in fact, you‘re pro life you‘re not allowed to get on the bench. That‘s what Kerry wants to do. It even gets into the question of anti-Catholicism.

MATTHEWS: You know, Bill, you bought that from Ronald Reagan. I think these guys are very clever at suggesting a philosophical agreement with your position, fair enough they never deliver.

We‘ll be right back with upon Monsignor McSweeney and Bill Donahue.


"They never deliver." Read the whole transcript and you'll see that the point of the show was to persuade Catholics who are concerned about the abortion issue that they shouldn't make the issue a factor in their decision. In fact, the other guest during this segment, Monsignor Tom McSweeney of the Diocese of Erie, speaks of traveling around the diocese making that very case to the flock:

Chris, I‘m speaking to you from Pennsylvania. I‘m up in the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania. My diocese is the Erie Diocese, 13 counties. I‘ve been around the diocese. I‘m in charge of evangelization. Doing a lot of talking to people and getting a lot of counseling for this election because of some of the issues that are concerned here. And I tell you, the poll that you have quoted, the first one, not the one that bill Is referring to, resonates completely with the voices that I‘m hearing here in Pennsylvania.

They want to know first of all, if they can vote for a candidate who clearly is, you know, pro choice and we talk about that. In talking with these people I‘m finding that they are wanting to expand the conversation, the discourse to be all of the life issues, to develop a consistent ethic of life. And so some of them are liberating themselves from feeling badly about voting for Kerry, because they feel that, in fact, Kerry is offering offering more opportunities to expand the notions of life.

This is what I‘m hearing. So the new polls that are indicating that there‘s some success rate with Catholics seems to indicate that there‘s a shift in the pro life movement in a way to expand that conversation to include all of the life issues. In other words, to connect violence of abortion with violence of poverty, violence of capital punishment, violence of war.

So Msgr. McSweeney offers a different definition of what it means to be pro-life, one by which John Kerry qualifies as pro-life, despite his consistent support for legal and federally-funded abortion, and by which the President presumably doesn't qualify.

But let's look at the specific issues raised by the monsignor:

The violence of abortion: Kerry will ensure that abortion remains legal on demand and will obstruct, either directly or through the judges he appoints, even marginal improvements in protections for the unborn. Bush will appoint strict constructionist judges and will continue to work, as he has in his first term, to do all that is politically possible to protect the unborn.

The violence of poverty: It's a stretch to treat this as a life issue -- being killed in the womb is a far more permanent disability than being poor -- but we'll do so for the sake of argument. President Bush wants government assistance to help people emerge from poverty into financial stability, rather than maintain people in a state of dependency, and Bush wants to involve faith-based organizations in helping the poor build new and better lives. Kerry has gone back and forth on the issue, supporting the failed "War on Poverty" approach for most of his career, but supporting welfare reform in 1996 when he faced a serious reelection challenge from Gov. William Weld.

The violence of capital punishment: This point confuses the punishment due to those who take innocent life with the murder of the innocent. The teaching of the Catholic Church does not demand the abolition of capital punishment. The Pope has written, in his 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, "punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society." Catholic doctrine notwithstanding, both the President and John Kerry support the use of the death penalty.

The violence of war: Here again, both candidates supported the war in Afghanistan, and both have supported the war in Iraq (at one time or another, in Kerry's case). And here again, there is an invalid moral equivalence drawn between those who murder the innocent and those who take up arms to defeat murderous tyrants. Whether you believe it was politically wise or not, discoveries like the mass graves in Iraq filled with the skeletons of children clutching their toys, provide a moral justification of the use of force to stop the continued slaughter.

George W. Bush stands for the defense of innocent human life from tyrants and butchers. John Kerry will do nothing to stop or even slow the slaughter of innocents in this country or to act decisively against terrorists and their state sponsors.

Here's another Kerry contradiction the Bush campaign would do well to exploit. John Kerry cannot try to wear the mantle of tough guy and maintain his claim to be more pro-life than Bush by this broader standard. In claiming that he will "hunt... down and kill" the terrorists, or subject them to the death penalty, he is just as out of step with the pacifist caricature of Catholic doctrine on these issues as President Bush is.

Welcome, Corner readers


Welcome to all of you who found BatesLine through this morning's link in NRO's "The Corner". The post you seek is linked below, but while I have your attention, I want to urge you to help Tom Coburn, the Republican nominee for U. S. Senate in Oklahoma. Dr. Coburn is an obstetrician, a three-term congressman, and an eloquent advocate for the sanctity of human life. Coburn is in a tough race, against a slick, Clintonesque pro-abortion Democrat named Brad Carson, who has a ton of money, and is using it to remake himself as a pro-life conservative. Coburn is ahead, but the race is still close, and Carson will apparently do and say anything to win. The Senate could be won or lost right here, and Tom Coburn could really use your help. Click here to contribute.

And click here to read about Chris Matthews' claim that George W. Bush is not pro-life.

Mission: Depress pro-life turnout


Working late tonight, and I took a late dinner break at the nearby McDonald's. It was recently given a complete makeover -- a style I'll call High Tech Googie for the sake of calling it something -- and it's got a couple of big screen TVs. I sat down next to the one showing MSNBC, and "Scarborough Country" was just ending.

Then "Hardball" started, and the subject was the Catholic vote and a dramatic jump in John Kerry's support among white Catholics, according to a Pew Research survey. Then, host Chris Matthews was talking to Bill Donahue of the Catholic Action League. Matthews, with an unusually calm tone and demeanor, insisted that George W. Bush is not pro-life, that he's unfairly getting credit for being pro-life, but he isn't because he isn't even promising to ban abortion in his second term. Matthews repeated his assertion several times. (As soon as the transcript is online, I'll link to it.) According to Matthews, to be pro-life, the President would have either to promise to work for a constitutional amendment to ban abortion or to promise to appoint to the courts only those judges who are committed to overturning Roe v. Wade.

So a pattern begins to emerge. We saw another example in Andrew Sullivan's promotion of bogus numbers purporting to show that the number of abortions have been on the rise since Bush took office.

There was a study -- about the time of the 2000 election, if I recall correctly -- that said that abortion was a decisive issue for about 15% of voters. 9% of voters nationwide would vote only for a pro-life candidate, 6% would vote only for a pro-choice candidate. That's a 3-point advantage for the pro-life candidate in a race with a clear distinction between candidates on the abortion issue. And that's why the Democrats are so desperate to take the issue off the table by blurring the clear distinction between Bush and Kerry, and, in theOklahoma senate race, between liberal, pro-abortion Democrat Brad Carson and conservative, pro-life Republican Tom Coburn.

Chris Matthews surely understands that there is not the political will in this country to support a full-on effort to ban abortion. A "Human Life Amendment" to the Constitution would not pass Congress, and even if it did, it would probably fall short of the required number of states for ratification. If the President were to announce a policy of only nominating judges committed to overturning Roe v. Wade, he'd be accused of trying to overturn the Constitution. There is not a pro-life majority in the Senate, and Bush has had a hard enough time getting his judicial nominees confirmed even without an explicit "litmus test." Bush has said he will appoint only judges committed to interpreting the law, not making it, a stance which implies rejection of the "emanations and penumbras" approach taken by the court in Roe v. Wade.

In the current political climate, there is not a popular consensus for banning abortion, but there is a consensus for restricting abortion at the margins -- banning barbaric practices like partial-birth abortion, insisting on parental notification when a minor has an abortion, requiring a woman to give informed consent before an abortion. There is also a consensus that government shouldn't be funding abortion services or the promotion of abortion, here or abroad, and that clinics and hospitals should not be required to provide abortions as a condition of receiving federal funds for other services. All of these incremental changes help to save lives, and President Bush has promoted and supported these changes, while Senator Kerry has opposed them.

See for yourself: The National Right to Life Committee has fact sheets (in PDF format -- handy for printing and handing out at church) comparing the records of the presidential candidates and Senate candidates in key states. (Here's the one for the Coburn-Carson race.) And here's another PDF factsheet with detail on Bush's pro-life record.

It looks like there is a coordinated effort, with the cooperation of the mainstream media, to blur distinctions on issues where the Democrats are out of step with the majority of Americans. It will take concerted grass-roots efforts to get the truth out that there is a clear difference on issues that matter.

UPDATE: Kathryn Jean Lopez of NRO has an interview with a pro-life obstetrician on the specific things Bush has done to aid the cause of the unborn and what Kerry has done to hurt that same cause.

Thictory Thursday: South Carolina


I missed posting on Wictory Wednesday, so I'm going to make it up today:

This week's spotlight race is on South Carolina and Jim DeMint. The Club for Growth has made electing Jim DeMint one of their highest priorities (just behind electing Tom Coburn). Here's what Club for Growth President Steve Moore has to say:

Jim is one of the most free-market and principled men in Congress. Columnist George Will was exactly right when he wrote that if DeMint wins “the Senate will acquire a distinctive voice.” He has been a leading advocate of the key economic growth issues of our time, and has a rock solid voting record, earning “A” grades from the National Taxpayers Union four times.

His liberal opponent, Inez Tenenbaum, has been plastering Jim for his support of replacing the income tax with a fair and simple tax system. Her TV ads are a complete distortion of his position. What a surprise . . . liberal lies against a free-market champion.

Tenenbaum favors retaining the dreadful Death Tax. In her post as State Superintendent of Education, she supported massive statewide tax hikes and opposed school choice. With all her backing from lawyers, it’s no surprise she opposes tort reform, too.

The latest poll shows Jim’s lead at just three points.

You can donate to the DeMint campaign here, or through Club for Growth here.

Here's what PoliPundit has to say about the race:

Republican Congressman Jim DeMint is slightly ahead of his Democrat opponent in the race for South Carolina’s open Senate seat. But he needs one last push to close the deal. If you don’t want to see more Democrats in the Senate, you can help DeMint by donating to his campaign.

Below is the list of blogs participating in Wictory Wednesdays. If you're a blogger and would like to join in, e-mail PoliPundit at wictory@blogsforbush.com.

Stick a fork in him


Andrew Sullivan appears to be in the terminal stages of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Once a mighty warblogger, now a single-issue zealot (in support of gay marriage), he's adopting the Brad Carson technique of trying to make pro-life voters think the pro-life candidate really isn't. The hope is at least to plant the seed of doubt so that pro-life voters aren't as motivated to turn out. Little Boy Brad has done this in the Oklahoma Senate race by turning the fact that Tom Coburn has performed two surgeries to save a pregnant woman's life by removing an ectopic pregnancy into a blatantly false accusation that "Tom Coburn is an abortionist."

So now Andrew Sullivan (no relation to any of Tulsa's political Sullivans, who are not at all related to each other) wants pro-life voters to believe that abortions are on the rise in the Bush years. Dawn Eden has the straight scoop here and a pithy conclusion, too.

Each week our church runs a one-minute promotional spot on the local Christian radio station. In last week's minute, Pastor David O'Dowd provides a sixty-second Christian voter guide. He makes no mention of parties or candidates, but urges Christians not to vote based on outward appearance or tradition or self-interest. Instead, we're to vote biblically, and Pastor O'Dowd lists a few questions for a voter to consider as he casts his vote. Here's the spot in MP3 format.

The previous week's spot talks about the importance of judges and voting for officials who will restrain the judiciary from becoming an unaccountable oligarchy as Thomas Jefferson warned. "We need the rule of law and not judges who become the law."

These spots are fine examples of being direct and thought-provoking about key issues without making the church serve either party or any particular candidate.

You can make a difference


NYC Republican blogger Scott Sala tells of his day knocking doors in Philadelphia for President Bush:

In that first hour of waiting for people to arrive, I was struck by three amazing facts that left me extremely optimistic for Bush. First, the simple numbers. 25 or so New York City residents traveled on their own dime, paid for their own hotels and were about to put in their own volunteer effort for Bush. In PA. Second, the sheer diversity of the group. I expected all young people ready to walk the streets for hours, but we had people of walks of life - kids, seniors, Jews, Christians, Chinese, Greek, White, you name it. And last, probably most significant, I think I met at least 3 people who were life-long Democrats who were voting for Bush this year. All of them had become outcasts or were in hiding among their NYC friends, but none cared. Bush had to win for them....

The first door I knocked on was an elderly widow who was the quintessential undecided voters. We spoke for about 10 minutes, perhaps too long with the work ahead, but necessary nevertheless. She expressed concern for her grandchildren saying issues for her hardly mattered since she had little time left on this earth. I talked of education and taxes and security. We bonded well in a short time. Strangely, she started to mention the two candidates but couldn't quite get Kerry's name right. Something like John ____. She didn't know it. This led me to believe the undecided factor was all about Bush. She just needed convincing he was good enough to go it again. And I did convince her. We ended the conversation with her agreeing Bush deserved a chance to finish what he started, in Iraq and on the economy.

Here in Tulsa, there are plenty of opportunities for you to help between now and election day. Oklahoma has a crucial Senate race and a battle for control of the state legislature. Any time of day, for any length of time, there is something you can do to help the cause. You can be involved with calling voters or talking to them at their doors, or if you're shy, there are tasks to be done where you won't have to talk to anyone. Just call Tulsa County Republican Headquarters at 627-5702 and let them know what you can do to help.

What's up with electoral-vote.com?


A couple of weeks ago I sang the praises of electoral-vote.com, a website devoted to tracking state-by-state polling in the presidential race. It is a technically impressive site, making great use of maps and charts, and providing all the data for download if you want to do your own analysis.

Over the last couple of days, the webmaster has come to the conclusion that evil Republicans are trying to take his site down. I can't imagine why, as his presentation of the data has been very even-handed, even though he is a Kerry supporter. More likely his site has been deluged with visitors because it is the best at what it does.

Until a couple of days ago, he had a page showing a projected final result, based on applying statistical analysis to the poll results and projecting a trend in each state to November 2. The projected final consistently showed Bush with over 300 electoral votes, victorious everywhere except the Pacific coast, the Northeast, and a couple of Rust Belt states. As of yesterday, the projected final page is no longer linked from the home page, and may be down altogther. It just may be too depressing to put all that work into a beautiful website, only to show that your candidate is headed to certain defeat.

The webmaster, as I said, is a liberal, but has tried to be even-handed. He's bound to be overwhelmed by the success of his site and by the challenge of keeping up with the flood of state polls -- where they were once weeks apart, a battleground state may have four or five polls happening simultaneously. The webmaster has had to figure out how to account for overlapping polls in his methodology.

I'll bet he's exhausted as well as discouraged. If you appreciate his site as I do, you might drop him a note, thank him for his work, and give him permission to take a day off now and then to recharge the batteries.

Wictory Wednesday: Tom Coburn


It's Wictory Wednesday again, a weekly web reminder on dozens of blogs to support a Republican candidate in a key U. S. Senate race. Today's spotlight is on our own Tom Coburn, who is running neck and neck against liberal Democrat Brad Carson for the seat currently held by Don Nickles.

When I heard that Nickles planned to retired at the ripe young age of 54, the first name that came to mind, the person I most wanted to see in the U. S. Senate, was Tom Coburn. During his years in Congress, he was one of those "Class of '94" stalwarts who insisted that the Republican Party follow through on the promises it made for lower taxes, smaller government, and fiscal responsibility. That's why the Club for Growth has made electing Tom Coburn their number one priority. The Senate needs someone with his character and determination.

You can donate to the Coburn campaign here

Here's what PoliPundit has to say about the race:

Coburn is the more talented candidate, but Carson is benefiting from a systematic campaign by Oklahoma media to boost his candidacy. Coburn needs our help to tip the scales. A few dollars can go a long way towards buying advertising that highlights Coburn’s conservatism and Carson’s liberalism.

Below is the list of blogs participating in Wictory Wednesdays. If you're a blogger and would like to join in, e-mail PoliPundit at wictory@blogsforbush.com.

It's Wictory Wednesday again, a weekly spotlight on a Republican candidate in a key Senate race, hosted by dozens of blogs.

The spotlight race this week is in North Carolina, the open seat being vacated by Democrat VP candidate John Edwards, pitting Republican Congressman Richard Burr against former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles. Bowles got off to an early lead, but Burr has closed the gap. Your contribution could help put him over the top. North Carolina is a solid state for W, but W needs the support of a solid Senate majority. Click here to contribute to the Richard Burr campaign. Every little bit helps.

Below is the list of blogs participating in Wictory Wednesdays. If you're a blogger and would like to join in, e-mail PoliPundit at wictory@blogsforbush.com.

Scott Sala of Slant Point reports that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn't willing to help Republicans get elected in local races, so New York Republicans need to band together and make it happen themselves:

One of the best opinion-shaping methods is endorsements. With a Republican mayor, you'd think he could help propel Republicans into a few offices this year, especially after a pretty decent term and a successful RNC Convention. But he refuses to do so.

Bloomberg is claiming to simply desire to keep his voting private. This is a load of crap. He chose to be a politician and courted the Republican Party to do so. He won, with our help. Now, Mr. Mayor, help us....

Well, Mr. Bloomberg, you are not a Republican. You wear our clothes, come to our parties and smile when we enter the room, but you offer sporadic help at best. Yes, thank you for helping put on an amazing convention. But that was not only supposed to get Bush re-elected, but also propel the Republican Party within New York City forward.

We were moving, but like the morning commute you and nearly every other New York takes every day, the train just jerked. You pulled the emergency brake and left us with coffee spilled on our clothes, sweat building up, tempers flaring, and ultimately our candidates will be late for their interviews.

And Republicans will not get the job.

Bloomberg's distance from the party is no surprise, but it is a momentum killer. The convention brought a lot of NYC Republicans up from the catacombs, and Bloomberg could have been part of mobilizing them to help local candidates. Instead, with no clear direction from party leaders and elected officials, talented and energetic young Republicans are headed elsewhere to try to make a difference. (E.g. Karol, who has gone to Colorado, and Jessica, who is heading to Iowa.)

Little Boy Brad's role model


On the drive to school this morning:

Joe: "I hope President Bush is going to win."

Dad: "I think he will. It's looking better all the time. But I'm not sure if Tom Coburn will beat Brad Carson. That race is really important."

Joe: "Brad Carson sure lies a lot."

Dad: "Yeah. He tells a lot of half-truths. Do you know what a half-truth is?"

Joe: "No."

Dad: "It's when you say something that's true, but you leave out some important information that would change the way people would think about what you told them. It's not giving them the whole picture."

Dad: "I'm trying to think of a good example...."

Joe: "The serpent in the garden?"


About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from October 2004.

Politics: September 2004 is the previous archive.

Politics: November 2004 is the next archive.

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