Monday, October 30, 2006

MD - Steele on Defensive, Cardin Looking Tired

In the highly anticipated rhetorical head butt between MD Congressman and Democratic Senate candidate Ben Cardin and Lt. Gov. and Republican nominee Michael Steele, talking point sparks flew.

Russert put real heat on Steele - the "Are you running as a proud Bush Republican?" question seemed just a smudge over the top; we don't recall any White Republican getting that kind of questioning ... so, we examine it with a bit of caution. But, then again, Steele dug that hole for himself by struggling to somehow balance his Republicanism with his candidacy in a heavily Democratic state. In addition, he's taking too much GOP money and has too many GOP operatives managing too many elements of his platform. Steele is obviously on the defensive. But, he seems cool and collected under the pressure.

Cardin is getting lucky according to the latest polls. Steele's cool pose and telegenic savvy isn't enough to distance the man from The Man. The Steele/Bush association is the only thing working in Cardin's favor. Other than that, Cardin can only expect the President's unpopularity to work in his ultimate favor since he's looking rather tired and grey in this Meet the Press special.

Friday, October 27, 2006

MI - Amos Williams to Debate Mike Cox

Amos Williams, Democratic Candidate for Attorney General will face off with Mike Cox on Friday morning on Off the Record with Tim Skubick. The program will be taped at 8 a.m. and will be available on the internet at 10:35 a.m.

MS - Fleming Hoping for a Win

Note to blogging self: man, we wish Mississippi did some polling. It'd be really nice to see how State Rep. Erik Fleming (D-Clinton) is faring in what is described as a long-shot bid against incumbent Sen. Trent Lott (R):

Fleming faces tough competition running against long time Senator Trent Lott who is entering his 33rd year representing Mississippi in Congress. Fleming won the Democratic nomination to face Lott by beating Bill Bowlin in a run-off election getting 65 percent of the vote. The state representative said he thought long and hard about running for the U.S. Senate and was actually urged to run. “A lot of people said, ‘Well, there’s no chance. Nobody’s going to give you the time of day.’ It’s just amazing how things work,” he said.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Carson Back In Front In Indiana But Dickerson Making It A Race was surprised to see a poll released over the weekend that showed Republican nominee Eric Dickerson with a three point lead over incumbent Julia Carson.

What was even more surprising was Dickerson was down 20 points just a month ago. However, a new poll released yesterday has Carson back on top but by only 5 points with only 9% percent undecided.

Carson, who has been dogged by ill health recently, has won previous reelections comfortably but auto dealer Dickerson has run an aggressive campaign and turned the race into one to watch.

Eric Dickerson is scheduled to appear on Ascent Perspectives tomorrow Wednesday October 25th.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Race In Indiana's 7th

There is plenty of talk about Democrats winning back control of Congress in two weeks. Dems need 16 seats to win control and polls show they may be on the brink of doing so.

However, what happens if the Democrats win 16 seats, but lose one no one thought would be in play. This could be the case in Indiana's 7th congressional district.

The seat is currently held by 5 term incumbent Julia Carson. The Democrat from Indianapolis was expect to cruise to reelection, but a recent poll shows her down three points with 13% undecided. The number differ quite a bit from survey 6 weeks ago that had her up 22 points over GOP nominee Eric Dickerson with only 10% unsure.

A recent debate between the two generated little in terms of political theater, Dickerson said he was running because "a congressional seat is a terrible thing to waste" and Carson implied she was better than ever, but did viewers she something to make them reconsider Dickerson?

It will be interesting to see how the national parties engage in this race that now seems competitive.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

VA - Allen, Webb now Lifetime NAACP Members

Political race drama continues to unfold in the Virginia Senate race, causing Confederate ghosts to turn in their graves. We find Democratic challenger James Webb shifting political allegiances and shifting (flip-flop??) views on affirmative action somewhat curious - at least with Sen. George Allen, you've got an idea of where he's coming from on that topic even if you don't agree with him:

Allen said he is opposed to racial profiling but declined to support affirmative action, favoring "affirmative recruitment" instead. He earned nods from the crowd when he spoke about the need for increased support for historically black colleges and the importance of the Voting Rights Act.

He said that he would do a better job of keeping taxes low and that the United Nations should take the lead in dealing with the human rights issues in Darfur. On Iraq, he said, progress has been too slow.

"I've enjoyed the give-and-take here," he told the crowd of about 200. "Do we agree on every issue? No. Am I perfect? No. I respectfully ask for your support and your consideration. I look forward to joining hands with you all."

Moments later, he joined the group's president and a phalanx of television cameras to fill out the membership application and write a personal check for $750 to become the group's latest lifetime member.

Webb, who followed Allen for his hour of questions, sparked immediate, raucous applause by opening his talk with a promise: "I'm going to bite the bear before the bear bites me," he said. "I'm announcing I'm going to sign up for a lifetime membership in the NAACP."

Webb received a warmer reception than Allen, despite concern in the black community about his position on affirmative action.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Black Republican Ad & Debate over MLK Political Affiliation

We suspect that the controversy over this ad - airing heavily in critical MD - is hurting Steele's (R) bid for Senate in the state. The consensus is that it's poorly timed and somewhat tasteless. Our take on it is move on to more pressing issues like a closer examination of candidate platforms:

When a black conservative group ran a radio ad proclaiming that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican, reaction was swift. "We've gotten some e-mails and telephone calls filled with vitriol," said Frances Rice, chairman of the National Black Republican Association. "They've called me Aunt Jemima, a sellout, a traitor to my race."

In the battle for the black electorate, liberals, who make up the overwhelming majority of black voters, have long disagreed with conservatives over ideology, public policy and economic strategies to better the lives of African Americans. But when conservatives placed the civil rights movement in a Republican context, black liberals said, they crossed a line.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

MD - Steele, Cardin, Hoyer & Race ...

This is the year of White folks using words they probably shouldn't have even thought to use in the first place. Reports the Baltimore Sun:

... Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives, as saying Steele has made a career of "slavishly supporting the Republican Party."

Heye said the comment, made at an event in Prince George's County last weekend, was racist. The National Black Church Initiative President, the Rev. Anthony Evans, and High Impact Leadership Coalition Chairman Bishop Harry Jackson condemned the remark.In a statement released yesterday, Hoyer said, "I should not have used that word."

"If Mr. Steele did, in fact, take offense, let me assure him that none was intended," Hoyer said. "But Mr. Steele continuously tries to divert attention from the fact that he is an unwavering supporter of the Republican agenda and of President Bush and Vice President Cheney."

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) now joins a growing list of grey haired White politicos in 2006 using inappropriate references to people of color. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and "tar baby"; Sen. George Allen (R-VA) for that notorious "M" word and past use of the legendary "N" word which torpedoed his re-election bid; and VA Senate Dem challenger James Webb for probably using the "N" word, too. Anyway - it doesn't matter because we all think differently in the comfort of our homes ...

Steele and the GOP come off as somewhat disingenuous by pressing too hard with the race talk. First: there is a risk of this tactic looking contrived. Besides, Republicans are well known for nailing Democrats on "race-baiting" - and what do you call this strategy? Second: Black Republicans/Conservatives - such as Steele - have traditionally criticized the Black political establishment for promoting an ideology of "victimization." Now, Steele struggles to paint himself as the "victim" or the "target" of White racist attitudes in the Free State. Steele should chill on this rhetoric because it will give the impression that he's deliberately avoiding a conversation on the issues and his platform.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

TN - On Ford's Dating Habits

In a sign of desperation confirming the ascendancy of Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN) to the Senate, the National Republican Senatorial Committee drops the irrelevant. We assume it's an attempt to offend the somewhat prudish sensibilities of Bible-carrying Southern conservatives in the state:

WASHINGTON--The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) issued the following release after The Commercial Appeal reported more details of Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.'s previous "nonexclusive courtship" with a Georgetown University sophomore:

"It's good to hear Congressman Ford's Georgetown University girlfriend's spring break planning didn't get in the way of his meetings with the President," said Dan Ronayne, NRSC Spokesman. "But the least Fancy Ford could have done was call her back after news broke of their relationship. Not providing closure is distinctly un-fancy."

The Commercial Appeal Reports "The Younger Ford's Dating Life Is An Active, But Quieter Affair. 'He Met Julia Baugher, A Georgetown University Sophmore [sic] And Sex Columnist While Celebrating His 31st Birthday At Paolo's, A Restaurant In Washington." (Halimah Abdullah, "Growing Up In The Political Spotlight, Ford Learned The Ropes As A Youngster," The Commercial Appeal, October 15, 2006)

LA - We Saw this Coming ...

Times-Picayune reports:

In an extraordinary vote against an incumbent congressman, Louisiana Democratic Party leaders on Saturday endorsed state Rep. Karen Carter of New Orleans for the 2nd District House seat held since 1991 by Rep. William Jefferson, whose campaign for re-election has been hampered by a federal bribery investigation.

In a meeting at the Old State Capitol, the party's state Central Committee voted 69-53 to endorse Carter in the Nov. 7 election after hearing appeals from Carter and Jefferson, the only two candidates who received nominations for the endorsement.

While Carter celebrated the vote as an important statement against unethical behavior, Jefferson lashed out not only at Carter but also at stalwarts of the state Democratic Party establishment, including former U.S. Sens. John Breaux and Bennett Johnston, who Jefferson said were behind Carter's endorsement.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

CT - Black Democratic Group Charging Lieberman Falsified Civil Rights Record

Recent news out of Connecticut as the Senate candidates scratch and claw for swing Black votes:

The Connecticut Federation of Black Democratic Clubs, which includes 20 clubs across the state, endorsed Lieberman's Democratic rival Ned Lamont and questioned whether he marched for civil rights.

"Senator, the Connecticut Federation of Black Democratic Clubs is offended by your television ad which claims you were an advocate for African-Americans' first-class citizenship and as such you marched for our civil rights," said Henry E. Parker, a former state treasurer, during a news conference attended by Lamont.

"Our research indicates that there is no evidence of you taking any action that could be described as an initiative to remove the shackles of second-class citizenship," Parker said.
Lieberman's campaign produced a 1963 college newspaper clip that cites Lieberman's reporting from Jackson, Miss., about the arrests of civil rights workers. Lieberman was chairman of the Yale Daily News.

Polls Show Ford In a Dead Heat, but Numbers are Disturbing

Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., according to recent polls, is locked in a dead heat for the open US Senate seat from Tennessee. However, when one exams the crosstabs Ford's support is tenuous and may be weakening.

While our "Trends in Black Races" shows Ford with a slim 2 point lead averaged over the last 3 polls, a remarkable position to be in with just over 3 weeks left in the campaign, when you dig into numbers you begin to see some issues.

The "Reticence Level", the lack of support from one's own party, is relatively low for Ford (19%), but it seems to be increasing and his support from Republicans ("Cross Support -X-Support") is coming down. In a close race you would expect party registrants to return "home" which explains the decrease in GOP support for Ford, but it also illustrates a problem for the Ford campaign with the rising Reticence Level.

While the politically shrewd Ford may be able to overcome those numbers, the fact that only 70% of African Americans in a recent SurveyUSA poll are supporting him should be a cause for alarm.

To win this race Ford will need a massive black voter turnout and will need to garner at least 75% plus of that vote to win the race against former Chattanooga Mayor and GOP nominee Bob Corker.

The race is still very winnable, but the deeper poll numbers show the path will not be easy.

Affirmative Action in Trouble in Michigan

In a recent poll done by SurveyUSA the life of Affirmative Action in Michigan may be in its last days.

Of those being questioned 36% said they would vote for a ballot initiative that would prohibit state entities, including colleges and universities, from using race for contracts, recruitment, enrollment etc. Only 29% said they would vote no on the ballot question. 35% of those in the survey were undecided.

Those numbers are down from a survey conducted in June, but the opponents have to be concerned that a quarter of Democrats support the initiative as do a third of African Americans. 50% of Republicans support the question, but according to SurveyUSA 55% of those in the survey are "unfamiliar" with initiative that will be on the ballot in November.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

CO - Paccione within Striking Distance

Things have gotten so bad for Republicans that an African American, 2 term State Representative, who hails from the Bronx, New York can find herself only trailing by an average of 5 points over the last two polls against a two term conservative incumbent in a conservative district.

Angie Paccione, dead even in a poll her campaign has commissioned, has run a cagey and hard fought campaign and has raised over $1 million for her bid in Colorado's fourth congressional district.

The fourth, which runs the expanse of Colorado's rural eastern plains, has an African American population of less than 1%. However, the incumbent Cong. Marilyn Musgrave, a very conservative member of Congress, may be catching some of the downdraft of the Republican free fall that seems to be occurring across the country.

If Paccione pulls this out the Democratic win nationally will have been decisive and massive and the CBC will have it first member from the Colorado.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Razor Tight and Not So

The United States Senate race in Tennessee looks like it is going to go down to the wire. Most recent polls show that Democratic nominee Harold Ford, Jr. leading GOP pick Bob Corker by the slimmest of margins.

The "Trends in Black Races" shows that Congressman Ford is holding on to 1.7% lead when the last three polls are averaged out. But in the most recent survey, the Middle Tennessee University Poll, Ford trails the Chattanooga mayor by only one point.

While the Ford/Corker race is razor tight other major races featuring African American candidates are not so close. Our "Trends in Black Races" shows Democratic nominee for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Maryland Lt. Governor and GOP nominee for the US Senate Michael Steele with the best chances to win. Patrick is up by an average of 33.2%, but Steele is down to Democratic pick Rep. Ben Cardin in his race by an average of five points.

To check the campaigns of Lynn Swann and Ken Blackwell and other candidates and their campaigns click here and review the "Black Races".