National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Distinctly Catholic

WaPo on Turnout


This morning's Washington Post has a good article on the efforts of Team Obama to get young voters engaged again. The President will be hitting college campuses in the upcoming weeks. Polling models usually predict low turnout among young voters so, in races that are rated a "Toss-up" using those models, a few extra percentage points from young voters could tip the scales.

Election Time: TX-Governor


It is strange to me that the GOP has not been able to put the Texas governor’s race into the win column with only six weeks out. Texas has been an overwhelmingly Republican state. Not only did favorite son candidate George W. Bush win the state resoundingly, but John McCain beat Barack Obama in Texas by a huge margin of 55 percent to 44 percent. Both of the state’s U.S. senators are Republicans and twenty of the state’s 32 Representatives are Republicans. The GOP controls both houses of the state legislature. States don’t get much more red than Texas.

Still, RealClear Politics only has the gubernatorial contest as “Lean Republican,” and even that is a bit of a reach. The RealClearPolitics average of six polls, all conducted in August or September, shows incumbent Governor Rick Perry with a 5.8 percent lead over Democratic challenger Bill White. One of the six polls, done by a GOP firm, had Perry ahead by twelve points. The other five range between giving Perry a 7 point advantage or a 1 point advantage. The Cook Political Report, which had the race as “Lean Republican” earlier in the year, now rates it as a “Toss-up.”

More (BIG!) Yahoo Watch: Zoe Lofgren


I just watched clips of the House Judiciary Committee's Immigration Subcommittee meeting at which Stephen Colbert testified - in character.
It was not just bizarre. it was offensive. And, it was unspeakably stupid. If Lofgren wanted to further damage the image of Congress - and hurt her party's chances in November - she achieved her goal. She owes the American people an apology and pronto. Speaker Pelosi should consider very strong sanctions, very strong, such as stripping Lofgren of her chairmanship.

Yahoo Watch: Father Zuhlsdorf's Fans


Father Zuhlsdorf, who writes for the Wanderer (enough said) and manages a blog called "What Does The Prayer Really Say," is, like all of us bloggers, not responsible for the comments of those who react to his columns. But, if you want to get a flavor of how whacked out some conservative Catholics are, check out the comments on his post about Archbishop Donald Wuerl being named the American delegate to oversee the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus. My favorite: "He’s disgraceful, and this is not a good move. He’s hostile to tradition, and he’ll be hostile to traditional Anglicans." How, exactly, is Archbishop Wuerl "hostile" to tradition? This is the epitmoe of yahoodom.

What Motivates Christine O'Donnell


Politics Daily has a very perceptive article about what might have been motivating Christine O'Donnell when she famously discussed her dabbling in witchcraft. The author, Suzi Parker, is spot-on. O'Donnell LIKED discussing taboo topics because it kept the camera on her. You can see the delight she takes in the attention. It is an understandable character flaw in most politicians, but here the flaw seems fatal.

Q & A: Katie Ellis on the Tea Party


This week's Q & A on the Tea Party finishes with a comment from Katie Ellis, Acting Executive Director of the Delaware Democratic Party. As her brief comments suggest, and as the most recent polls for the Delaware Senate race confirm, the Dems in Delaware do not appear to be sweating it.

The question: Will the Tea Party be a blessing or a curse for the GOP in November?

Katie Ellis: I think the Tea Party is a symptom -- people are fed up with "politics as usual" in Washington, and looking for a change. Too often, progress is being blocked for purely political reasons, and the American people are fed up with it. When people elect leaders, they expect them to lead.

At the end of the day, I don't believe the Tea Party will fully encompass that voter frustration. With the Tea Party, and the Republican Party as a whole, I know what they oppose but I don't know very much about what they stand for. We're seeing a lot of momentum on the Democratic side for our proactive solutions to solving Delaware's problems.

Rothenberg on Polling


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.

Gotta Luv Chris Christie


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.

Election Time: CT-Senate


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.

Yahoo Watch: American Principles Project


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!"


Subscribe to Distinctly Catholic


NCR Email Alerts