Sunday, October 26, 2014

Polls 1 Issues 0

The Republicans are surging on the prediction markets, leading pundits to write that the Senate races are all but over.

But Michelle Nunn, the Democrat, now has a 3 point lead in the latest poll for the Georgia Senate race.

President Obama, though, seems to be a real drag on Democratic candidates who are running from him as fast as they ran to him in 2012.

Meanwhile, an internal Democratic poll has Mark Udall in the lad in the Colorado Senate race, while a Republican polling firm shows Democrat Mark Begich up 10 points in Alaska.

With just over a week to go until election day, it's still anyone's Senate and don't let anyone tell you differently. New polls contradict old polls and wild swings in some states are showing that trying to gauge public attitudes is not for the feint of heart.

What we're missing, though, are issues. Yes, state races do tend to be won or lost on state concerns, but after four years of bashing President Obama you'd think the Republicans would run on something positive and the Democrats would run on the legislation they were elected to pass. There are some exceptions, such as this Representative in Florida who is running on environmental concerns by framing them in terms of clean water and flood control,  but mostly GOP candidates are running on governmental ineptitude regarding Ebola and ISIS, and Democrats are running on...well, that's even more difficult to determine since most are running away from health care, the environment, financial reform and guns.

Poll after poll shows the voters supporting what Democrats generally support and give Republicans lower ratings on governing, but that doesn't seem to matter. A few Senate incumbents will lose, but 96% of House members will be reelected. So much for throwing out the gridlockers.

And for those of you who need a history lesson, Bill Clinton is here to tell us that partisanship was worse in the 1990s, but that he and Newt got some things done. And Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill got even more done while sniping at each other all day, then sipping scotch and swapping stories come 5 o'clock. I can't help but think that the real difference between then and now is that we've elected a bunch of entitled, wealthy, spoiled brats to the Congress and that once we get some real adults in there we'll start moving some legislation.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives or Twitter @rigrundfest  

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