I am curious as to what the results of the Election 2010 will leave us with. It seems likely now that the Republicans will take control of the House, likely putting John Boehner (R-OH) into the Speaker’s chair. As to the Senate, the majority of pollsters have the Democrats keeping control by at least 1 seat… but there are odds that Harry Reid (D – NV) won’t be in one of them. This makes the Majority Leader position a “what if” situation… and it looks like Charles Schumer (D- NY) might get it.
As to Boehner, it is interesting that he is pushing candidates all over the place… the other day he supported Rich Iott, the Nazi Reenactor, in Ohio’s 9th District. TPM points out:
House Minority Leader John Boehner took on the conventional wisdom that it’s bad politics to associate with Nazi reenactors by campaigning recently with Ohio congressional candidate Rich Iott. That’s about the only public support Iott’s received from the GOP since his SS scandal broke.
Returning the favor, Iott, who’s running in Ohio’s 9th congressional district, now won’t say whether he’d support Boehner for Speaker.
Interesting. Does Iott know something we don’t? Roll Call, which first published Iott’s “iffy” stand on Boehner’s Speakership, doesn’t think it matters:
In the now close Senate race in Nevada, the Baltimore Sun doesn’t think it will be over on Tuesday:
In Nevada, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was battling “tea party” insurgent Sharron Angle, each side was bracing for a close finish that could extend the campaign – through lawsuits, a recount or both – well beyond Tuesday.
Looking at the Nevada Senate campaign, we’re seeing some really dirty playing on both sides. Perhaps you didn’t see this piece by Michael Kinsley in Politico a couple of days ago:
The Republicans have chosen to make a major issue out of the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lives in an apartment in the Ritz-Carlton condominiums in Washington DC. It is a one-bedroom apartment on the second floor. Reid also owns two properties in Nevada, his home state. But presumably his apartment in Washington is where he stays when he’s here. Reid’s opponent, Sharron Angle, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have built a huge imaginary narrative on this fragile base in which Reid “lives large” in DC, partying with supermodels, while his constituents suffer.
In my Politico column on Tuesday, I raised the question of where Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, who will become Majority Leader if the Republicans carry the day on November 2, lives when he’s in Washington. It turns out that he owns a three-bedroom house with a carriage house on Capitol Hill. Harry Reid’s apartment is worth $1,066,000 according to the real estate website zillow.com. Mitch McConnell‘s house is worth $1,142,000. If Harry Reid is living large, Mitch McConnell is living larger. And the fact that Republicans apparently didn’t’ think about or didn’t bother to check out McConnell’s situation before piling on Reid shows how phony the whole “Harry Reid Lives at the Ritz” business really is.
She has struggled to explain a number of past positions, including calling for the phasing out of Social Security, discussion of “second amendment remedies” to deal with an out of control Congress, and coming out against extension of unemployment benefits. Mr. Reid is highly unpopular in his home state and his strategy has been clear from the start: To present Ms. Angle as an unacceptable alternative even to someone that many voters don’t like. (Keep in mind: Nevada voters have the option of voting for “none of the above,” which can only help Mr. Reid.)
Hmmm. It doesn’t look good for Reid. Then I read Jon Ralston’s piece this morning in the Las Vegas Sun:
Atmospherics are terrible for Reid, but he will hold on
Harry Reid or Sharron Angle is dead, last in an occasional series:
It just feels as if Reid is going to lose.
Forget the enthusiasm gap – that word is too mild. There is a passion gap in this race that is palpable. You don’t find many people shivering with excitement to vote for Reid. But the feverish animation of voters hot to oust Reid is unlike anything I have experienced in nearly 25 years of covering politics. And it seems to have been building since January, evidenced by Reid’s inability to move his highly elevated disapproval rating.
But I don’t think he will. Why?
First, let me be clear on this tradition of predictions. It is not a wish list but a walking out on a limb, so I can either crow afterward or eat same. I base them on data I am privy to and my gut. I have had much success in the past – look it up. But if ever there were a year for my lifetime batting average to take a hit, this is the one.
So take this for what it’s worth:
Harry Reid is the most resilient figure in Nevada political history. He should not even be here. He lost a U.S. Senate race in 1974, embarrassed himself in a mayoral race in 1975 and should have lost his re-election bid in 1998. But he found a way to win 12 years ago, and he will again Tuesday.
How? Let me count the ways:
Considering they were dealing with a moribund politician, and one who was sure to make their job more difficult during the year with his spontaneous effusions, Reid’s handlers have run one of the most spectacular campaigns in history at all levels: The turnout machine is formidable. The TV has been pitch perfect. The strategy – to peel moderate Republicans and independents who might not like their guy away from Angle – has worked.
And, perhaps equally important, Republicans managed to nominate the one person this year who could lose to Reid.
Angle is a natural retail campaigner in small political subdivisions. But that’s not what a Senate race is about. And her campaign never could find a comfortable way to reconcile her past, controversial statements – they tried massage, change and deny – and she made plenty more during the campaign (Sharia law here, Canada’s terrorist conduit, Latinos-in-ads amnesia).
In the end, if she loses, I believe the six weeks following the GOP nominee’s primary win – she had a double-digit lead in June polls – were pivotal. During that period, the Reid ad campaign defined her so starkly and turned enough people into Anglophobes to give him a chance.
One more thing: Republicans do not have the huge turnout advantage in early voting they should in a wave election – under 4 points. And all the data I have seen tell me that unless Reid loses independents by 15 points or so, he will hold on.
It’s possible none of this made any difference, that Reid has been dead all along and no amount of campaign brilliance or Angle exposure could resuscitate him. The hatred is palpable, the discontent bubbling over. But I think he finds a way to survive.
The result: Reid, 47 percent; Angle, 45 percent; rest, 4 percent; none of the above, 4 percent.