Sunday, 31 October 2004

The Weight of Decision

Those of us for whom the upcoming decision is blazingly obvious, aren't likely to properly appreciate the burden currently felt by millions of Americans. Those who take their civic responsibility seriously realize the significance of this decision, and based on the premises and beliefs they bring with them, many are being powerfully pulled in two or more directions. And make no mistake, this burden is also being felt even by many who already know for whom they will vote, or who have voted already.

On the right, many who are committed to conservative ideals are deeply troubled by both the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush administration and the empire building of the neocons running our foreign policy. The American Conservative, magazine founded by Pat Buchanan, had editorial endorsements of five different presidential candidates, as well as one endorsement for not voting. Scott McConnell, in his tepid endorsement of Kerry for this election only, wrote:
Bush has behaved like a caricature of what a right-wing president is supposed to be, and his continuation in office will discredit any sort of conservatism for generations. The launching of an invasion against a country that posed no threat to the U.S., the doling out of war profits and concessions to politically favored corporations, the financing of the war by ballooning the deficit to be passed on to the nation’s children, the ceaseless drive to cut taxes for those outside the middle class and working poor: it is as if Bush sought to resurrect every false 1960s-era left-wing cliché about predatory imperialism and turn it into administration policy.
Buchanan's own endorsement of Bush was equally tepid, while other editors ready to throw their votes to third parties, even to Nader, managed considerably more ardor in their editorials.

On the left, those who rail against the blind faith in corporate beneficence, and the commodification of everything, remain dismayed at the utter abandonment of the rank and file for the corporate dollars seen as necessary for the survival of the party by McAuliffe and the Democratic Leadership Council. There is an argument, essentially the same as McConnell's, but from the perspective that discrediting conservatism for generations would be a welcome long-term development, that a Bush win is actually better long term for the progressive cause. But most compassionate progressives reject such a view:
A traditional revolutionary view of the current scene is tempting: things have to get a lot worse before they can get better. There is not nearly enough pain yet to ignite a revolution, so bring it on. That is how the line of reason goes. Bring on the pain! Revolution, the sooner the better! Of course, the fallacy of this extreme Leftist/Socialist world view follows from their compassion being rooted in their heads, not in their hearts. One cannot dwell in compassion and choose pain for others. Therefore, the irony of choosing strategic suffering should not be tenable—an interesting idea perhaps, but certain to cause great harm."

In the center there is no less angst. Even those not in battleground states worry about the legacy of their vote, when they feel that so much rides on the outcome. Many of strong faith, for instance, are deeply conflicted by what they see as vital moral deficiencies on both sides of the ledger. One such Texan writes:
In my gut, I feel myself ardently hoping for a Kerry win because, among other things, I think it would save the Republican party from the grip of the irresponsible extremists now running the show. The politics of ignorance, fear, and incompetence will have been repudiated, and such would, it seems to me, be good for the whole country as well. Changing horses midstream when your horse is drowning is a perfectly reasonable choice. But in my mind, I think of the unborn lives, those out-of-sight-out-of-mind living statistics, that might be saved as a fairly direct result of a second Bush term, and I can't help thinking that would be worth it.
but three days later resolves his dilemma "I can't support a president singularly for that fact when he has proven a complete disaster everywhere else. I just won't be held hostage."

Here I have brought together three radically disparate perspectives. What they share I believe is an ardent desire to do the right thing in civic duty to their nation. The fact that these three all ultimately decided to pull the lever for Kerry perhaps has more to do with the fact that I, a Kerry supporter, was the selector. It would be possible to quote a wildly disparate group of earnest voters who have decided to support Bush. The point is that our nation benefits from the rational discourse among those willing to put principles ahead of politics. What I want deeply for our nation is an ability for our citizens to hear each other above the platitudes. For pro-choice Americans, like myself, to refrain from assuming that pro-lifers are hypocrites who care nothing about the fate of the babies they want to save. For Libertarians to understand that a desire to rein in the excesses of corporate behavior is not necessarily driven by a simplistic notion that government can solve all our problems. For pacifists, like me, to realize that some of the neocons really do have noble motives behind their willingness to use military force, in spite of our insistence that it is a morally untenable policy. For conservative Christians to realize that secular liberals can be motivated by deeply held moral principles. And so on. It is always possible to find adherents of any position who are shallow and simplistic, or who are mean and motivated primarily by selfish interests. But there are many on all sides who are genuinely trying to balance ideals with realism.

Yes, in the end it is impossible to have a policy that embodies all positions. At times compromise will prevent the best potential of an idea from ever coming to fruition. But in a pluralistic society, compromise we must. The world is a scary place, and it's easy to see the potential for disaster. But if we look hard enough we might discover that people of differing assumptions actually do have dialogs which lead to useful solutions, even in the contentious halls of Congress.

One of the ironies of this bitter election season has been the extent to which it has brought home for me, how much I really do love my country. Let's resolve to continue to take care of it to the best of our abilities regardless of the outcome next week.

The Polls that DO Matter

The polling of the American people has never been so insanely intense, or so insanely ridiculous. We'd probably be better off as a nation if they just didn't exist, though I freely admit I've been following them far too closely. Exit polls are a different story.

Unlike those simply aimed at prognostication, exit polls serve a vital function in monitoring the election, and their elimination would be a harbinger of totalitarianism. I hope this is obvious, and I'm confident they are not going away anytime soon, but just in case, let's make sure we never throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Friday, 29 October 2004

Foley lost in '94; DeLay in '04?

A remarkable 26% of the electorate is polling as undecided in Texas' 22nd Congressional District, where it is widely assumed that Tom DeLay will be reelected. This is according to Democratic challenger Richard Morrison's own polling which shows DeLay ahead approximately 41%-34%. I've seen other polls that show DeLay with numbers closer to 48 or 49 percent, and running 11 or 12 points ahead of Morrison, but anytime an incumbent's numbers are less that 50%, that's cause for concern as undecideds traditionally break heavily for the challenger.

In 1994, I don't remember anyone seriously predicting beforehand that speaker Tom Foley would lose his own reelection campaign. His speakership was considered in jeopardy only because the Democrats might (as they did) lose majority control. I see many parallels this year with voter dissatisfaction, and cannot help but wonder if a surprise is forthcoming. It is true that safe districting has taken root all the more, taking more and more districts out of play, but if there is a year where unanticipated shifts may occur, this is it.

Very troubling too for Republicans, is a recent Harvard University poll showing unprecedented levels of interest in the election by college students nationwide. There is simply so much that's unpredictable this year with the increased interest, that my first advice is to doubt the pundits, and that includes me.

Another update on Tom DeLay's political troubles.
A call to action to help defeat him.]

Thursday, 28 October 2004

The Steamroller

Imagine a mother looking out of a third story window at her 10 month old baby crawling in the street, oblivious to the approaching steamroller. She could scream in distress at the child, who might in response look up bewildered at her, but fail to move out of the way. Or she could fake a happy demeanor and point out to the child something of interest along the side of the road and out of the way. The second approach is probably more effective, but it is harder to manage.

It's an imperfect analogy, but it does get at the frustration some of us feel in our attempt to guide our fellow citizens to what we feel is an obvious choice in the upcoming election.

The steamroller is unbridled corporate power. The baby is the freedom and prosperity of the common folk. The driver of the steamroller may or may not be able to see the baby. The screaming response is shouting that the interests of the many are being sacrificed for the obscene gains for the few. The putting on of a happy face, is avoiding stating the starkness of the truth we believe for fear it will alienate those who have too much investment in the paving of the road to recognize the greater danger. The something of interest along the side of the road is the minor issue we call attention to in lieu of the big one.

One might read into this analogy that I believe that corporations are a hegemonic force of evil that must be brought down at any cost. I don't. Like individuals though, corporations are imperfect and need to have limits set, or else the unscrupulous among them gain the upper hand. I also recognize that "changing the driver" doesn't get rid of the steamroller, but if one comes to the conclusion that the current driver has no motivation to use the brakes in a reasonable fashion, changing the driver is at least a start to getting at the problem.

I conceded that the analogy is imperfect. Most significantly the analogy suggests doom or salvation, when it is clearly not an all or nothing situation. I do not believe that a second Bush presidency wipes out all controls on corporations, nor that a Kerry Presidency will do nearly as much as I would like to rein in the excesses of corporatedom. For another I'm likening the driver to the President/Government of the United States, when clearly corporate power derives from many sources, and exists in the world today apart from the sovereign influence of any one government. Kerry acknowledges that he can't eliminate outsourcing simply by changing the rules for corporations in this country, for instance.

But at the core of my distress about the current administration is their unashamed willingness to consistently put the interests of the boardrooms above the interests of the public at large. Then they sell the program as good for the country and good for the world. All the while the gap between the rich and the poor widens, protections for the environment are gutted, and our wealth is being squandered on risky military adventures whose only certain winners are the corporations being given the lucrative contracts to assist in the effort.

America, wake up!

The Whole Shebang

There are a lot of great sites which gather information on Congressional races around the country, but the best ones split the information on many pages, often separated by state. Here I roll them all into one list.

The National Committee for an Effective Congress [Democratic] (for instance Washington State) is one great source for information on House races. The DCCC has opened up their tracking site for tonight's races.

The non-partisan Politics 1 (for example New York State) was my primary source for this list, and gives more information about each Candidate with links to websites where available, and lists more 3rd party candidates as well. I've provided a link to each state's page by clicking on the state name.

CNN is probably the best place to look at these returns as they come in, and those links are provided by clicking on coverage.

Third parties are included only where one of the major parties did not field a candidate. (I guessed at the most viable candidate.) The incumbent's party is listed in the 2nd column, and the incumbent party's candidate is the left of the two names at the end. Party affiliation is given in parentheses after the candidates name only if it is not D or R. A # before the incumbent party's candidate indicates that the actual incumbent is not running, either because of retirement, or because they are running for the Senate. Louisiana's asterisks are due to their unusual system of allowing multiple candidates of the same party to run followed by run-off elections, and I'm not sure I picked the favorite. Texas's asterisks are cases where two incumbents are running against each other due to redistricting.

Values in the W-02 column, courtesy Gender Gap, show the percentage of votes that the incumbent party received in 2002. Status is an indication for any races considered competitive, the current likelihood of victory. T is Toss-Up, 1 is close lean, 2 favored, 3 strongly favored. Those without an indication presumably would go easily to the incumbent party. These values rely heavily on the statuses indicated at ActBlue, with a few adjustments based on more (Democratically) optimistic prognostications at MyDD.

Here you go:
Dist     Inc  W-02   Status Candidate    Challenger

Alabama results: Alabama - California
AL-01 R 61 Bonner Belk
AL-02 R 69 Everett James
AL-03 R 50 R2 Rogers Fuller
AL-04 R 87 R3 Aderholt Cole
AL-05 D 73 Cramer Wallace
AL-06 R 90 Bachus
AL-07 D 93 D3 Davis Cameron
AK-01 R 75 Young Higgins
AZ-01 R 49 T Renzi Babbitt
AZ-02 R 59 R3 Franks Camacho
AZ-03 R 67 Shadegg Yannone (L)
AZ-04 D 67 Pastor Karg
AZ-05 R 60 R3 Hayworth Rogers
AZ-06 R 65 Flake Stritar (L)
AZ-07 D 58 Grijalva Sweeney
AZ-08 R 63 Kolbe Bacal
AR-01 D 65 Berry Humphrey
AR-02 D 99 D3 Snyder Parks
AR-03 R 99 R3 Boozman Judy
AR-04 D 60 Ross
CA-01 D 64 Thompson Wiesner
CA-02 R 66 Herger Johnson
CA-03 R 62 R3 # Lungren Castillo
CA-04 R 65 Doolittle Winters
CA-05 D 72 Matsui Dugas
CA-06 D 67 Woolsey Erikson
CA-07 D 71 Miller Hargrave
CA-08 D 80 Pelosi DePalma
CA-09 D 82 Lee Bermudez
CA-10 D 76 Tauscher Ketelson
CA-11 R 60 R3 Pombo McNerney
CA-12 D 68 D3 Lantos Garza
CA-13 D 71 Stark Bruno
CA-14 D 68 Eshoo Haugen
CA-15 D 66 D3 Honda Chukwu
CA-16 D 67 D3 Lofgren McNea
CA-17 D 68 Farr Risley
CA-18 D 52 Cardoza Pringle
CA-19 R 67 Radanovich Bufford
CA-20 D 64 D2 # Costa Ashburn
CA-21 R 70 Nunes Davis
CA-22 R 73 Thomas
CA-23 D 59 Capps Regan
CA-24 R 65 R3 Gallegly Wagner
CA-25 R 65 McKeon Willoughby
CA-26 R 64 R3 Dreier Matthews
CA-27 D 62 Sherman Levy
CA-28 D 71 Berman Hernandez
CA-29 D 63 Schiff Scolinos
CA-30 D 70 Waxman Elizalde
CA-31 D 81 Becerra Vega
CA-32 D 69 Solis Faegre (L)
CA-33 D 83 Watson Weber (L)
CA-34 D 74 Allard Miller
CA-35 D 78 Waters Moen
CA-36 D 61 Harman Whitehead
CA-37 D 73 Millender-McD. Van
CA-38 D 71 Napolitano
CA-39 D 55 Sanchez Escobar
CA-40 R 67 Royce Williams
CA-41 R 67 Lewis Mottahedeh (L)
CA-42 R 68 Miller Myers
CA-43 D 67 Baca Laning
CA-44 R 63 Calvert Vandenberg
CA-45 R 65 Bono Meyer
CA-46 R 62 R3 Rohrabacher Brandt
CA-47 D 61 Sanchez Coronado
CA-48 R 68 Cox Graham
CA-49 R 74 R3 Issa Byron
CA-50 R 64 R3 Cunningham Busby
CA-51 D 58 Filner Giorgino
CA-52 R 70 R3 Hunter Keliher
CA-53 D 63 D3 Davis Hunzeker
Colorado results: Colorado - Georgia
CO-01 D 67 DeGette Chicas
CO-02 D 60 Udall Hackman
CO-03 R 66 T # Walcher Salazar
CO-04 R 55 R3 Musgrave Matsunaka
CO-05 R 71 Hefley Hardee
CO-06 R 68 R3 Tancredo Conti
CO-07 R 47 R1 Beauprez Thomas
CT-01 D 67 D3 Larson Halstead
CT-02 R 54 R1 Simmons Sullivan
CT-03 D 66 D3 DeLauro Elser
CT-04 R 64 R1 Shays Farrell
CT-05 R 54 Johnson Gerratana
DE-01 R 72 Castle Donnelly
FL-01 R 75 Miller Coutu
FL-02 D 67 D2 Boyd Kilmer
FL-03 D 59 Brown Brown (I)
FL-04 R 100 Crenshaw Grayson (I)
FL-05 R 48 R3 Brown-Waite Whittel
FL-06 R 65 R3 Stearns Bruderly
FL-07 R 60 Mica
FL-08 R 65 R3 Keller Murray
FL-09 R 72 Bilirakis Pasayan (I)
FL-10 R 100 Young Derry
FL-11 D 100 Davis Johnson (L)
FL-12 R 100 R3 Putnam Hagenmaier
FL-13 R 55 R2 Harris Schneider
FL-14 R 100 # Mack Neeld
FL-15 R 63 Weldon Pristoop
FL-16 R 79 R3 Foley Fisher
FL-17 D 100 Meek Musa (SW)
FL-18 R 69 R3 Ros-Lehtinen Sheldon
FL-19 D 72 Wexler
FL-20 D 100 # Schultz Hostetter
FL-21 R 100 Diaz-Balart Gonzalez (L)
FL-22 R 60 Shaw Rorapaugh
FL-23 D 78 Hastings
FL-24 R 62 Feeney
FL-25 R 65 Diaz-Balart
GA-01 R 72 Kingston
GA-02 D 100 Bishop Eversman
GA-03 D 51 Marshall Clay
GA-04 D 77 D3 # McKinney Davis
GA-05 D 100 Lewis
GA-06 R 80 # Price Pelphrey (wi)
GA-07 R 79 Linder
GA-08 R 78 R3 # Westmoreland Delamar
GA-09 R 73 R3 Norwood Ellis
GA-10 R 100 Deal
GA-11 R 52 R2 Gingrey Crawford
GA-12 R 55 T Burns Barrow
GA-13 D 60 Scott
Hawaii results: Hawaii - Louisiana
HI-01 D 69 Abercrombie Tanonaka
HI-02 D SE* Case Gabbard
ID-01 R 59 Otter Preston
ID-02 R 68 Simpson Whitworth
IL-01 D 81 Rush Wardingley
IL-02 D 82 D3 Jackson Sailor (L)
IL-03 D 100 # D Lipinski Chlada
IL-04 D 80 Gutierrez Cisneros
IL-05 D 67 Emanuel Best
IL-06 R 65 R3 Hyde Cegelis
IL-07 D 83 Davis Davis-Fairman
IL-08 R 57 R1 Crane Bean
IL-09 D 70 Schakowsky Eckhardt
IL-10 R 69 R3 Kirk Goodman
IL-11 R 65 R3 Weller Renner
IL-12 D 69 Costello Zweigart
IL-13 R 70 Biggert Andersen
IL-14 R 74 R3 Hastert Zamora
IL-15 R 65 R3 Johnson Gill
IL-16 R 71 Manzullo Kutsch
IL-17 D 62 Evans Zinga
IL-18 R 100 LaHood Waterworth
IL-19 R 55 R3 Shimkus Bagwell
IN-01 D 67 Visclosky Leyva
IN-02 R 50 R2 Chocola Donnelly
IN-03 R 63 Souder Parra
IN-04 R 71 R3 Buyer Sanders
IN-05 R 72 Burton Carr
IN-06 R 64 R3 Pence Fox
IN-07 D 53 D3 Carson Horning
IN-08 R 51 R1 Hostettler Jennings
IN-09 D 51 D1 Hill Sodrel
IA-01 R 57 R2 Nussle Gluba
IA-02 R 52 R3 Leach Franker
IA-03 D 53 D2 Boswell Thompson
IA-04 R 55 R3 Latham Johnson
IA-05 R 62 R3 King Schulte
KS-01 R 91 Moran Warner (L)
KS-02 R 60 R3 Ryun Boyda
KS-03 D 50 D1 Moore Kobach
KS-04 R 61 Tiahrt Kinard
KY-01 R 65 Whitfield Cartwright
KY-02 R 70 Lewis Smith
KY-03 R 52 R1 Northup Miller
KY-04 D 51 T # Clooney Davis
KY-05 R 78 Rogers
KY-06 D SE* D2 Chandler Buford
LA-01 R 81 # Jindal* Armstrong*
LA-02 D 64 Jefferson Schwertz
LA-03 R 87 T # Romero* Baldone*
LA-04 R 72 McCrery
LA-05 R 50 R2 Alexander* Blakes
LA-06 R 84 Baker Craig*
LA-07 D 87 T # Mount* Thibodaux*
Maine results: Maine - Missouri
ME-01 D 64 D3 Allen Summers
ME-02 D 52 D2 Michaud Hamel
MD-01 R 77 Gilchrest Alexakis
MD-02 D 55 D3 Ruppersberger Brooks
MD-03 D 66 Cardin Duckworth
MD-04 D 79 Wynn McKinnis
MD-05 D 70 Hoyer Jewitt
MD-06 R 66 Bartlett Bosley
MD-07 D 74 Cummings Salazar
MD-08 D 52 Hollen Floyd
MA-01 D 68 Olver Adam
MA-02 D 100 Neal
MA-03 D 100 McGovern Crews
MA-04 D 100 Frank Morse
MA-05 D 60 Meehan Tierney
MA-06 D 68 Tierney O'Malley
MA-07 D 100 Markey Chase
MA-08 D 100 Capuano
MA-09 D 100 Lynch
MA-10 D 69 Delahunt Jones
MI-01 D 68 Stupak Hooper
MI-02 R 70 Hoekstra Kotos
MI-03 R 70 Ehlers Hickey
MI-04 R 68 R3 Camp Huckleberry
MI-05 D 92 Kildee Kirkwood
MI-06 R 69 Upton Elliott
MI-07 R 60 R3 # Schwarz Renier
MI-08 R 68 R3 Rogers Alexander
MI-09 R 58 Knollenberg Reifman
MI-10 R 63 Miller Casey
MI-11 R 57 McCotter Truran
MI-12 D 68 Levin Shaffer
MI-13 D 92 Kilpatrick Cassell
MI-14 D 83 Conyers Pedraza
MI-15 D 72 Dingell Reamer
MN-01 R 62 Gutknecht Pomeroy
MN-02 R 53 R2 Kline Daly
MN-03 R 72 R2 Ramstad Watts
MN-04 D 62 McCollum Bataglia
MN-05 D 67 Sabo Mathias
MN-06 R 57 R1 Kennedy Wetterling
MN-07 D 65 Peterson Sturrock
MN-08 D 69 Oberstar Groettum
MS-01 R 71 Wicker Washer (Ref)
MS-02 D 54 D3 Thompson LeSueur
MS-03 R 64 Pickering Magee (Ref)
MS-04 D 75 D3 Taylor Lott
MO-01 D 70 Clay Farr
MO-02 R 67 Akin Weber
MO-03 D 59 D2 # Carnahan Federer
MO-04 D 67 Skelton Noland
MO-05 D 66 D2 # Cleaver Patterson
MO-06 R 63 R2 Graves Broomfield
MO-07 R 75 R3 Blunt Newberry
MO-08 R 72 Emerson Henderson
MO-09 R 68 R3 Hulshof Jacobsen
Montana results: Montana - New York
MT-01 R 65 R3 Rehberg Velazquez
NE-01 R 85 R2 # Fortenberry Connealy
NE-02 R 63 R3 Terry Thompson
NE-03 R 93 Osborne Anderson
NV-01 D 54 D3 Berkley Mickelson
NV-02 R 74 Gibbons Cochran
NV-03 R 56 R1 Porter Gallagher
New Hampshire
NH-01 R 58 R2 Bradley Nadeau
NH-02 R 57 R2 Bass Hodes
New Jersey
NJ-01 D 93 Andrews Hutchison
NJ-02 R 69 LoBiondo Robb
NJ-03 R 65 R3 Saxton Conaway
NJ-04 R 66 R3 Smith Vasquez
NJ-05 R 60 R3 Garrett Wolfe
NJ-06 D 67 Pallone Fernandez
NJ-07 R 58 R2 Ferguson Brozak
NJ-08 D 67 Pascrell Ajjan
NJ-09 D 70 Rothman Trawinski
NJ-10 D 84 Payne Washington (G)
NJ-11 R 72 Frelinghuysen Buell
NJ-12 D 60 D3 Holt Spadea
NJ-13 D 78 Menendez Piatkowski
New Mexico
NM-01 R 55 R1 Wilson Romero
NM-02 R 56 R2 Pearce King
NM-03 D 100 Udall Tucker
New York results: Montana - New York
NY-01 D 50 D1 Bishop Manger
NY-02 D 58 Israel Hoffmann
NY-03 R 72 King Mathies
NY-04 D 56 D2 McCarthy Garner
NY-05 D 93 Ackerman Graves
NY-06 D 96 Meeks
NY-07 D 73 Crowley Cinquemain
NY-08 D 74 Nadler Hort
NY-09 D 65 Weiner Cronin
NY-10 D 96 Towns Clarke
NY-11 D 86 Owens Lieberman (C/SC)
NY-12 D 95 Velazquez Rodriguez
NY-13 R 70 R3 Fossella Barbaro
NY-14 D 75 Maloney Srdanovic
NY-15 D 87 Rangel Jefferson
NY-16 D 92 Serrano Mohamed
NY-17 D 62 Engel Brennan
NY-18 D 92 Lowey Hoffman
NY-19 R 70 R3 Kelly Jalamin
NY-20 R 73 R3 Sweeney Kelly
NY-21 D 75 McNulty Redlich
NY-22 D 64 Hinchey Brenner
NY-23 R 100 McHugh Johnson
NY-24 R 71 Boehlert Miller
NY-25 R 72 Walsh Hawkins (P&J)
NY-26 R 74 R3 Reynolds Davis
NY-27 R 69 T # Naples Higgins
NY-28 D 62 Slaughter Laba
NY-29 R 73 R3 # Kuhl Barend
North Carolina results: North Carolina - Pennsylvania
NC-01 D SE* Butterfield Dority
NC-02 D 65 Etheridge Creech
NC-03 R 84 Jones Eaton
NC-04 D 61 Price Batchelor
NC-05 R 70 R2 # Foxx Harrell
NC-06 R 90 Coble Jordan
NC-07 D 71 McIntyre Plonk
NC-08 R 54 R2 Hayes Troutman
NC-09 R 72 R3 Myrick Flynn
NC-10 R 59 R3 # McHenry Fischer
NC-11 R 56 R2 Taylor Keever
NC-12 D 65 Watt Fisher
NC-13 D 55 D2 Miller Johnson
North Dakota
ND-01 D 52 Pomeroy Sand
Ohio results: North Carolina - Pennsylvania
OH-01 R 65 R3 Chabot Harris
OH-02 R 74 Portman Sanders
OH-03 R 59 R3 Turner Mitakides
OH-04 R 67 R3 Oxley Konop
OH-05 R 67 R3 Gilmor Weirauch
OH-06 D 59 Strickland Murphy (?)
OH-07 R 68 R3 Hobson Anastasio
OH-08 R 71 Boehner Hardenbrook
OH-09 D 74 D3 Kaptur Kaczala
OH-10 D 74 Kucinich Herman
OH-11 D 76 Jones
OH-12 R 65 Tiberi Brown
OH-13 D 69 Brown Lucas
OH-14 R 72 R3 LaTourette Cafaro
OH-15 R 67 Pryce Brown
OH-16 R 67 R3 Regula Seemann
OH-17 D 51 D3 Ryan Cusimano
OH-18 R 100 Ney Thomas
OK-01 R 56 Sullivan Dodd
OK-02 D 76 D2 # Boren Smalley
OK-03 R 76 Lucas Wilson (Ind)
OK-04 R 54 Cole Bradshaw (Ind)
OK-05 R 62 Istook Smith
Oregon results: North Carolina - Pennsylvania
OR-01 D 62 D2 Wu Ameri
OR-02 R 72 R3 Walden McColgan
OR-03 D 67 D3 Blumenauer Mars
OR-04 D 64 DeFazio Feldkamp
OR-05 D 55 D2 Hooley Zupancic
Pennsylvania results: North Carolina - Pennsylvania
PA-01 D 86 Brady Williams
PA-02 D 88 Fattah Bolno
PA-03 R 78 English Porter
PA-04 R 65 Hart Drobac
PA-05 R 87 Peterson Martin (L)
PA-06 R 51 R1 Gerlach Murphy
PA-07 R 63 Weldon Scoles
PA-08 R 63 T # Fitzpatrick Schrader
PA-09 R 70 Shuster Politis
PA-10 R 93 Sherwood Hannevig (C)
PA-11 D 56 Kanjorski Brenneman (C)
PA-12 D 74 Murtha
PA-13 D 51 D1 # Schwartz Brown
PA-14 D 100 Doyle
PA-15 R 57 R1 # Dent Driscoll
PA-16 R 88 R3 Pitts Herr
PA-17 D 51 D1 Holden Paterno
PA-18 R 60 R3 Murphy Boles
PA-19 R 91 Platts Sheeder (G)
Rhode Island results: Rhode Island - Utah
RI-01 D 60 Kennedy Rogers
RI-02 D 76 Langevin Barton
South Carolina
SC-01 R 90 Brown Dunn (G)
SC-02 R 84 Wilson Ellisor
SC-03 R 67 Barrett
SC-04 R 69 Inglis Brown
SC-05 D 86 Spratt Spencer
SC-06 D 67 Clyburn McLeod (C)
South Dakota
SD-01 D SE* D1 Herseth Diedrich
Tennessee results: Rhode Island - Utah
TN-01 R 100 Jenkins Leonard
TN-02 R 79 Duncan Greene
TN-03 R 65 Wamp Wolfe
TN-04 D 52 D2 Davis Bowling
TN-05 D 64 Cooper Knapp
TN-06 D 66 Gordon Demas
TN-07 R 71 Blackburn
TN-08 D 70 Tanner Hart
TN-09 D 84 Ford Fort
Texas results: Rhode Island - Utah
TX-01 D 56 T Sandlin Gohmert
TX-02 D 61 T Lampson Poe
TX-03 R 74 Johnson Vessels (L)
TX-04 R 58 R3 # Hall Nickerson
TX-05 R 58 Hensarling Bernstein
TX-06 R 71 R3 Barton Meyer
TX-07 R 89 Culberson Martinez
TX-08 R 93 Brady Wright
TX-09 D 59 D3 # Green Molina
TX-10 D 84 R3 # Sadun (wi) McCaul
TX-11 D 52 R4 # Raasch Conaway
TX-12 R 92 R3 Granger Alvarado
TX-13 R 69 Thornberry Smith (L)
TX-14 R 68 Paul
TX-15 D 100 Hinojosa Thamm
TX-16 D 100 Reyes Brigham
TX-17 D 51 D1 Edwards Wohlgemuth
TX-18 D 77 Lee Sullivan (L)
TX-19 R 92 T Neugebauer* Stenholm*
TX-20 D 100 Gonzalez Scott
TX-21 R 73 Smith Smith
TX-22 R 63 R3 DeLay Morrison
TX-23 R 51 Bonilla Sullivan
TX-24 D 65 R4 # Page Marchant
TX-25 D 55 D3 Doggett Klein
TX-26 R 75 Burgess Reyes
TX-27 D 61 Ortiz Vaden
TX-28 D 71 D3 # Cuellar Hopson
TX-29 D 95 Green Messina (L)
TX-30 D 74 Johnson Davis (L)
TX-31 R 69 Carter Porter
TX-32 R 68 T Sessions* Frost*
Utah results: Rhode Island - Utah
UT-01 R 61 Bishop Thompson
UT-02 D 50 D1 Matheson Swallow
UT-03 R 67 Cannon Babka
Vermont results: Vermont - Wyoming
VT-01 Ind 65 Sanders (Ind) Drown (D)
Virginia results: Vermont - Wyoming
VA-01 R 96 Davis Lee (Ind)
VA-02 R 83 R2 # Drake Ashe
VA-03 D 96 D3 Scott Sears
VA-04 R 98 R3 Forbes Menefee
VA-05 R 63 R3 Goode Weed
VA-06 R 97 Goodlatte
VA-07 R 69 Cantor Blanton (G)
VA-08 D 60 D2 Moran Cheney
VA-09 D 66 D2 Boucher Triplett
VA-10 R 72 R3 Wolf Socas
VA-11 R 83 R3 Davis Longmyer
Washington results: Vermont - Wyoming
WA-01 D 55 D3 Inslee Eastwood
WA-02 D 51 D2 Larson Sinclair
WA-03 D 63 D3 Baird Crowson
WA-04 R 66 R3 Hastings Matheson
WA-05 R 62 R1 # McMorris Barbieri
WA-06 D 64 D3 Dicks Cloud
WA-07 D 75 McDermott Cassady
WA-08 R 60 T # Reichert Ross
WA-09 D 58 D3 Smith Lord
West Virginia results: Vermont - Wyoming
WV-01 D 100 Mollohan Parks
WV-02 R 60 R3 Capito Wells
WV-03 D 70 Rahall Snuffer
Wisconsin results: Vermont - Wyoming
WI-01 R 67 Ryan Thomas
WI-02 D 66 D3 Baldwin Magnum
WI-03 D 63 Kind Schultz
WI-04 D 76 D3 # Moore Boyle
WI-05 R 86 R3 Sensenbrenner Kennedy
WI-06 R 100 Petri Hall
WI-07 D 64 D3 Obey Miles (G)
WI-08 R 73 Green LeClair
Wyoming results: Vermont - Wyoming
WY-01 R 61 R3 Cubin Ladd

* SE = Current Congressperson chosen in Special Election since 2002

Wednesday, 27 October 2004

Lunar Eclipse Tonight!

Here in the Seattle area we're actually expecting clear skies for the lunar eclipse tonight. I even remembered to bring my binoculars so I can get a better view when taking a break from my class tonight. This is a lovely astronomical event well worth ducking outside for, and unlike a solar eclipse, it is widely viewable and safe on the eyes. Starts around 6 PM Pacific / 9 PM Eastern, with totality starting about 7:20 Pacific / 10:20 Eastern and lasting over an hour.

Monday, 25 October 2004

Looking Ahead

With only eight days left, and little extra time, it's tough to know where to spend one's remaining energy. Probably won't do a great deal of 'blogging' with GOTV clearly being the most important thing now, but living in a 'blue' state and a safely Democratic CD, there are a couple of posts still nagging at me. A look at conscientious objection has been on my to do list for a long time. I would like to call everyone's attention to Doug Bandow's article "Why conservatives must not vote for Bush". I've been compiling information on the state of ALL of the House Congressional races, and might post a l-o-o-o-n-g comprehensive list, for those frustrated with sites where the best information is separated into 50 different states. CNN is probably the best place to look at these returns as they come in.

Eventually I want to get back to my investigation of the relationship between society and corporations, but that will surely wait until after the election. As ever, I'm open to suggestions.

Friday, 22 October 2004

Yes, I am.

Thanks to Anarchie Bunker.

(Lest we forget that we're not really voting on just two men, or even a whole cabinet.)

Thursday, 21 October 2004

It's Wisconsin!

As the election nears, both campaigns are narrowing their focus on their most realistic chances of winning the Presidency.

Bush's people realize that Ohio, though it appears tied, is a state that they just can't count on. Kerry's campaign realizes the same thing about Florida.

What that means for Bush is that Florida, Iowa, and Wisconsin have become the must win states, that could carry the election for him if there isn't a global shift, and he loses Ohio.

Similarly for Kerry, Ohio and Wisconsin have become the must win states, that could carry the election for him if there isn't a global shift, and he loses Florida.

Wisconsin is on both lists. I've looked at the Congressional races in Wisconsin, and there's not one with a serious challenge to the incumbent party. Nonetheless, I added Bryan Kennedy, longshot Democratic challenger in Milwaukee's northern suburbs, to my ActBlue list of Democratic candidates for whom I'm fundraising. Iowa is important too, because Kerry could still win by taking Ohio and Iowa without Wisconsin, but my bet is that Iowa and Wisconsin will go to the same candidate, and that candidate will be our next President. Slate has a great site for tracking all this.

Tuesday, 19 October 2004

The Half That Doesn't Vote

Sometimes I hear friends opine that if only the half of the voters who didn't show up on election day would vote, somebody like Nader might have a chance. I don't know if these people are serious, but if so they are certainly deluded. Of course there IS some contingent of cynical left leaning non-voters in this country who just don't turn out due to disgust with our choices. I'd be surprised, however, if that group amounted to more than 10% of those who don't vote, and it would be countered by close to the same number of cynical non-voters of decidedly different persuasions. Most of the non-voting population I would guess is markedly apolitical, and there's no telling what they'd do if forced into the ballot box. More than likely they would vote for whichever name they had heard the most.

According to, "turnout among potentially eligible voters in the U.S. in presidential elections is only 50-55%. By comparison, turnout is 70-75% in Canada and well over 80% in most other democracies." Certainly there is the potential to increase the voter rolls enormously, and I do believe there has been a substantial increase this year. In a 1998 report the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate estimates that the percentage of registered voters has hovered between 60 and 66 percent over the last twenty years.

With all the attention being afforded the Presidential election this year, combined with the uncannily close result four years ago in which the sense that every vote may make a difference, it's a pretty sure bet that both registration and turnout will be up this year, though by how much is hard to say. I've seen vague reports about increased registration, but no solid figures. With polls as closely divided as they are, it seems likely that new registrants and new voters are just as likely to come from pro-Bush environments as anti-Bush environments. Why is it then that I'm so confident that this new group of voters is going to break 60-40 in Kerry's direction?


Monday, 18 October 2004

Before and After

Thomas Friedman has always been way too hawkish for me, but his analysis has always incorporated a wealth of knowledge and research into foreign affairs. His recent scathing editorial about the Bush team's breathtaking bungling of the war in Iraq stands in fascinating counterpoint to Friedman's own prewar belief in the nobility of the vision of a democratized Iraq, in spite of his prescient misgivings about the gamble.
...Mr. Bush's audacious shake of the dice appeals to me. He summed it up well in his speech last week: "A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions. America's interest in security and America's belief in liberty both lead in the same direction — to a free and peaceful Iraq."
Being away has not changed my belief one iota in the importance of producing a decent outcome in Iraq, to help move the Arab-Muslim world off its steady slide toward increased authoritarianism, unemployment, overpopulation, suicidal terrorism and religious obscurantism. But my time off has clarified for me, even more, that this Bush team can't get us there, and may have so messed things up that no one can. Why? Because each time the Bush team had to choose between doing the right thing in the war on terrorism or siding with its political base and ideology, it chose its base and ideology.
A U.S. invasion to disarm Iraq, oust Saddam Hussein and rebuild a decent Iraqi state would be the mother of all presidential gambles. Anyone who thinks President Bush is doing this for political reasons is nuts. You could do this only if you really believed in it, because Mr. Bush is betting his whole presidency on this war of choice.
What I resent so much is that some of us actually put our personal politics aside in thinking about this war and about why it is so important to produce a different Iraq. This administration never did.
So here's how I feel: I feel as if the president is presenting us with a beautiful carved mahogany table — a big, bold, gutsy vision. But if you look underneath, you discover that this table has only one leg. His bold vision on Iraq is not supported by boldness in other areas. And so I am terribly worried that Mr. Bush has told us the right thing to do, but won't be able to do it right.
here is the cold, hard truth: This war has been hugely mismanaged by this administration, in the face of clear advice to the contrary at every stage. As a result, the range of decent outcomes in Iraq has been narrowed and the tools we have to bring even those about are more limited than ever.
So there you have it. Friedman was downright prophetic when it comes to speculating on the outcome of policy, but not so insightful in his judgment about the apolitical nature of the policy makers.

[Note: this generated quite a lot of discussion over on WatchBlog.]

Saturday, 16 October 2004

Take Heart! It's the Election that matters.

I've heard some wailing lately that in spite of winning all three debates, Kerry hasn't pulled ahead in the polls. Kerry was right to target his base more than the swing voters in the last two debates, because that's where he's going to win this election. Targeting swing voters to the exclusion of firing up the base would have helped his poll numbers, but the Democrats' advantage this year is going to be the phenomenal turnout among voters hellbent on defeating W. There is no way the polls can accurately reflect that. Focusing on firing up that natural constituency was the right way to go - and I feel he did it in a way that didn't alienate many of the swing voters either.
-the eternal optimist

Thursday, 14 October 2004

Letter to my conservative friends and relatives

Dear friends and relatives,

I hope this crazy election season finds you in good spirits and able to still laugh and smile with people of every political persuasion. I must confess that I am feeling very grave concerns about this election, which are hampering my natural tendency toward light-heartedness. Because my fears for our wonderful nation are so great, I am feeling compelled to share them in the most urgent terms with everyone that I can.

While I have some conservative values, on the whole I am fairly liberal in my political outlook. Having said that, I do strongly believe that a healthy government needs a mixture of conservative and liberal voices within it in order to govern with balance, and our two party system can potentially provide a mechanism for that. I think that it is natural for anyone to want to believe the best about their elected officials who represent the ideology with which they feel most closely aligned. When a bad apple does show up, it is typically going to be the opposition party who sees that clearly first. This goes both ways.

In the current election I have never been more certain in my life that the Bush administration has gotten way off track and represents a very real threat to the fabric of our democracy. I know that may sound overwrought, and you may believe I’ve been hoodwinked by the talking points of Democratic partisans, but before you rush to that conclusion please refer to the enclosures with this letter. There is the very eloquent endorsement of John Kerry by John Eisenhower, son of the late President Eisenhower, and a lifelong Republican. There is the analysis of the Bush team’s handling of the Middle East by foreign affairs correspondent, Thomas Friedman. Consider that on the eve of invading Iraq, in spite of his trepidation about it, Friedman was hopeful that the bold move would be well handled and bring a true positive change to the region. Finally I am enclosing a graphic based on data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which clearly demonstrates that there is no basis for believing that fiscal responsibility is the purview of the Republican party.

Many who may be troubled by some of Bush’s policies, take solace from the apparent deep religious convictions that he holds. I cannot claim to know what is in George W. Bush’s heart. I can observe the policies of his administration, and what both Bush and his spokespeople have had to say in their defense. What troubles me most deeply is the level of deception which has been used in those statements. Deceit is certainly not one of the Christian values which I learned growing up in Sunday school in Georgia. Now I recognize that some deception comes with the territory of American politics, and that there is plenty of it to go around in both parties. But let me point out just two examples, which I find simply unconscionable.

The first was the suggestion which was made repeatedly that Saddam was somehow linked to the planning of the September 11 attacks. Whatever one believes to be the case about the intelligence suggesting that Iraq was harboring WMD, no reputable analysts from either party truly believed that Saddam played a role in planning the attack. People in the administration knew that Saddam was despised as a secular infidel by Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Nurturing a public perception that one knows to be false, as a means of garnering support for a military action which will cost many lives, is just not forgivable in my view.

The other was when the bill including the prescription drug benefit was on the table, and headed for a tough fight in Congress. Richard Foster, chief actuary for the Medicare program, had new estimates that the bill would be $150 billion more costly than the previous estimate, and later revealed he was threatened with firing if he revealed that before the vote. Two months after the vote the higher cost of the bill was revealed.

I do not relish being so negative about our leadership here on the eve of our election, but I love my country and feel it is my patriotic duty to call it as I see it. John Kerry may not be your cup of tea, but I believe the Republican party will be well served to lose this time around. A Bush loss will cause more reasonable voices can rise to the fore within the Republican party, and we can return to a healthy balance with many perspectives and ideologies represented in our government. Rest assured that conservative values will continue to be represented in Washington, D.C., even if Kerry wins and Democrats regain a narrow majority in the House of Representatives. John Kerry understands that it would be unwise to govern without the moderation demanded by the closely split electorate we have seen over the last several elections.

I continue to have great hope for the future of this great nation and the world in which my child will grow up. However you decide to vote in this election, please understand the earnestness with which I believe a change of leadership is a necessary step in healing the wounds of partisanship, which are so apparent today. I am not going to give up on our country if Bush wins this election, but I do feel I owe it to myself, and to future generations to do what I can to set a new course. Thank you for considering my earnest plea!

Sincerely yours,

The foregoing is pasted from a letter I actually wrote today, but haven't yet sent, to a relative back in my home state of Georgia. Now given that most of my relatives are in Georgia, a state Kerry doesn't really need, I need to judge whether the letter will do more to upset than to sway. There's no point in upsetting 'Aunt Hilda' in her last days, or wasting the effort on 'Uncle Milton' who I know would only roll his eyes in mockery. If my conservative friends and relatives were in swing states, that would move the bar toward sending it. But like the protagonist of Alice's Restaurant, I just gotta wonder: suppose every reasonable conservative in the country received one or two such heartfelt letters from friends or relatives they don't ordinarily talk politics with? Even if it didn't sway the election, it might change the way we relate to each other. And that ain't all bad.

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

Reasonable Right

In the early days of 2004, I believed that Bush's Achilles heel would be an oncoming wave of defections of prominent conservatives and Republicans whose consciences would demand that they put country ahead of party and publicly endorse the Democrat this time around. I continue to argue that a Kerry win would benefit the Republican Party long term, by strengthening the voices of reason and moderation within it. I clearly underestimated the power of loyalty and personal investment in the party that moderates feel, as the anticipated wave has been a trickle of mostly retired Republicans or non-office-holders. Even groups like Mainstream 2004, a collection of Republican ex-governors and ex-senators decrying extremism and calling for moderation within the Republican policy, come short of simply endorsing the opposition, though Linwood Holton, former Republican governor of Virginia and member of the group has suggested that he could not vote for Bush under the current circumstances.

Now that's not to say that there aren't a lot of long time Republicans who will defect this year. I think that especially in the over 60 crowd there are many who remember the days of Eisenhower, and are ready to say that enough is enough. But for anyone officially within the party, there seems to be a formidable taboo against officially endorsing a formal opponent. Hagel, Snowe, Collins, and sometimes McCain may equivocate about particular administration policies or stances, but you won't be hearing a cross-party endorsement. Even lonely liberal Republican, Lincoln Chafee won't come out and say he's voting for Kerry, though to do otherwise would be inconsistent with his voting record in the Senate.

Conservative columnists certainly feel freer to express doubt and dissent at aspects of the policies of Republicans. But even so, there is surprising reluctance to give outright endorsements of the other guys in deference to the country ahead of party concept. I'm always looking for exceptions to this, and will be pleased to have more pointed out to me.

John Eisenhower, son of the former President, wrote an eloquent editorial endorsement of John Kerry, in which he says "we voters will have to make cool judgments, unencumbered by habits of the past." He even goes on to express enthusiasm about his decision to pull the lever for Kerry, which is just about unprecedented for a prominent Republican.

Among the regular citizenry, of course, there's no such taboo. I found:
in a quick web search.

I do hope some exit polls ask voters to identify who they voted for, if they voted, in 2000, as it will be interesting to see the number of switches. I agree with what I've read that the number of switches in both directions is likely to be unprecedented this year, as 9/11 and its aftermath, as well as the Bush response to it and the launching of two wars, had profound but uneven effects on almost all Americans.