Mike DeWine, Sherrod Brown, or a rusty fork to the eyeball? I’m torn.

In the recent past I’ve advocated support for Bill Pierce, a conservative challenger to incumbent U.S. Senator Mike DeWine. Well, chalk that up to stupid idealism. Pierce is roadkill in the May 2nd Republican primary, based on the results of the latest poll by the Columbus Dispatch, which has DeWine in front with 61% to Pierce’s 1%. With only 34% undecided, RINO Mike is again our standard-bearer by default. I’ll vote for him only because when compared to Sherrod Brown he’s the lesser of two evils. It will still chap my backside to support DeWine, a gutless member of the Gang of Fourteen, but I know better than to let Brown (my current congresscritter) get involved in judicial nominations and foreign affairs.
George Will is watching us here in Ohio, and in his latest column he predicts a tight Senate race between Brown and DeWine. I’m not so sure it’ll be close. DeWine’s lead over Brown grew from 5% in January to a 9% margin in a February 18th Rasmussen poll. Here’s hoping that trend continues.
Two key paragraphs from Will’s column:

DeWine is seeking a third term in an inhospitable environment — the middle of the second term of an incumbent president of his own party. That is when the electorate often experiences “the six-year itch,” the desire to reshuffle the political deck. … The redistricting done for incumbent-protection after the 2000 Census may have made the House almost impervious to the itch … so voters might vent their restlessness in Senate elections. And “restless” hardly describes Ohio’s dyspeptic mood regarding its Republicans, who hold all statewide offices. Scandals and tax increases drove Gov. Bob Taft’s approval rating in one poll to six. He has bounced all the way back to 16. Richard Nixon’s job approval rating was 24 on the eve of his resignation.

DeWine, one of only four senators who supported John McCain in 2000, is a moderate conservative with an independent streak — for example, he has repeatedly voted against drilling in ANWR. This may be enough to annoy some conservatives without being sufficient to distance him from the state Republican shambles. We shall find out late on Election Night when, as usual, the nation will be watching Ohio.

I’m so very, very tired of the Ohio GOP establishment and its candidates. They campaign as center-right conservatives but govern as liberals. The current leadership of the Ohio Republican Party foolishly thinks this state’s voters can be made to march in lockstep behind any old fool as long as the candidate hangs an (R) after their surname. Well, this primary makes me feel like the proverbial critter caught in a leg trap who’s forced to gnaw off a paw to survive. I’ll reluctantly march to the polls this year and vote for RINO Mike, but if the Ohio GOP fields another crop of liberals in 2008 and expects me to step out smartly with two gnawed-off stumps, I’ll cheerfully tell them where they can put this year’s leg.

Update (11:25 PM): Tom from BizzyBlog.com points out that the poll is unreliable, and the Dispatch itself has a sorry history of shoddy polling practices. Here’s the key paragraph I missed when I scanned through the article this morning:

The mail poll of 2,894 registered Democratic voters and 2,874 registered Republicans voters from March 15 through Friday has a margin of sampling error of 2 percentage points.

Notice it was a mail-in poll; those are notoriously unreliable. Also, the respondents were registered voters, not likely voters. That makes a big difference, too. Dave at NixGuy.com has more analysis that tracks with BizzyBlog’s.

There’s hope for leftists

I’m heartened to see that at least one young reflexive Bush-hater can see his error after speaking to Iraqis. An excerpt:

You may think that you have felt dumb before, but let me tell you something: until you have stood in front of a man who knows real pain and told him that you are against your country’s alleviation of his country’s state-sponsored murderous suffering, you have not felt truly, deeply, like a total f****** moron.
I still am no Bush fan, and I know that America got lied to. I know we shouldn’t have gone, and I think Rove is as evil as they come. But through all this deception and lying, through all this dismemberment and pain, America has wrought a beautiful, fantastic side effect: joy, freedom and a hope for peace. Does it take lies and misdirection to do this?? Is this what the other side of justice is? I feel like such a whiner and I don’t know what to think anymore. Ultimately, in total defiance of my mother and grandmother´┐Żs teachings, two wrongs have made a right and my moral compass is tired and busted.
I can’t tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys, and I want a clear cut mandate, some lines to believe along. But there aren’t any. There’s just right and wrong and following your heart of hearts. And for the first time in my life, I can say that I was wrong to be compulsively critical of the current administration without seeking my own truth.

A neocon in the making, perhaps?
Hat tip: She Who Will Be Obeyed

UPDATE: SMASH reponds, and gets a response.

Iraq election coverage

Friends of Democracy will be rounding up news of the election in Iraq on Sunday. Click on the banner below to get up to speed.

Iraq election news

This post will stay at the top o’ the blog through early Sunday evening.

UPDATE: Give Live in Baghdad a look, too. It’s a blog run by Ayad Rahim, a Clevelander who happens to be of Iraqi descent. He’s back in Baghdad as of Friday to cover the election.

Purple America

Robert J. Vanderbei at Princeton takes the red state / blue state meme to a much more informative level, using shades of purple on a county-by-county map to show the results of this election.

Purple America

On another map, he even added false mountains to designate areas with higher population.

Election2004textured_small.gif

What a great way to clearly convey a mountain of complex information. Edwin Tufte would be proud.

UPDATE: An apparent Tufte fan found a map of Purple America with highly-populated areas artificially expanded. Groovy.
UPDATE 2: More maps.
UPDATE 3: Another one using elevation for population differences between counties (I’m guessing it’s showing population density, not absolute population), and no shades of purple.

Coulter vs. Rove

Ann Coulter thinks Karl Rove’s no campaign genius:

If Rove is “the architect” — as Bush called him in his acceptance speech — then he is the architect of high TV ratings, not a Republican victory. By keeping the race so tight, Rove ensured that a race that should have been a runaway Bush victory would not be over until the wee hours of the morning.
As we now know, the most important issue to voters was not terrorism, but moral values. Marriage amendments won by lopsided majorities in all 11 states where they were on the ballot. Even in Oregon, the state targeted by gay marriage advocates as their best shot of defeating a marriage amendment, the amendment passed by 57 percent — a figure noticeable for being larger than the percentage of votes cast for Bush in Oregon. In the great state of Mississippi, the marriage amendment passed with 88 percent of the vote.
Seventy percent to 80 percent of Americans oppose gay marriage and partial-birth abortion. Far from appealing exclusively to a narrow Republican base, opposition to gay marriage is strongest among the Democratic base: blacks, Hispanics, blue-collar workers and the elderly. There were marriage amendments on the ballot in Michigan and Ohio. Bush won Ohio narrowly and lost Michigan by only 2 points. How different might that have been if Bush hadn’t run from the issue.
But Rove concluded Bush should stay mum on gay marriage and partial-birth abortion — contravening the politicians’ rule of thumb: Talk about your positions that are wildly popular with voters. “Boy Genius” Rove decided Bush shouldn’t even run radio ads on gay marriage, and at the last minute, Bush started claiming he was in favor of civil unions, just like John Kerry.

Ouch.

Watching TV on Election Night

Edison Media Research explains what to watch for on Election Night:

One of the aspects of Election Night viewing that people find the most confusing is watching the tote boards the networks display showing the vote with say, “31% of precincts reporting.” Your preferred candidate may be winning at that point, but the networks often do a less-than-adequate job of explaining which votes have been counted. In Ohio, for instance, Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) tends to report extremely late. So there is a chance one will see Bush leading in the vote count throughout the night, only to be eclipsed by Kerry at the wire as heavily Democratic Cleveland’s votes come in.

I’ll be coming home from poll-watching duty late, but I’ll have my nachos & beer waiting by the TV.
Hat tip: The Truth Laid Bear

Too late for terror to derail Bush

There’s just one week to go. Lately there’s been speculation about whether a terror attack might occur on American soil before Election Day, and if so, what effect it might have on the outcome of the presidential election. I’ve been mulling this over and I think it’s too late for any attack here to hurt President Bush’s chances. At this point an attack can only help him, and I think the terrorists know it. Let me explain.

Democrat voter fraud continues in Ohio

Good Lord, now the Dems down in Franklin County, Ohio are registering terrorists to vote.
When word of this gets out, the turnout among GOP voters in the Buckeye State will blow your mind. I’m a hard-core conservative so I’m already volunteering on Election Day … but if these outrageous shenanigans continue, my fellow Republicans will be willing to crawl through crushed glass while doused in burning gasoline to get to the polls.
Hat tip: Power Line

More coverage:
Digital Brown Pajamas
Conservative Revolution
trying to grok

I’m optimistic about Bush’s prospects

The guys at Power Line read the tea leaves and conclude that Bush is winning (and they don’t buy the lastest Gallup poll results, either). RealClearPolitics has been constantly tracking all the major polls and averaging them, which when displayed on a handy chart reinforces the Bush-is-winning point. Outside The Beltway looks at all the polls individually, which is nice if you’re into detail. Stephen Den Beste digs into the RCP chart and thinks that the mainstream media have been monkeying with their polling samples and their stories (albeit not actively colluding) to manufacture “bounces” for Kerry; I’m not convinced, but you be the judge.
For an overview of where we stand, try Hugh Hewitt.

British political spammers target Clark County

Arthur Chrenkoff reports on Brits targeting my fellow Ohioans with anti-Bush spam. Who put them up to it and helped them find voters in Clark County? The Guardian newspaper.
Talk about an effort doomed to failure. If it weren’t so pathetic, and if I didn’t live elsewhere in Ohio, I’d be annoyed. Instead, I’m mildly amused at the thought of undecided voters in Clark County deciding to vote for Bush just to annoy the bejabbers out of some stuffy British busybodies.

Clarification: I realize that The Guardian doesn’t explicitly advocate sending anti-Bush messages to Clark County voters. However, when you know that the newspaper’s slant and the biases of its readership tilt way over toward the left, you can bet the ol’ homestead that the vast majority of messages will be anti-Bush.

UPDATE: Take that, you nosy foppish twits.

Stolen Honor: where to see it

The Democratic National Committee is trying to get the FEC to stomp on Sinclair Broadcasting because the company plans to broadcast the documentary Stolen Honor, which highlights John Kerry’s activities after he left Vietnam and joined the anti-American “peace” movement. The Democrats won’t try to refute it, because they can’t. I own two copies, and I’m impressed by Stolen Honor‘s powerful message of truth.
Here’s the movie Democrats don’t want you to see.

Watch Stolen Honor

Try the pay-per-view option.