Category Archives: Politics: US: 2006 Election

DSCC Statement on VA & MT

I have no time, so here, unedited and uncommented, is the latest DSCC statement:

Both Jon Tester and Jim Webb have won their races in Montana and Virginia but want to make sure that every vote is counted. We expect to have official results soon but can happily declare today that Democrats have taken the majority in the U.S. Senate.

Montana Vote Situation: Jon Tester leads Conrad Burns by approximately 1,700 votes (as of 11am EDT) and counting. In Silver Bow County (Butte), a Democratic stronghold, votes are still being counted but Tester is winning there with 66% of the vote. We expect to gain the majority of these uncounted votes and to add to Tester’s margin.

Montana Process: When the counting phase is completed, a canvass will verify the vote tallies. That process could take as long as 48 hours, and must begin within three days and end within seven. Unless the canvass shows the margin to be within ¼ of 1%, there is no recount. As the loser, Burns would have to request the recount. When the votes are all counted, we expect to be outside that recount margin.

Virginia Vote Situation: Jim Webb is up by approximately 8,000 votes and once the provisional ballots are counted, we expect Webb’s margin to increase. (Please note that VA absentees were included in the tallies from last night.)

Virginia Process: A canvass is underway to verify the results and we expect that process to finish within a day or so. To be in recount, the margin needs to be less than 1% and Allen (as the loser) would have to request it. Because of Virginia voting laws, the margin would have to be much tighter than it currently is to see any change in the outcome. Given the current margins, that is highly, highly unlikely.

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This really is a huge Democratic victory. As far as I can tell, not a single Democratic incumbent lost a governorship, or national legislative seat. Not. A. Single. One.

Democrats have a resounding victory in the House — gaining about 30 seats even before the dozen or so too-close-to-calls get called. And this in the face of the routine gerrymanders.

The Senate hangs by two threads, one in Virginia, one in Montana. I don’t pretend to grasp what on earth is going on in Montana, but if this is to be believed, there’s a decent chance Tester — one of the most attractive candidates this year — will pull through. Virginia, I suspect, is going to be litigated whatever happens. Even if the Democrats were to lose both contests, a four seat gain is a big victory. And the Democrats will control the Senate after 2008 unless something very odd happens in the Presidential election which contaminates the downballot.

Potentially even more important in the long term are two tectonic shifts signaled by this election.

The first is that the GOP is being reduced to a predominantly Southern party. Democrats have a lock on New England and I foresee greater gains in the West. That makes the mid-west the major battleground — and this election suggests that the mid-West may be reverting to its historically Democratic leanings.

The South is not as different from the rest of the country as it used to be — although it is more evangelical — so being Southern-dominated is not the albatross it once was. Nevertheless, regional dominance of any sort is not a recipe for national success. And evangelical dominance is not a national vote-winner in this Elmer Gantry moment.

The second shift is internal: the new model Democratic party is much more populist than it was last week. Just as the GOP has lost some of its nastiest and stupidest representatives (along, yes, with a few good ones) such as Tom DeLay (by resignation), “Count” Chocola, and Pombo, so too the Democrats elected to the House are by and large smart, insurgent, outsiders.

They are mostly anti-Iraq, (too?) suspicious of free trade, pro-consumer, and pro-health care. They tend libertarian on social issues, although the picture here is more mixed. They will help move the party caucus outside of the comfortable Beltway consensus which has threatened to dominate it. Many owe their elections to Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy which was overwhelmingly vindicated in this election. Others owe their funding to the ‘netroots’ — bloggers llike myDD, Firedoglake, and DailyKos. And they know it.

So when establishment Democrats like Rahm Emmanuel join forces with Republican commentators to explain how the Democratic vote was really quite conservative, take it for the spinning and wishful thinking that it is. Because while far from powerless, the establishment wing of the Democratic party just got significantly less relevant. And they know it too. They just don’t want us to know it.

Continue reading

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At present, the Virginia election is a nailbiter, but one in which Allen has retained a lead for some time. There’s now 4.3% of the precincts remaining to be counted, and Allen has a lead of some thirteen thousand votes. That’s almost, but not quite, too much for Webb to overcome given that the missing votes seem to be in Arlington, Craig, and Fairfax counties.

The incredible thing is that the Green candidate (who?) has gotten over 1% of the vote — almost twice the margin now separating Webb and Allen. Shades of Ralph Nader all over again.

In addition, the margin of victory will be well within the margin of theft and voter suppression.

Posted in Politics: US: 2006 Election | 3 Comments

Vote Democratic Today

Images swiped from Needlenose. Click each picture for a larger image

Posted in Politics: US: 2006 Election | 1 Comment

Find Your Polling Place

Today is election day in the USA.

Here’s an easy way to find your polling place.

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Two Views of Lieberman

I can’t quite decide if this video is funny or not. I sort of lean to “not,” although it has an undeniable evil cleverness:

I think the “Lieberman as stalker” metaphor does capture how some progressives feel about him, fairly or not.

But I suppose my view is more closely reflected in this video:

Posted in Politics: US: 2006 Election | 2 Comments