The Spectacle Blog

Rudy and NH

By on 11.2.06 | 3:13PM

Rudy Giuliani's scheduled appearance at New Hampshire's "First in the Nation Forum" is a sell-out:

"After the response to our initial announcement, we expected strong turn out, but New Hampshire is so accustomed to national political figures paying us a visit, that you usually end up selling tickets at the door," said Harry Levine, co-founder of Victory NH, "but when America's Mayor comes to town to help protect America's Primary, the people of New Hampshire know this is one event they don't want to miss."

Re: The Conservative Vote

By on 11.2.06 | 1:49PM

My first thought is, I wouldn't be surprised if some conservatives deliberately mislead pollsters about their voting intentions. Knowing the history of the mainstream media to get things wrong, a number of poll respondents might not mind helping them get it wrong again. It's tempting to do so when the MSM loves to ask questions to elicit the answers they want, then turn them into front page news, using them to bash conservative policies and people.

Re: Running Against San Francisco

By on 11.2.06 | 1:37PM

One example of a Republican candidate tying Pelosi (and Hillary and Dean) to his opponent is here in North Carolina, where 11th District Rep. Charles Taylor is defending his seat against former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler. This particular ad has the look of desperation, however. Shuler has led polls for a while now and most pundits have the race at least "leaning" Democrat.

The Conservative Vote

By on 11.2.06 | 12:45PM

According to exit polls, President Bush received 84 percent of the conservative vote in 2004. A new NY Times/CBS News poll finds that just 59 percent of self-described conservatives plan to vote for the Republican House candidate in Tuesday's elections, with 25 percent saying they would be voting Democratic and 16 percent undecided. It's hard to know how seriously to take these results. For instance, perhaps some conservatives simply say they'll vote Democrat in a poll just because they're frustrated, even though when push comes to shove, they'll vote Republican. But this could also be a sign that the much-publicized disenchantment among conservatives will indeed hurt the GOP.

The Message about Marriage and Law

By on 11.2.06 | 12:36PM

When I was with Georgia Family Council in the first years of the millennium, we spent a lot of time trying to show people the value of marriage and the intact family as social institutions. In other words, marriage is better than divorce. Marriage is better than living together. Having children with both parents present is superior to the alternatives. There is a strong statistical case to be made for all of the above.

I'm happy to report that more influential persons seem to be picking up the case in Georgia. Check out this excerpt from a Washington Post column by Georgia Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears:

Re: Running Against San Francisco

By on 11.2.06 | 11:49AM

Paul, I think the strategy of running against Nancy Pelosi, and by extension, San Francisco, says more about the sorry state of the Republican Party than anything else. We wouldn't be hearing much about "San Francisco values" if Republicans had actual accomplishments to run on and inspire their base. I doubt the SanFran strategy will work for Republicans this time around, but even if it does, it's still upsetting to me that it had to come to this.

Convenience Voting

By on 11.2.06 | 11:14AM

Regarding the panel I mentioned below, it's also worth noting some of the comments made by John Fortier, author of Absentee and Early Voting: Trends, Promises, and Perils, who discussed the evolution of the trend of so-called "convenience voting." Up until the late 1970s/early 1980s, a voter had to either be in the military or give an otherwise compelling reason to vote by absentee ballot. In addition, absentee voters had to have a notary public watch them fill out the ballot and sign on to it. But those restrictions went away and in the 1980s absentee voting became more about convenience. The convenience voting trend grew in the 1990s with the expansion of early voting. In 1980, 5 percent of the public voted before Election Day, but in 2004, about 25 percent did. In Oregon, everybody votes by mail because the state did away with polling places altogether. Some voters send their ballots in as early as September, meaning that they miss out on a significant amount of election news, including candidate debates. Also, according to Fortier, there's no evidence that convenience voting boosts turnout.

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