2006 Elections

michaeledward

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Please plan to vote on or before November 7, 2006. It is an important part of our Republic.

In my state election, Representative Bass (R-NH) is given high odds of being returned to the House. His '06 challenger, Paul Hodes, ran and lost by a subsantial margin in '04.

New Hampshire does not have a Senate election in this cycle.

The headlines have started to describe how the Republican party is going to lose, and lose big in this election.

Republican operatives are trying to limit their losses to ten to twelve House seats. The Democratic Party needs fifteen house seats to take the majority of House seats and assume control of that legislative body.

In the Senate, if the Democratic Party picks up five seats, they will gain the majority in that body. The news reports are claiming that between four and six of the thirty-three Senate elections are in play.

I would like very much to agree with the news reports, but I am highly doubtful of a Democratic sweep in this election. Despite polls showing strong nationwide support for Democratic candidates, the House districts are not made up with nationwide samples. The electoral districts across the country have been drawn in ways to protect the incombents in both parties. It is very difficult for those districts to change hands.

This quote comes from a book called 'Off Center'.

Bush had received the exact same vote share in 2004 that he received in 2000 (that is, 48 percent), he still would have managed to win in 239 of the nation's 435 House districts -- or almost 55 percent. He actually won 255 districts in 2004, or almost 59 percent, while winning around 51 percent of the vote (slightly higher if the calculation excludes Ralph Nader's 1 percent). In other words, House districts are now drawn so that an evenly divided country can produce surprisingly lopsided GOP victories. Indeed, the Republicans gained seats in the House in 2004 only because of Tom DeLay's redistricting scheme in Texas.
The mismatch between popular votes and electoral outcomes is even more striking in the Senate. Combining the last three Senate elections, Democrats have actually won two-and-a-half million more votes than Republicans. Yet they now hold only 44 seats in that 100-person chamber because Republicans dominate the less populous states that are so heavily over-represented in the Senate. As the journalist Hendrik Hertzberg notes, if one treats each senator as representing half that state's population, than the Senate's 55 Republicans currently represent 131 million people, while the 44 Democrats represent 161 million."​


So, while the news stories are expressing great voter dissatisfaction, and predicting a wide ranging loss for the President's party ... I believe the columnists are setting the stage for 'The Big Story' on election night, being that the Republicans maintain the majority (just barely, mind you). At which point, it will be referred to as a HUGE MANDATE for the President.

You heard it here first ---- Please vote on November 7.

What's going on in your district?
 

SFC JeffJ

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Don't always agree with your views Mr. Edwards, but I agree with you on this.

Get out there and vote!

Jeff
 

mrhnau

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I've still got some research to do in my district. Lots of elections going on! We are also dealing with converting to year around schools, which I'm not in favor of...
 
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michaeledward

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This is interesting ... Apparently, not everyone is encouraging people to vote ...

Video clip available here http://mediamatters.org/items/200610200001

Sean Hannity said:
Now, one other thing here. You know what? I think some of you need to stay home on Election Day. What? That's right. I think -- I know it sounds terrible. I don't want everybody to vote; I want well-informed people to vote. You know what we're gonna do on our man-on-the-street segment tomorrow, man-on-the-street Thursday? I'm gonna have three pictures -- Nancy Pelosi, Dennis Hastert, and Harry Reid -- and I'm gonna ask people if they know who they are. And you know what I bet? I bet you nobody knows. But I think -- look, I think for some, I think you've gotta accept -- and I want you to stay home on Election Day because you must accept the fact that your party has abandoned you. You've gotta accept the fact that your vote doesn't matter anyway. So all you Democrats, stay home. So, you know, why don't you stay home on Election Day? This is how the press is going to report this: "Hannity says Democrats should stay home on Election Day." After all, your vote won't change who occupies the White House. Your candidates have absolutely no ideas how to win the war on terrorism. The only ideas that they espouse are ways to undermine the troops in harm's way and undermine their commander in chief while they're at war. Your candidates have no idea how to keep this economy strong.
[...]
They have no ideas except more tax-and-spend policies and rescinding the tax cuts that every American family has benefited from. They have no idea how to protect the border -- only solution they have there is to give us amnesty. They support open borders. In other words, the Democrats, if you listen to them beyond [former Rep.] Mark Foley [R-FL], beyond amnesty, beyond tax raising, beyond bashing Bush, they have literally not a single solitary policy or idea that's going to benefit this country, keep you safe, and make the country stronger. I don't think abandoning our troops on the battlefield or closing your eyes to enemy communications or listening to enemy communications in our country, or killing the economy, or supporting illegal immigration, I don't think that's something to run on. So I'm saying, for the sake of the nation, I think you Democrats should stay home. For you there's no reason to vote. But you Republicans out there, the ones -- there's enough people in this audience to make a real, significant difference in really key important states.

One point of irony in Mr. Hannity's statements.

Mid-term elections are for local representatives and statewide senators. These elected officials have very little control over National policies, certainly, the foreign policy of the government sits squarely on the Administrative branch.

Another point of irony. Mr. Hannity states he wants 'well-informed' to vote. By his words, he seems to think that only Republicans are (or can be) 'well-informed'. Yet, survey after survey, has shown that those who watch Fox News (the network upon which Mr. Hannity broadcasts), are the least correctly informed people in the country, while simultaneously believing they are the most well informed in the country. Or as Dean Wormer said it, "Fat, Drunk, and Stupid is no way to get through life."

Apparently, Mr. Hannity loves the Republican Party more than he loves America. I look forward to the chorus denouncing his statement. I will wait patiently, as I expect I must.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Voting is something that everyone should do. Everyone should also make the effort to be informed about who and what they are voting about.
 

mrhnau

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This is interesting ... Apparently, not everyone is encouraging people to vote ...

One point of irony in Mr. Hannity's statements.

Mid-term elections are for local representatives and statewide senators. These elected officials have very little control over National policies, certainly, the foreign policy of the government sits squarely on the Administrative branch.
well said. you do have Senators and your House representatives though.

Another point of irony. Mr. Hannity states he wants 'well-informed' to vote. By his words, he seems to think that only Republicans are (or can be) 'well-informed'. Yet, survey after survey, has shown that those who watch Fox News (the network upon which Mr. Hannity broadcasts), are the least correctly informed people in the country, while simultaneously believing they are the most well informed in the country. Or as Dean Wormer said it, "Fat, Drunk, and Stupid is no way to get through life."

First, I want a well-informed population in regards to voting issues. I don't want someone voting Rep/Dem simply because someone drove them in a van or because their daddy did it. I'd rather them look at the issues and make their own decisions. I think its silly to talk about the opposite. I don't see people demanding an "ignorant" populace that votes.

I don't think he believes only Reps are well informed. I know alot of well informed Dems. People can see the same things and have drastically different takes (the 12k DOW post I made a while pops into mind).

Now, regarding the "least correctly informed", I find that laughable. By whose standards? To me, it looks like alot of the old monopoly news organizations not liking their leaving audiences. Why do you think people are leaving CNN/MSNBC/ABC et al? People now have a TV option. They are taking it. Same thing happened when Rush came on AM radio.

Apparently, Mr. Hannity loves the Republican Party more than he loves America. I look forward to the chorus denouncing his statement. I will wait patiently, as I expect I must.

I don't think its a matter of loving the Reps more than loving America. I think its a matter of trying to choose what is best for America. He seems to think the Republican party is whats best. Others have different views. That's fine. Free country.
 

mrhnau

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well, a more general response to Hannity... if people are passionate about something, then make certain you vote. against the war? vote that way. for the war? vote that way. against more taxes? vote that way. for more taxes? vote that way. I don't particularly care if you are Dem/Rep. Our country is made up of all kind of people. Let voices be heard. I agree though, what Hannity said was a bit much... let people vote. I would -prefer- they are educated on the issues. I'd love some stats on how many people vote on issues w/out being informed on them. Regardless, its a free country. You a citizen that can legally vote? then whatever Hannity says is irrelevant. you have the right to vote.
 

CoryKS

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First, I want a well-informed population in regards to voting issues. I don't want someone voting Rep/Dem simply because someone drove them in a van or because their daddy did it. I'd rather them look at the issues and make their own decisions. I think its silly to talk about the opposite. I don't see people demanding an "ignorant" populace that votes.

This is a point that Jonah Goldberg makes a lot. He uses it mostly in reference to mass-registration drives targeting young adults such as Rock The Vote, though I think it's condescending to assume that young people don't know what's going on. I think it may be a minority opinion to want fewer, more informed voters rather than getting everybody involved, but I tend to agree with it. If I fail to educate myself to my own satisfaction about the candidates, I will skip that election cycle. Others may disagree. There seems to be a lot of passion regarding the act itself, perhaps out of concern that you "use it or lose it".

I've got a lot of research to do this next week...
 

CoryKS

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Apparently, Mr. Hannity loves the Republican Party more than he loves America. I look forward to the chorus denouncing his statement. I will wait patiently, as I expect I must.

I'll denounce it. Nobody should try to convince someone else not to vote.
 
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michaeledward

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Now, regarding the "least correctly informed", I find that laughable. By whose standards? To me, it looks like alot of the old monopoly news organizations not liking their leaving audiences. Why do you think people are leaving CNN/MSNBC/ABC et al? People now have a TV option. They are taking it. Same thing happened when Rush came on AM radio.

By standard of FACT.

For instance ...

Saddam Hussein was involved in the 911 Terror Attacks
Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi security personnell in Prague.

Facts are not subject to analogy. Recent reports still show 39% of Americans' believe the first statement above, despite zero evidence.

The Vice President of the United States has repeatedly pressed the second point above, despite US Security Services claiming it was not possible.
 
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michaeledward

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Incidently, I want every American Citizen over the age of 18 to enter a voting booth on November 7th.

I recognize that the Bell curve tells us that half of the population have 'below average' mental faculties. Alternatively, according to a Bell Curve half of the population have below average understanding of the political impact.

I don't care ... If you are a moron, mentally challenged, or checked out ... go to a polling place, and put an X by someone's name. Vote!

I don't care if you vote for a person because you liked the color combination on their electioneering propaganda, or that you recognize the name, or that it is first on the list. Go to a polling place and pull the lever.

To me, it is more important that people VOTE, than people VOTE INTELLIGENTLY. Because without citizen paricipation, our Republic is doomed to decline - as every republic before us.
 

Ninjamom

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Well, while I agree with Mr. Edwards about the huge voter dissatisfaction with the current administration, I don't see that there will be any "sweep' for EITHER party (and not because of redistricting, either).

One of the closest races in my home state (Maryland) is to fill the senatorial seat being vacated by the retirement of Senator Paul Sarbanes (D). The race is between the current Lt Gov, Michael Steel (R), and a former US Representative, Ben Cardin (D). Although Mr. Steel is a Republican, the ideas, views, and plans he's presented are mainly M.O.R., and he is running on the idea of solving problems created by the extremes in both parties. Mr. Cardin's campaign, on the other hand, has focused almost entirely on, "Vote against Steel because he likes George Bush." (I kid you not; this is the focus of every TV Ad his campaign has run!) There have been no ideas, plans, or issues addressed by his campaign, at all.

From what I've heard/seen nationally, I'm concerned that my state isn't the only one with this problem. While there are things I don't like about the current administration and its policy, I don't plan to vote for any candidate whose only policy statement is, "Well, at least I didn't vote for George Bush." If Democratic candidates can't state clearly how they would address the same set of problems differently than what is currently being done, then I'm really not interested. Either party, PLEASE, show me a consistent, long-term plan for where you hope to take the country. Otherwise, please both just sit down and shut up!

Yes, please, everyone vote. However, I think that in this election, the real difference you will make will be in your attention to local candidates and local issues. I fear at the national level that both major parties have more money than consistent ideas or convictions.
 
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michaeledward

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I am not convinced the Democrats are even going to win one of the legislative bodies. But, as time grows shorter, and polls show consistant Democratic leads, it becomes a bit more comforting of an idea.

I think the bigger problem you are seeing, Ninjamom, is that the campaigns are being waged in 30 second television commercials. And there are two items that are driving those television commercials.

First, the war is the top priority for everyone. But the war is administered through the Executive Branch of government. Truly, voting for the Legislative Branch of government is going to have very little impact what plan is in place for the war. It will be President Bush that makes any or all changes in how the country's Iraq policies proceed. So, whether it is Steele or Cardin really has no bearing on Issue Number 1. Except at the soundbite level.

This doesn't mean there aren't plans. Murtha, Kerry, Edwards, Kucinich ... all democrats, all have plans, all irrelevant. In the thirty second commercial, you can't really discuss complex things like foreign policy.

You can, however, attack the leader of the political party whose positive ratings are below 40% without worrying about pissing off a majority - it's like taxes on cigarrettes - you can pass them at any time, because the majority rules.

Second, and watch this closely. Karl Rove has committed to spending One Hundred Million Dollars between now and election day to elect Republicans. I promise, he is not going to spend that money talking about the President's Plan for Victory in Iraq. He is going to 'swiftboat' Democrats.

One nice thing about this election cycle, the availability and growth of YouTube, and the like, allows citizens all across the country to access to the commercials. I understand the commercials in Ohio were particularly nasty in '04. But most of us did not see them. So the mean nature of those attacks did not turn off voters elsewhere in the country.

There is an interesting article on MediaMatters.org about Fox News playing on air, for free, Republican Smear Advertisments, for comment, but not having a Democrat rebut the charges in the ad. Essentially, Free ad time for the Nasty among us.
 

crushing

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There is an interesting article on MediaMatters.org about Fox News playing on air, for free, Republican Smear Advertisments, for comment, but not having a Democrat rebut the charges in the ad. Essentially, Free ad time for the Nasty among us.

Is this the article to which you refer? http://mediamatters.org/items/200610190005

That's a good question. Why would Fox News make it appear like the Republicans are mostly the ones running most of the nasty smear ads and not hold as many Democratic ads to the same scrutiny?

Maybe it's because of this budding love story:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/05/09/politics/main1600694.shtml

;)
 
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michaeledward

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Is this the article to which you refer? http://mediamatters.org/items/200610190005

That's a good question. Why would Fox News make it appear like the Republicans are mostly the ones running most of the nasty smear ads and not hold as many Democratic ads to the same scrutiny?

Maybe it's because of this budding love story:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/05/09/politics/main1600694.shtml

Yes ... that is the article to which I refer.

Certainly, if there are misleading, or smear advertisements being used by Democrats in this campaign cycle, then let's broadcast them for free, and discuss and rebute the charges within. Fair is Fair.

Much like the 'Swiftboat' ads of '04 ... the media decries they are unfair and untruthful, and then play them and discuss them. But, recall the addage, there is no such thing as bad publicity (ask the Hilton porn star - how'd that work out for her?).

I listened to this yesterday with R Candidate Healey in Massachusetts. The local talk shows played the ad, that hinted that if D candidate Patrick is elected, every white woman in Massachusetts would be raped. All the talk show hosts (on right wing WTKK) talked about how horrible the ad is, but played it on the air.

An interesting article has arisen concerning your budding love story at the Accuracy in Media web site. Seems they are very upset that Fox is leaning too far to the left. I just love that. Go read and enjoy.

http://www.aim.org/static/4952_0_7_0_C/
 
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michaeledward

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Oh, and if one is looking at Media Matters .... this new Osama ad is getting a similar treatment. Shown at no charge by news media, cut off the opposition's comments before they can be made.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200610200015

What liberal media?

Osama bin who? --- we haven't heard about this guy since Tora Bora.

Or, as the Right Side of the Aisle likes to put it : "Boo!"
 

jazkiljok

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Incidently, I want every American Citizen over the age of 18 to enter a voting booth on November 7th.

I recognize that the Bell curve tells us that half of the population have 'below average' mental faculties. Alternatively, according to a Bell Curve half of the population have below average understanding of the political impact.

I don't care ... If you are a moron, mentally challenged, or checked out ... go to a polling place, and put an X by someone's name. Vote!

I don't care if you vote for a person because you liked the color combination on their electioneering propaganda, or that you recognize the name, or that it is first on the list. Go to a polling place and pull the lever.

To me, it is more important that people VOTE, than people VOTE INTELLIGENTLY. Because without citizen paricipation, our Republic is doomed to decline - as every republic before us.

normally i find myself if not in perfect agreement with your viewpoints at least i understand where they are coming from and appreciate their well thought out positions. in this one instant i am in complete disagreement- idiots should stay home and out of the election. their vote is at best random and disinterested- at worst prejudiced ---- name sounds too foreign-- vote smith (as what happened to a judge in california who was considered one of the best on the bench-- she had a weird name compared to her simple name opponent,so she lost - http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/6/9/153853.shtml.)

i remember the South Park guys taking heat for making the same comment. if you're a numbskull who isn't going to do any homework and study up on elections- then who needs you at the polls. you'll vote for some guy who tells you that even though the worst terrorist attack in america's history happened on his watch-- that it was some other president's fault. that he can't find osama but it's not that important anyway, that his guys did a heck of a job after katrina hit, that the iraq war would be a cakewalk, mission accomplished, insurgency in its deaththrows and be very afraid of democrats who tax and spend as oppose to himself- a guy who likes to cut taxes and spend 10 times more.

no, stay the heck home if you're a guy who gets persuaded by fear mongering tv ads or rush limbaugh or lyndon larouche.

as a point of interest- dictatorships usually get into power with the vote of the masses-- and in dictatorships, voting is mandatory.
 
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michaeledward

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I understand what you are saying ... In my home town, we made national news a few years back because one of the local candidates publically advocated that people should be able to kill police officers.

I think he was elected, then run out of office, but maybe good sense came into play before he was elected.

This particular nutcase switched political partys from D to R - because in New Hampshire Republicans generally appear first on the ballot (recent lawsuit changed this). And his name begins with the letter 'A' (Alcier ???). So his name was first on the ballot, because among Republicans in the primary, the names were listed alphabetically.

http://www.skeptictank.org/gen4/gen02352.htm

So, yes, my neighbors, who voted for this guy, quite possibly did so because he was first on the list. They were stupid, but THEY VOTED!

He was only one of many legislators - his hairbrained ideas were not going to be written into law - because we still use majorities to write legislation.

I'll take the occassionally 'Alciere' candidate, if we can increase citizen participation, and we get an occassional Feingold or Wellstone
 

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