WA-GOV: Gregoire & Democrats Appear Increasingly Desperate

You wouldn’t know it from the poll numbers, with RealClearPolitics and Pollster.com showing very modest leads for Republican challenger Dino Rossi of 2% and 0.8% respectively as of this typing. Yet, signs increasingly point to desperation beginning to take hold among Evergreen State Democrats and the campaign of incumbent Governor Christine Gregoire.
The tone of the campaign is crystal clear after the first debate: Rossi is running – much like his initial race in 2004 – as the change agent in the race. In the face of one-party rule in Olympia and a sitting Governor with nearly forty years of experience in state government it’s not a tough sell in a year where the electorate is full of angst.
In contrast, Gregoire is a candidate on the attack, spending more time criticizing her opponent – and comically attempting to link him to George W. Bush - than outlining a vision for the state whose governorship she seeks to retain. That’s an odd way for an incumbent to run, especially in a state that already favors her party.

Today's Poll Report

New round of polls out, ignoring irrelvant CNN/Time polls with poor sampling, we have:

  • Virginia: Public Policy Polling: Obama by 2, CNU Virginia: McCain +9. The CNU poll uses a "registered voter" rather than likely voter sample, so I don't give it much weight, even though they came out with the same 24 point lead for Mark Warner in the Senate. Polls out of Virginia continue to be all over the place. Toss-Up.
  • Oregon: Rasmussen: Obama +4. A State that was basically a purple state in 2000, went Blue in 2004. As much as I'd like to turn my anti-blogger's state Red, I'm thinking Washington's a better bet as the incumbent Republican Senator has run ads touting his work with Senator Obama.  Still, I'll watch for more polling.
  • Wisconsin: Rasmussen: Obama +2. The last poll showed Obama +3. For a while, this was thought t0 be a state Obama would run away with. It's looking to be as tight as the last two elections.
  • New Mexico: Survey USA: Obama +8 . Huge lead for Obama in this poll, but this is an outlier in recent likely voter polling, so I really would need to see some more confirmation.


The State of the Race: Ohio Leans McCain

It’s time to update the Presidential maps. First, the all important map with “Leaning States” included:

  • The latest Ohio Rasmussen Poll shows McCain up by 7. The last 3 Rasmussen polls show McCain up by 7, 5, and 10 points. There have been polls indicating Obama leads but CNN poll was a nearly useless “Registered Voter” poll instead of a likely voter poll and the Quinnipiac Poll had a bizarre 7 day polling period.  Leans McCain.
  • Both the Democratic Public Policy Polling and Republican Strategic Vision polls show Obama with a narrow 1 point lead. Three state polls show Obama’s lead within the margin. Let’s call it a toss up.

Based on these changes, here’s my new electoral map with leaners, giving McCain a 247-243 lead.

However, it’s not all good news for McCain:

  • Even after the Convention bounce, the latest Rasmussen Poll showed Florida tied, and a Strategic Vision poll shows McCain up 5.  Can I really say that Florida is not in play. At this point, I have to conced it’s in play, leaving Obama with an edge in states that are certain to go one way or another 190-174:

Other notes that while not changing the map (genrally because they’re single polls) are plenty intriguing:

  • Treasure State Dreams Dashed? Based on reports from family members in Montana, I was quite nervous about Montana. Senator Biden was in my old home town of Kalispell today and Obama has been there several times. In addition, while in most states, Ron Paul is not on the ballot, he is in Montana as the Montana Constitution Party withdrew Chuck Baldwin to place Ron Paul on the ticket. The latest Rasmussen Poll puts McCain up 11. While this doesn’t include 3rd party candidates, Camp Obama cannot be happy with this given the effort they’ve poured into turning the Treasure State blue.
  • A Northwest Advantage? The Montana poll, coupled with a poll from Washington raises an intriguing question. Survey USA shows Obama up by only 4. Could Palin be helping McCain in the Northwest. She’s the first major Presidential or Vice-President nominee from the Northwest (yes, I know there have been candidates.) Washington will be a tough state to flip as Kerry won by 9.5% Oregon may be easier as it went to John Kerry by only 4.5% in 2004 and in 2000, it was only 0.44% for Al Gore. Turning Oregon red would be great, if nothing else than to annoy Radical Russ.
  • Sweet Carolina: Another state that Obama hoped to capture was North Carolina. That effort may be in some trouble. The average poll had been showing John McCain up by 4 in the Tarheel state. The latest Survey USA poll shows McCain up 20. If this holds up in future polling, it’ll be a bitter disappointment for Team Obama which sems to be looking like a Fall version of the Mitt Romney campaign which put millions into states that they ended up losing.
  • Ignore New Jersey: New Jersey is a state that loves to sing a siren song to Republican Presidential nominees by indicating a strong possibility of victory. The latest Fairleigh-Dickinson poll shows Obama up only 6.  Hopefully, won’t expend resources here. There’s simply no way he wins New Jersey. Please ignore the siren.
  • Bad News: The polls across the country while not conclusive indicate Obama has some major weaknesses. Fox News/Rasmussen has Obama up only 2 in Pennsylvania, and Strategic Vision has Obama’s once mighty lead in Wisconsin at only 3.
  • On Obama’s Bright Side: The Obama campaign can take comfort in two states. In Colorado, the latest Fox/Rasmussen Poll has Obama up 3. Not great, but given the positive attention the GOP ticket has gotten, Obama will take it. Meanwhile, in the swing state of Virginia, even after the GOP’s successful convention, two Virginia polls put McCain up by only 2 points. The salvation of the Obama campaign this Fall could be the transformation of Virginia into a state dominated by federal employees in Northern Virginia, partially as a result of George W. Bush’s “big government” conservatism.
  • False Hope: To amend Barack Obama, “In the unlikely story that is America, there’s never been anything false about hope (unless it’s depended on young voters.)” The one hope that many liberals have to have is that pollsters are missing younger voters who use cellphones only and can’t be polled. The problem, as Ed Morrissey writes, “If this concern had merit, we should have seen Obama overperforming against polling during the primaries against Hillary Clinton.  He had a solid grip on the youth vote throughout all of the polling, after all, while Hillary appealed to older voters.  Yet in state after state, Obama underperformed against polling predictions.”


Events Give Rossi an Opening in Evergreen State Gov Contest

Dino Rossi embarked last fall on a rematch of the now famous 2004 Washington Governor's race by focusing on a number of issues at the fore of local voters' minds in recent years, including education and transportation.  The events of 2008, however, have opened new and fertile territory for Rossi.

A huge spike in state spending under now incumbent Christine Gregoire coupled with declining tax revenues (another victim of the housing market's downward slide), has left the state with an estimated $2.7 billion budget deficit looming.

Gregoire's response?  Ignore it, repeatedly.  That includes apperances on the campaign trail and in responding to a question on the deficit posed via YouTube's YouChoose08.

Rossi's response is summed up in his latest ad:

GOP Youth Convention


What are you doing to effect the upcoming election?  Are you a young member of society and you feel like you cannot do anything because you are inexperienced in the political relam or that you do not know where to start.  Well how about you get trained by some of the best grassroots political organizers in the country so that you can go out and truely make a difference in the upcoming election. 

For just $50 you will be able to get this training without missing any school all while in Minneapolis at the Republican National Convention.  That is right just e-mail info@gopyouthconvention.org and join young members of the Republican party from around America as they come together to be trained to be the future grassroots organizers for the GOP. 

I hope that you will all inquire about this wonderful opportunity to help share not just this important election but you to help our wonderful party for years to come.

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Minneapolis.

Union Negotiates State Contract While Running TV Ads for Governor

Interestingly, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on TV, radio and print ads helping Washington State's Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire get reelected. This is the same Governor that the SEIU is negotiating a new contract with for state workers in that union. Naturally, Gregoire's Republican opponents are crying conflict of interest, and its hard to deny their charge.

Republican candidate for Gov. Dino Rossi is saying that this is a definite conflict of interest. "When you have one party, whether it's Republican or Democrat," Rossi said, "that's in power for so long, you end up with the appearance of institutional corruption, and that's what this looks like."

Rossi is also pointing to the favors Gregoire gave to Indian Casino owners for campaign support as a conflict.

The complaints don't stop there. State Republicans suggest there is a pattern that started with a deal Gregoire made with Indian gaming tribes, which helped bankroll the second recount that put Gregoire into office.

The governor had approved a major expansion of gambling but scrapped a provision requiring casinos to give the state a cut of the profits — a provision demanded by every other state with tribal gaming.

"When you drive up a $2.7 billion budget deficit by treating those very, very well that contribute to your campaign and your re-election, that's where the red flags go up," Republican state Rep. Doug Ericksen said.

Naturally, neither Gregoire, nor the Indian tribe officials, nor the SEIU's officials wanted to comment on the story.

In any case, after the stolen 2006 election, its a sure thing that the GOP is looking for everything they can use to gain votes this time.

Be sure and Visit my Home blog Publius' Forum. It's what's happening NOW!

Rossi & Gregoire Now Toe-to-Toe

For the first time in this campaign, Washington gubernatorial candidates Dino Rossi and Christine Gregoire are squared off in directly competing TV ads, marking a new phase in the contest...even though neither campaign is doing much to talk about the spots besides popping them up on YouTube.

First, from Rossi:


The White House is Wrong

Figures - President Bush denies House GOP special session.

I doubt this will have any affect on the House GOP leaders who are continuing their efforts this week from the House floor, but it is somewhat disheartening. The White House claims that there is no point in calling Congress back into session for a bill that the Democrats won't allow an up-down vote on.

The White House is wrong.

The point would be to force televised debate on an issue and shine a light on Pelosi's roadblocking. The point would be to support conservatives in Congress when they need it most. The point would be to align this White House with conservatives and give a badly needed boost to sagging conservative confidence in the Republican Party. The point would be to gain momentum for drilling - just serious discussion about drilling has made oil prices drop slightly, putting us on the road to easing the deathgrip high gas prices have on the nation's economy.

We're fooling ourselves if we don't believe that gas prices have been one of the primary causes for economic worry. And as we enter hurricane season in full force, with tropical storms already aiming dead-on at platforms and refineries in the Gulf, we need to do everything possible to give relief before the worst befalls us once again.

Incidentally, John McCain supports bringing Congress back into session.

Dino Rossi: Republican as Change Agent

The first TV ads from the major candidates in the Washington state Governor's race are out, showcasing a compelling anti-Establishment twist from challenger Dino Rossi:


There is much to like about the ad, including the anti-status quo messaging in Washington state, where Democrats have held the Governor's office since 1985 and have been edging toward Massachusetts-like majorities in the Legislature over the least several election cycles.  Rossi, just as he did in 2004, is emphasizing his own personable nature, running as an affable, forward-thinking candidate.  That's usually good strategy in any case, but exceptionally useful running as a Republican in a blue state in 2008.

Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Michael Steele Named Co-Chairs of GOP Youth Convention


                                                     Media Contact (202)544-7525 Info@GOPYouthConvention.org                    

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2008 - Today GOP Youth Convention.Org announced that Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and GOPAC Chair and former Md. Lt Governor Michael Steele will serve as Honorary Co-chairs of its campaign to bring young people to the GOP National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"We are very excited that these outstanding leaders of the Republican Party will co-chair our campaign to bring a new generation of young leaders and volunteers to the GOP Convention in Minneapolis," said Namrata Idnani, a student co-chairman of the group.

In a special program over Labor Day weekend, GOP Youth Convention.Org will offer opportunities for young people from around the country to meet other young leaders, hear from and interact with elected officials, and learn how to be better grassroots organizers and political communicators. Other programs will extend throughout the week of the National Convention

"The new generation of leaders who join us in Minneapolis will experience a historic event: the nomination of John McCain for President of the United States," said Soren Dayton, Director of the GOP Youth Convention.

The group's education and training program will take place at Concordia University in Minneapolis, MN starting on Labor Day weekend and continuing throughout the week of the National Convention through Friday September 5th. An opening "welcome" party will take place at the Hard Rock cafe in Minneapolis during the evening on Friday, August 29. Other social events will continue throughout the Convention week.

Affordable accommodations are available for group participants.

For more information, interested individuals may call the group's office at (202) 544-7525, or visit our website at  www.gopyouthconvention.org


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