The National Pastimes
By Michael Boyajian
Let me apologize in advance to fans of other teams, but my father was a lifelong Yankee fan and I am a lifelong Yankee fan. So I know a little something about baseball. I also know a bit about politics.
As if being a Republican in NYS wasn't hard enough we now have Skelos and Co to thank for the latest episode in what is the continued soap opera of the NY GOP. First the loss of Tedisco now this. So far not a good year for the urban elephants.
As long as we have have these men in power representing NY's 2nd Party you can pretty much bet on continued minority status. At a meeting of Young Republicans not long ago a friend asked me if I could remember the last time there ever was a serious Republican primary challenge to a sitting state senator. Obviously I couldn't think of one. Can You? Democrat state senators are challenged all the time. Incumbents have a high re-election rate but at least the Dems face some opposition from within there own party.
The NYC Board of Elections is conducting a special voter registration initiative this week. Please spread the word if you know someone that isn't registered yet!
Saturday, October 11th, from 12pm - 9pm.
There are NUMEROUS locations to visit throughout the city. Just drop by, fill out your voter registration card, and leave it with them.
There's time to get this info out to the many community based organizations around the city to put flyers up, knock on doors, etc.
For more information call 866-VOTE-NYC or 311, or if you'd like to download the list of locations, click here (note: link will open a PDF file in a separate window).
I know that there are Republicans out there that are as baffled and confused as the rest of us. The difference between Democrats, Independents and Progressives is that it’s not members of our party that has brought us to where we are today; The Republican Party holds that dubious distinction. I can put myself in the shoes of a Republican very easily. If I were a Republican, I would feel that I had been stabbed in the back by the very same man that promised to bring morality and decency back into American politics. Instead, this very same man has not only lied to everyone in the country, but he has even gone so far to lie to the very same people that put him in office, The Republican Party faithful.
Govenor Pataki, I am sure, can't help but feel compassion for Alan Hevesi. After all, if Hevesi had only followed the Pataki model and arranged to put Mrs. Hevesi's driver on the state party payroll...
Note also that once again, a woman getting paid less than a man for similar assignments.
Though most New Yorkers will breathe a collective sigh of relief once George Pataki's last moving box has been hauled from the Executive Mansion, the truth is that this Governor has been provided a complete pass by the Republican-controlled State Senate, which will allow him to continue to exert influence over State policy for years to come.
On Thursday evening, the night before a special session of the State Senate during which many legislators were focused on important bills like Timothy's Law, I received a pile of information about 48 new Pataki nominations to positions on important governing boards which regulate New York's environment, business, health and other issues.
Recently State Senator Liz Krueger, who is in charge of the Democratic State Senate Campaign Committee, said that the Democrats would not be picking up new State Senate Seats in New York adding that Democrats do better in presidential years. Republican Majority Leader Joe Bruno predicted that his party would pick up seats. Both views are correct, but it should not have been the case.
In the latest Harris poll Bush’s job approval drops to 29% positive, though it is fully at 67% positive among Republicans, it is only 19% among independents and 10% among Democrats and there is no gender gap. Only 24% feel the country is going in the right direction. Will this mean the Republicans will lose control of Congress?
Approval of the job Congress is doing is a paltry 18% positive with Republican respondents having a 3-point worse opinion of the job Congress is doing than the Democrats. When ask how Republican and Democratic members were doing in Congress those polled gave Republicans in Congress 20% positive and Democrats in Congress 23% positive.
News coverage of the recent Siena College poll was dominated by how much Eliot Spitzer and Hillary Clinton were beating their ill-fated Republican opponents; there was other interesting information. Between Siena’s March poll and their May poll, George Pataki argued with legislative leaders about the state budget and began a tour of presidential primary states. During this period, among likely voters in the state his favorable rating moved negative 30-points.
Pataki’s favorable rating had been 53% favorable to 40%, a 13-point net positive after his hospital stay, which was up from January when he had only a 4-point positive. By May, he dropped precipitously to a negative 38% favorable to 55% unfavorable, a net 17-point negative. The governor even has a low rating among Republicans, who give him a paltry 49% to 45% favorability rating. This, together with Bush’s declining poll numbers, adds to the problems facing Republican statewide candidates and should bring shock waves through the state’s Republican Congressional delegation.
In the latest Hotline ranking of the top twenty-five marginal House districts, the net change if the election were held today would have net one Democratic seat switch to the Republican side and six Republican seats would be up for grabs (all other races would result in each party holding its seat). If the Democrats took all six Republican seats there would be a net pickup of only five votes in the House for the Democratic side.
On their list of the top fifty contested races, however, Republican seats are moving up the list, spelling more trouble for the GOP. And in the second twenty-five races, the Democrats might pick up as many as an additional fifteen seats if you, include the independent in Vermont. The fly in the ointment is that except for the first Clinton mid-term election in 1994, when the Democrats lost 54 seats, all the mid-term elections since 1982 have only had single digit moves. This is largely the result of the historic Republican turnout advantages in non-presidential years, and the advantages that modern mapping and computerized reapportionment have given incumbents.
Apr 21 2006 - 7:07pm
After the 2004 election, the Republicans seemed ascendant; this may not continue. According to a Pew study, Republicans had extensive appeal among voters in the middle of the electorate, enjoyed loyalty from its traditional constituencies, and made some inroads among conservative Democrats. Yet both parties maintain parity in party identification.
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