Thursday, October 07, 2004

Minnesota and New Jersey: Up For Grabs?



Much has been made of the fact that if there are any Kerry coat tails (fat chance), they will be so thin that Congressional and Senate candidates would be best served looking after their own asses. Senator Tom Daschle, the motherfucking Senate Minority Leader, in an incredibly tough race in South Dakota, actually runs campaign commercials of him hugging President Bush. WTF?! Bush has, of course, endorsed Daschle's opponent. And if Minnesota and New Jersey -- previously Democratic stronghold -- are any indication, the party is in deep doo doo.

In Minnesota, a Rasmussen poll shows, according to the Center for Public Opinion and Democracy:

"The state of Minnesota is too close to call in the 2004 United States presidential election, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 46 per cent of respondents would vote for Republican incumbent George W. Bush, while 46 per cent would support Democratic nominee John Kerry.

"Four per cent of respondents would vote for another candidate, and four per cent remain undecided. The election is scheduled for Nov. 2.

"Backing for Bush increased by two per cent since August, while support for Kerry dropped by two per cent. In July, the Democrat held a seven per cent lead over the Republican."

So -- in Minnesota, the Independents will decide the race. Actually, backing for Kerry in Minnesota has dropped 3 percent since July as Bush has gained 4 percent since July. Minnesota is turning into a Republican state, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the times they are a changin.

And in Jersey, a new Quinnipiac poll has the race is 49-46 Kerry, but with a statistical margin of error of 2.9 percent, that puts them in a dead heat, underlying what a dirtbag Ralph Nader really is (he gets 2 percent in the poll) but, most telling, when voters are asked if they are enthusiastic about their candidates, Bush wins, hands down. Reuters says:

"New Jersey now is considered a swing state though it voted for the 2000 Democratic candidate, Al Gore, by a wide margin.

"Kerry was expected to easily carry New Jersey until national polls showed the race was very close, according to Doug Schwartz, who directed the poll.

"'Memories of September 11 still lead voters to list terrorism as their number one issue, a concern that favors President Bush,' Carroll said in a statement.

"Nearly 700 New Jersey residents died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center."

And, feeling Minnesota, TheHill reports:

"'This state is up for grabs,' says University of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs. Minnesota leans Kerry, 'but it?s pretty close,' Jacobs says. Al Gore squeezed out a two-point win over George Bush in 2000, collecting the states 10 electoral votes not many but more than the difference between the two candidates four years ago.

"When neighbors Iowa and Wisconsin are factored in, as much is at stake in the Upper Midwest as in Florida.The area, Jacobs says, could 'decide the election.' Both President Bush and Sen. John Kerry have spent considerable time here. The president has visited five times, the challenger six.Republicans are again knocking on the door.

"Nowhere harder than in Anoka, the inspiration for Garrison Keillors fictional Lake Wobegon, and other counties that make up the congressional 6th and 2nd districts, suburban areas that turn rural and have large numbers of voters who describe themselves as independent.

"'This is the slice of the country that everybody is trying to get,' says Justin Buoen, the 23-year-old field director for the DFL in Blaine. These counties, in a ring around the Twin Cities, were once a DFL stronghold, but they voted for ex-pro wrestler Jesse Ventura in 1998 for governor and helped propel Republicans Sen. Norm Coleman and Gov. Tim Pawlenty to office in their 2002 races.Coleman and Pawlenty bested two longtime DFLers: former Vice President Mondale, who entered the Senate race after Wellstone died in a plane crash, and Roger Moe, the longest-serving state Senate majority leader in Minnesotas history.

"'The demographics have changed,' says Coleman, who was a Democrat before switching parties as mayor of St. Paul."

It is so easy to get so lost in the heat of the campaign that one misses the shifting electoral landscape. How fascinating that the electoral landscape -- that which one would consider, at least regionally, to be stable -- is contingent on events as unforeseen as a plane crash and a gay Israeli lover.

Oh yeah, and fuck Ralph Nader.


2 comments:

Ken Goldstein said...

C'mon, we all saw the gay Israeli lover thing coming.

The Corsair said...

my gaydar was so way off on that one. I thought McGreevy was just an impecably groomed public servant.