Thursday, July 24, 2014

The battle for control of the US Senate, updated

I'm not changing my mind; I'm just adding some point/counterpoint for the sake of watching the trend.  These updates deserved their own post.

Point (Booman):

I can't blame Stu Rothenberg for bitching about a polling firm that won't show its work, but I think he's just annoyed that polling keeps coming out that doesn't look good for Republican Senate candidates and governors. In the end, Rothenberg doesn't even really doubt that the race in Montana has grown closer and he lists it as a Toss-Up/Tilts Republican race, which is maybe even a little more of a pessimistic assessment than is warranted by the polling. I'd say that Montana Leans Republican right now, and the only toss-up part of it is that a lot can change between now and November.

A look at the latest polls shows Gov. Scott Walker in real trouble in Wisconsin, Gov. Rick Scott trailing in Florida, Udall and Hickenlooper up narrowly in Colorado, Sen. Kay Hagan up in North Carolina, Gov. Andrew Cuomo up by 37 points in New York, Michelle Nunn crushing David Perdue in Georgia, Rep. Gary Peters up by nine in Michigan, Mary Landrieu up in Louisiana, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen comfortably ahead in New Hampshire. People have already written obituaries for Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, and the Republican governors of Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, and Michigan aren't looking like they're in too great a shape, either. The last poll out of Maine has Democrat Mike Michaud win a narrow lead in a three-way race.

The news isn't all good. Some races are scarily close, for example, the Senate races in Iowa, Arkansas, and Colorado. But only in Arkansas does an incumbent look to be in truly serious danger. Unless these races all tilt against the Democrats in the end, the GOP is on course for a galactically bad election night. 

Counterpoint (Associated Press, referencing the Montana contest in the first paragraph above):

Montana Sen. John Walsh's thesis written to earn a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College contains unattributed passages taken word-for-word from previously published papers.

The Democrat is running against Republican Rep. Steve Daines to keep the seat Walsh was appointed to in February when Max Baucus resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China, and national Democrats said Wednesday they remained "100 percent behind Sen. Walsh."

The apparent plagiarism in Walsh's 2007 thesis, titled "The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy," was first reported by The New York Times in a story posted online Wednesday afternoon. Walsh submitted the paper to earn his Master of Strategic Studies degree nearly two years after he returned from Iraq and about a year before he became Montana's adjutant general overseeing the state's National Guard and Department of Military Affairs.

Walsh's campaign said the senator did not intend to plagiarize and that he would speak to The Associated Press later Wednesday.

Walsh is saying he was suffering from PTSD at the time he "wrote" the thesis in question.

I think that race is safe for the GOP.

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