For months, the Senate halls have been awash in rumors that Democrats were looking to dump Daschle as their leader, replaced, most likely by either Sen. Chris Dodd or Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Those rumors were strong enough to resonate all the way back to South Dakota, where voters — and, more importantly, campaign donors — were expressing doubts about supporting a sitting senator who would be losing influence instead of gaining it.
Such talk is probably one of the reasons Daschle can’t seem to gain a simple majority of support among likely voters in just every poll being taken in the state. In fact, after spending more than $5 million in media buys and campaigning, Daschle saw his five percent lead (48-43 percent) over Republican John Thune remain unchanged.
“It was discouraging,” says a Democratic leadership staffer in the Senate. “Those numbers didn’t move an inch, and for the first time in a while, even his most loyal supporters up here were thinking Daschle wasn’t going to make it.”
According to a Washington-based Daschle staffer, fundraising at home was becoming an issue: “We’re not pulling in what we should be at this stage of the race. It’s troubling.”
So on Easter Sunday the Argus Leader and its longtime political reporter, Dave Kranz, the David Broder of the upper Midwest, ran a piece that opened, in part, with:
“There have been recent inferences that Daschle may not win back his Senate leadership position if he is re-elected. If that idea gets traction, it could have an effect, but three national political analysts who pay close attention to Washington politics don’t see any evidence of it.” Kranz quotes pollster Stu Rothenberg, journalist Michael Barone, and academic Larry Sabato to that effect.
This article was then used by the Daschle campaign in a fundraising appeal to longtime in-state donors, to show that all the rumors they might have been hearing were untrue.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online