I just found this article about polling from last week, by Stuart Rothenberg. It makes some good points about how polling works, what the pitfalls are, and the difference between partisan and non-partisan pollsters. I am not sure I share his bias for partisan polls, and I think he overvalues the cost to partisan pollsters of doing bad polls. But, the article shows how readers need to be discriminating in alanlyzing polling data.
I am glad I don't live in New Jersey or I might have to go back on my pledge to my dear mother that I would never vote for a Republican. Governor Chris Christie is simply one of the best politicians in memory, a man who is so comfortable in his own skin, when his opponent last year ran an ad that appeared to make fun of Christie's weight, Christie responded by calling on the opponent to "man up" and just call him "fat." Christie also had no problems admitting he was not ready to run for the presidency the other day.
But, the other day, going after a heckler at a rally for California's GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Christie again showed why he may be the best, most easily likable, direct, straight-talking candidate in either party. Here is the clip.
UPDATE (10/25): Cook Political Report still has this race rated as a "Toss-up" and Real Clear Politics still rates it as "Lean Dem." RCP is right. The RCP poll average sits at a 10.2 percent lead for Blumenthal and the most respected poll in the state, the Quinnipiac poll, had him up by 11 percent. None of the GOP House candidates have caught any breaks, and Connecticut appears ready to put a Democrat in the Governor's mansion for the first time since 1994.
The GOP candidate, Linda McMahon, has spent over $40 million on the race but to no avail. Blumenthal is going to win handily.
This is splendid. The American Principles in Action, the Political Action Committee of Professor Robert George's American Principles Project, is launching a bus tour of California to support Republican candidates in the autumn. So far so good - that is the kind of thing Political Action Committees do. But, here is the funny thing. The bus is targeting Latino communities and emblazoned in bold letters on the side of the bus is the slogan, "Vota Tus Valores!" or "Vote Your Values!" I can't make out what it says underneath, but perhaps it is something like, "So we can deport your relatives!"
This week, Q & A is discussing the Tea Party. We have heard from political scholars. Today, we go to Ground Zero -- Delaware -- and hear from the communications director of the Delaware Tea Party, Steve Hyle, who spoke to me on the phone yesterday.
The question: Will the Tea Party be a blessing or a curse for the GOP in the November midterms?
My friend Deal Hudson, editor of InsideCatholic, continues his call for a “Catholic Tea Party,” intent on taking back the Church the way the secular Tea Party wishes to take back the government. The problem in this formulation is obvious: It begs the question, from whom do we need to take it back?
The Republicans’ “Pledge to America” is a fraudulent document. As an electioneering tool it may be effective, heavily emphasizing efforts to control the growth of government. As a blueprint for governance, none of the proposals included add up to a coherent, plausible attempt to achieve what its authors claim they want, a vibrant economy with a smaller government footprint.
UPDATE (10/26): In my initial look at this race, I predicted that Rep. Paul Kanjorski was headed for defeat. Every poll published this year shows him trailing former Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta. Kanjorski has ethical problems, and regular readers know that I have no sympathy for those who, given a public trust, violate that trust. Still, the thought of Barletta, who came to fame by pushing racist anti-immigrant policies as mayor will be a blight on Congress. This district is based in the heavily Catholic Scranton and Wilkes-Barre region, and it is criminal to think that so many good Catholics are about to play a role in elevating a bigot to national office. But, there it is.
As Pope Benedict XVI reached the sanctuary at Westminster Abbey for the ecumenical prayer service, I knew he would not say the one thing I most wanted him to say. In my heart of hearts, I wanted him to look around at the magnificent abbey and ask if we might not have it back.
Westminster Abbey and all of England was, of course, lost to Rome because of Henry VIII's desire to annul his marriage. Parts of Germany, Switzerland and France had all been overcome by Protestantism, but not England: It departed from the Roman Church for reasons of state, both in Britain and in Rome. Because the issue was not only that Catherine was barren; the issue was also decided by the Sack of Rome in 1527. Here is Eamon Duffy's account: