Thursday, October 05, 2006

American Election Watch

In just over a month on November 7 Americans will go to the polls for midterm Congressional and Senate seats as well as various State governor races and plebiscites. This election will decide whether Bush continues to have the untrammelled power of Republican control over every branch of the federal government.

The Republicans have been sliding in the polls for months as the national mood in the States sours over Iraq, corruption, an increasingly unpopular president and pocket book issues. The Republicans got a marginal uptick from conveniently lower gas prices (Not that oil companies would do almost anything to help the GOP, the party that has looked out for their interests more than anyone else...) and the mainstream media's complicity in keeping the bad news about Iraq off the TV screen. The recent Mark Foley scandal may have eliminated that lead however, with its media friendly simplicity of narrative. Sex and cover-ups are easy to explain, and Republicans are vulnerable to morality issues having so completely adopted the moral scold role themselves.

Vastly more money than the Democrats and the incumbancy advantage which has turned congressional and Senate seats into a new aristocracy are the only advantages the Republicans have left. Their hard core of religious right-wingers may be marginally less likely to get out and vote after the Foley scandal.

If the Republicans are planning some sort of traditional October surprise, it could hit any day now - some observers suggest various stock option activity indicates tomorrow could be a day to watch the news. Its debatable whether anything big enough to reverse the GOPs slide couldn't have the potential to backfire on them.

For the best ongoing analysis of the midterm race, check out PBS's NOW Election site with its excellent combination of detailed polls, local and national issues and threats to the right to vote.

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