Sestak Fundraising Problems?

I may be reading this wrong, but did Joe Sestak only raise $48,351 in the third quarter? orms/C00419291/436581/

I know this is more of a question, so once it gets answered I'll delete this.

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IN-Pres Tight as a Tick. IN-Gov Not So Much

Cross-posted from Hoosier Progressive

A new survey from Public Policy Polling suggests the presidential race in Indiana is tight, with Senator Barack Obama holding a statistically insignificant lead over Senator John McCain, 48%-46%.  6% of voters are still undecided or prefer another candidate.  92% of voters are "firm" in their commitment, meaning there is a very small group of 'persuadable' voters.  Not a bad place to be in a pre-Powell poll.

Obama is buoyed by strong support from Democrats and a 10-point margin among Independent voters.  Obama is registering only 89% of black voters, which seems relatively low given the historic nature of his candidacy, considering John Kerry and Al Gore received similar support among black voters in 2004 and 2000, respectively.

Unfortunately, the numbers for Indiana Governor are grim.  Mitch Daniels is leading Jill Long-Thompson by a staggering 21 points, 57%-36%.  Daniels is winning 86% of Republicans, a large majority of Independents, and even 28% of Democrats.  I think this could be very true.  I realize this is anecdotal evidence, but I've talked to a few people around my age who are all Obama voters.  Several of them are voting for Mitch Daniels.  When I ask them why they would do such a thing, they say they have no reason not to and not ONCE could anyone even name the person running against Daniels.  Some of these are educated people.

This poll even looks at the two other statewide races, for Attorney General and for Superintendent of Public Education.  In the AG race, Democrat Linda Pence has a statistically insignificant lead over Republican Greg Zoeller, 42%-39%.  Republican Tony Bennett is leading Democrat Richard Wood by 38%-36% (read that as a tie, too).  The key in these races are the undecideds.  This far down the ballot, there are always a lot of undecided voters and most likely the party that can get the most straight party voters will prevail.

So, some great news, some okay news, and some really bad news.

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11/5/08: Democrats Lose Florida Congressional Seat

Breaking news from ABC.  Florida Congressman Tim Mahoney, who ousted child predator Mark Foley in 2006, is mired in a scandal.

From  ABC:

West Palm Beach Congressman Tim Mahoney (D-FL), whose predecessor resigned in the wake of a sex scandal, agreed to a $121,000 payment to a former mistress who worked on his staff and was threatening to sue him, according to current and former members of his staff who have been briefed on the settlement, which involved Mahoney and his campaign committee.

The affair between Congressman Tim Mahoney and Patricia Allen began, according to current and former staffers, in 2006 when Mahoney was campaigning for Congress against Foley, promising "a world that is safer, more moral."
(ABC News)

Mahoney, who is married, also promised the woman, Patricia Allen, a $50,000 a year job for two years at the agency that handles his campaign advertising, the staffers said. 997043&page=1

Mahoney was already in a tough race, and his campaign was heavily focused on "faith and family." This will all but certainly hand the election to his opponent.

I'm tired of Democratic politicians putting their libido ahead of their party.  They should know the consequences of their actions, and if they decide that an affair is more important than the Democratic Party, they need to leave politics.

Fuck you, Tim Mahoney.

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Economy Sinking John McCain's Ship

Cross posted at Hoosier Progressive and Bue Indiana

When Fox News has McCain losing in a poll, you know it's a bad day to be the Republican nominee for President.  According to the latest Fox News poll, McCain has dipped to 39%, with Barack Obama atracting 45% of voters.

This comes on the heels of a Washington Post/ABC News poll showing Obama with a 9 point edge over the Republican, 52% to 43%.  According to the poll,

As a point of comparison, neither of the last two Democratic nominees -- John F. Kerry in 2004 or Al Gore in 2000 -- recorded support above 50 percent in a pre-election poll by the Post and ABC News.

The daily tracking polls are universal in showing Obama leads as well.

Diageo/Hotline: Obama 48% to McCain's 42%

Gallup: Obama 47% to McCain's 44%

Rasmussen: Obama 49% to McCain's 47%

Research 2000: Obama 48% to McCain's 44%

But, but... the election isn't decided by the national vote, it's decided by the state votes.  Yep.  And a slew of newly released Marist polls show Obama leading in 5 of the top "battleground" states:

Iowa: Obama 51%, McCain 41%

Michigan: Obama 52%, McCain 43%

New Hampshire: Obama 51%, McCain 45%

Ohio: Obama 47%, McCain 45%

Pennsylvania: Obama 49%, McCain 44%

What is driving the McCain collapse?  It's the economy, stupid.  According to the ABC poll cited above, fully 50% of voters believe jobs and the economy are issue number one, and Obama has a 14% lead among those voters.  Iraq and national defense are the areas where McCain has the advantage, but those issues are virtually off the radar.

There is both good news and bad news for each candidate in these polls.  For Obama the good news is clear: the voters prefer him to McCain on the most important issues.  The bad news for McCain is that he probably can't spend enough money trying to drag himself out of the economy hole (voters just don't trust him on this issue).  The bad news for Obama is that while things are good for him now, something could easily happen in the next few weeks that shifts the focus back to McCain's area of strength.

If anything, the current economic crisis shows that the campaigns are all but irrelevant because they can't control the outside events which shape voter perception.  A candidate can spend $10 Million on an ad buy and it gets completely overshadowed by a collapsing stock market or a terrorist attack.

This is going to be a long 5 weeks, but if conditions remain relatively static, this election is Barack Obama's to lose and he may even find a 60-seat majority waiting for him on January 20th.

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$200 to Change Indiana

Cross-posted from Hoosier Progressive and at Blue Indiana.

So what's the story?
This November, Hoosier voters will have the opportunity to change the face of state government.  George Bush's former budget man Mitch Daniels is the current governor.  He has sold off the state's infrastructure and sold out to big business.  From daylight savings time to education to pollution to job creation, Mitch Daniels has been bad for Indiana.

The Democratic candidate is former Congresswoman and Clinton Undersecretary of Agriculture Jill Long Thompson.  Long Thompson is committed to the middle class and has a sound plan for economic growth.  She also has a plan to help Hoosier families get health insurance.  And she represents history by being the first female governor in Indiana's history.

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Obama-Biden Headed to Victory

The first public polls composed entirely of "Obama-Biden" versus "McCain-Palin" have been released, and they show strong numbers for the Democratic ticket.  According to the Gallup Tracking Poll, Obama-Biden is leading McCain-Palin by six points, 49% to 43%.  McCain's selection of Palin reversed the bleeding he experienced during Obama's successful convention, but not much.

A new CBS News Poll shows a more comfortable 8-point lead for Obama-Biden, 48%-40%.  The CBS poll was also taken entirely after McCain's selection of Palin, and shows that Obama has increased his lead over McCain, and there is evidence that Obama's convention energized an already-energized Democratic base:

Before the Democratic convention, McCain enjoyed a 12-point advantage with independent voters, but now Obama leads among this group 43 percent to 37 percent. Obama's lead among women has also grown to 14 points (50 percent to 36 percent), and the Democrat maintained the lead he had before the convention among voters who supported Senator Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries.

The poll shows an increase in the number of Obama voters who are enthusiastic about him. Sixty-seven percent of Obama voters say they enthusiastically support him, which is up from 48 percent who said so before the convention. About a quarter of McCain's backers are enthusiastic about him--unchanged from before the Democratic convention.

Sixty-three percent of registered voters say Obama understands their needs and problems, while just 41 percent say that about McCain. And after the Democratic convention, 58 percent of voters say Obama is "tough enough," which is up from 48 percent in early August.

Finally, USA Today commissioned a poll that shows a 7 point lead for Obama-Biden, 50%-43%.  The USA Today poll picks up on two points also seen in CBS poll, that McCain's negatives have increased (he is viewed more negatively and less favorably than Obama), and that there is a major "enthusiasm gap" between the candidates:

* McCain's favorable-unfavorable rating was 54%-38%, a healthy mark but his highest unfavorable this year. Obama's rating was 61%-32%.

In the poll, Democrats continue to benefit from an "enthusiasm gap." By 57%-28%, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they are more enthusiastic than usual this year. By 47%-39%, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they are less enthusiastic than usual.

One thing is clear: Obama is getting converts.  Even Clinton die-hard Howard Wolfson is an Obama man now. After attending Obama's speech at Mile High, Wolfson writes this:

For 18 months, I listened to Obama on television, sometimes intently, often just barely -- background noise to a running series of conference calls and meetings and e-mails.

In person, my attention undivided, I saw something of what so many others had seen for so long.

Perhaps that speech will be known for turning the campaign, but equally possible is that McCain's choice for VP will be "the moment." Despite claims from the Republicans that Palin was fully vetted, it seems clearer by the day that she wasn't vetted much at all.

First comes notice that they don't know each other:

In an interview with Roll Call two weeks ago, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) said she had met presumptive GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) only once or twice.

In the interview on Aug. 14, Palin said she did not remember the exact time she met McCain, but said it was in 2006 at the Republican Governors Association meeting. She said she met with McCain twice then, including one meeting with his wife.

In the same interview, she makes it clear she wasn't vetted:

"Those who are putting on the GOP convention, or the RNC" have asked for my speeches," she said. "But, no, I wouldn't consider that any kind of official vetting. So, again, more evidence of this out of the realm of possibility."

George Stephanapolous asks, "What else don't we know about Governor Palin?" Apparently that's a question the Republicans want an answer to as well:

ABC News journo also says about 10 Republican operatives, including lawyers, are heading to Alaska for more background work on Gov. Palin.

So much for a full vetting, right?

Of course, I kind of like learning about Palin bit by bit, day by day.  First comes news that the Governor's unmarried teenage daughter is preggers.  Normally I wouldn't think twice about it, but Governor Palin is an opponent of contraceptives and safe sex education, and a proponent of abstinence only.  Well we see how that works out...

Then the campaign adivses that Palin's husband Todd, the oilman and "first dude" of Alaska, had a DUI in 1984.  Not really news to me, but the McCain camp is clearly trying to get all the bad stuff they know about out of the way.

The most recent news to come to light is that Palin was a member of the fringe radical Alaskan Independence Party in the 1990's.  After seeing their platform, it's not really beyond the realm of belief that Palin was supporting Pat Buchanan in 1996 and 2000.

Palin left the AIP to become a Republican candidate for the office that constitutes most of her experience, that of mayor of a hamlet of 6,000 people.

I don't think we should pop the champagne just yet, but I think we should feel a lot better now than we did a week ago.

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Ohio Congresswoman In Critical Condition--Possibly Dead

Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones is either dead or in critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage (there are both reports out there).  Tubbs Jones is one of the leading black women in the US House and was a high-profile supporter of Hillary Clinton during the primaries.

Jones was also dedicated to electing African Americans to the Congress, helping early on make sure Andre Carson would succeed to his grandmother's Indianapolis seat.  She also was a prominent supporter of racist Democrat Nikki Tinker in her race against Tennessee congressman Steve Cohen.

My thoughts are with her and her family today. cID=news-000002939497

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State of the Race: Indiana IS for Obama

This is the first in a three-part series on the state of the race in Indiana.  Part I will focus on the presidential race.  Part II will be about the congressional races in Indiana.  Part III will focus on the importance of local races in Indiana and how they can impact the next decade of elections and the future of our Congressional delegation.

Cross posted from and at

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John McCain: Obama=Moses. WTF?

The McCain camp gets a little more desperate every single day.  We've seen the comparisons to Britney and Paris, and those were simply absurd.  Yesterday, they went a few steps further uploaded an online ad that compares Obama to Moses.  It's even got the parting of the sea thing going on with Obama's presidential seal coming out of the water.

I'm starting to think John McCain will do anything to be president.  I won't be shocked if he ends up pulling the plug on his 96 year old mother to give us an "October Surprise" and win a little sympathy vote.

I see the McCain campaign's minions (aka PUMAs) are hiding my comments. So I'll say it here. JOHN MCCAIN HAS NO PRINCIPLES. HE WOULD KILL HIS OWN MOTHER AND MAKE IT LOOK LIKE AN ACCIDENT IF IT WOULD MAKE HIM PRESIDENT.

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Please Help Indiana's Democrats!

If there's anything that Hillary voters, Edwards voters, Obama voters and all other Democrats can agree on, it's that we need more and better Democrats in office throughout the nation.  This year, we have a huge chance to change the face of Indiana for the next decade.

In 2008, Barack Obama is going to make a real play for Indiana.  He's in the process of opening two dozen campaign offices.  He's running ad after ad.  He's leading John McCain in public polling.  Indiana Democrats stand to benefit from his organizing in the state.

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