Open Thread

The Senate: Democrat By How Much?

It has been clear for a long while now that the Democrats will increase their control of the US Senate, the question has always been by how much and can they reach the 60 votes required to win a vote on ‘cloture‘ and force though legislation. With several races in the bag and others that could go either way, I thought I would look at the races and state how likely it is that the Democrats will reach the magic number.

The Democrats currently control 51 seats in the 100 seat Senate. There are 35 senate elections occurring on November 4, 11 of which are considered competitive and 10 of those are currently held by the Republicans. The only Democratic seat in any danger is in Louisiana and is held by Mary Landrieu. The last poll conducted by a major polling organisation had her lead ballooning out to 53-37 on Aug 17, so she should now be safe.

The Republican seats that are almost certain to fall are Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Virginia. Alaska is looking sure to fall as well, where Sen. Ted Stevens is not only likely to lose his seat, but is also at risk of crossing his Bridge only to discover that while Nowhere lacks basic amenities, it does have a jail cell. That gets the Democrats to 56.

The seats that are currently statistical ties are Minnesota and Oregon, with North Carolina’s last 3 polls being 48-42 Rep, 35-35 Tie and 51-45 Dem for a average of 42.67 each. In Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker has held a lead of about 48-43 for a couple of months while in Maine, Susan Collins looks sure to retain her seat.

Taking the optimistic view that the economic situation will help the Democrats, it therefore leaves the Senate line-ball on either 59 or 60. A more reserved outlook however would put the Democrats on 56.

There is also the question of Joe Lieberman. If the Senate becomes 56-44, there is a chance that he would be thrown out of the party. However if the result is 59-60 then the need to ensure his vote will see him remain. Lieberman will not leave himself, as that would lose him his positions on committees, including 3 chairmanships. The Democrat numbers also include Independent Socialist Bernie Sanders from Vermont, but there is not question that he will continue to causus with the Democrats.

By GhostWhoVotes

An Australian political observer.

857 replies on “The Senate: Democrat By How Much?”

“Schadenfreude” Dio?

Whatever do you mean? LOL

(Actually it’s not much fun if you have to feel superior to some ‘challenged’ misfits, is it?)

No probs Ecky. I think the title is in my last post.
It’ll have to wait till this evening though. Then I’ll have to go behind the curtain and figure out how to work the controls on this here Tardis.

Hey Dio! Good to see you.
I hope you wiped your feet before coming in here. There’s an awful lot of bulls*it on the floor in that other place and we don’t want it stinking up our nice new carpets.

The Spanish finance minister is a bit miffed he was not invited to the crisis meeting yesterday, supposedly. Yes, Spain will likely need the intervention of the EU to some extent. I guess if they can help you after a crisis hits that might be a reason to join. So I see your point.

A Limited Town Hall

Lynn Sweet previews the rules for Tuesday night’s town hall presidential debate moderated by NBC’s Tom Brokaw.

The questions will “be culled from a group of 100 to 150 uncommitted likely voters in the audience and another one-third to come via the Internet.” Gallup “has the job of making sure the questioners reflect the demographic makeup of the nation.”

Just saw the funniest thing on Sky News. Craig James from Commsec was waffling on about how the rate cut will be 0.5%. 10 seconds later the RBA gave a full 1% cut and Craig James was left hanging on air looking like he was talking shit! Roflol!

Poor bastard…. ouch!

Bush urges ‘lame duck’ senate to approve new US judges.

With his presidency in its final months, George W. Bush called Monday on the “lame duck” US Senate to approve his nominations for federal court judges.

There are currently 34 judicial vacancies in federal circuit and district courts, a Bush official said, but Democrats in the US Senate have rejected several Bush nominees for being too conservative.

Yeah, right let’s run out and do what he says, we’re that dumb!

Two separate headlines on Google News just a little bit apart.

FOX News/Rasmussen Poll: Obama Widens Lead in Three Battleground …
FOXNews – 5 hours ago
The latest FOX News/Rasmussen Poll shows that Obama has made significant gains the battleground states of Colorado, Missouri and Florida, while little change has been seen since last week’s poll in Ohio and Virginia.

FOXNews – 50 minutes ago
by Fin Gomez In a sign that the race for president has returned to about where it was before the first presidential debate, the Obama-Biden ticket leads the McCain-Palin ticket 47 percent to 43 percent among registered voters in a new CBS News poll.

P-I endorsement: Elect Obama.

If the country ever needed new direction under a fresh, steady, calm president, this is the time. Sen. Barack Obama is the country’s hope, the kind of promising, intelligent leader who comes along perhaps once in a generation.

Obama is the best candidate for president. He has the vision, patience and fortitude to put America on a track to recovery after an eight-year run of financial irresponsibility, aggressive adventurism abroad and mismanagement, secrecy and dissembling on numerous fronts.

Possum Comitatus

Classic! LOL

I had a sneaking suspicion they might go the tonne since they’ve been sloshing liquidity into the system and just may want to see some ‘trickle down’ to the punters, who will be tightening belts in fear if nothing else.

I didn’t hear anyone talk about 1%, it’s so unheard of around these parts.

Sen. Ted Stevens told an oil-executive friend, in recordings played on Monday at the Alaska Republican’s corruption trial, they both risked going to jail — but he didn’t think it would come to that.

“These guys can’t hurt really us. They’re not going to shoot us. It’s not Iraq. What the hell?,” Stevens told Bill Allen, founder of the former VECO Corp. oil-services firm based in Alaska.

I wonder how many members of the jury are paying attention to the financial crises at the moment?

Likewise KR – all my mates were modelling in 0.5, with 0.25 either side just to be sure for tomorrows corporate analysis handouts.

They’re going to be busy little bumpkins for the rest of the day!

Can understand it in hindsight – a full 100 points rise gives 50 for the banks balance sheets and 50 for the punters to shore up demand, but I never thought the RBA would have had the balls actually! 🙂

Yeah, Poss, that Stevens has cojones.

I must admire a guy who puts up rates just before a Federal election and sticks the Treasurer in the eye! LOL

Doggone it! That “up by ten” in Penn sure sounds purty.

Publishing your upcoming piece is almost idiot-proof, Ferny, but naturally, if you become plagued with anxiety or have any last minute concerns before clicking the “Publish” button, just holler:)
Serious question to PC and KR;
Is there much likelihood of our Big Four banks either having a “run” or them or “going under”?
Had a squiz at what happened here in The Great Depression on wiki but couldn’t really get a handle on that terrifying prospect occurring now, one way or the other.

Nope Ecky – since Westpac nearly went under in the last recession, APRA has made sure the big 4 particularly have their shit together. The only real benefit of having:
a) A banking cartel
b)One of the safest debt repayment populations in the world based on housing mortgages

…. is that the big four cant really go under. If things ever got to the point where one of them did go under – banks going under would really be the least of our worries!

Bank runs happen when people don’t believe their money in a given bank will still be there tomorrow. The unofficial system at the moment in Oz is that even though the big four all have deposit insurance to stop that eventuality from arising, the RBA would step in with Treasury and guarentee savings.

I still think the financial crisis isn’t a crisis, but the great de-leveraging that had to happen. I cant see unemployment shooting up to 20% in the US or the EU, I cant see most industrial and agricultural production shutting down for lack of demand. I can see everyone being forced to put it back into their pants for the next decade, but a full blown economic Depression isnt something I see as being on the cards simply because there is far too much real wealth being created across the globe.

Montana Democratic Party Sues to Stop Republican Voter Challenges

A pair of Missoula County voters and the Montana Democratic Party filed suit in federal court Monday morning to halt broad Republican challenges of newly registered voters, and to keep harshly worded letters about the challenges from being mailed to those challenged voters.

State Republicans challenged more than 6,000 voters last week in a handful of Democratic counties and Democratic-leaning areas. The challenges were made using a private forwarding-address service and notarized by Republican Party employees, the lawsuit alleges.

They can’t win it by fair means so lets try foul means.

McCain works to drive voters from Obama.

Republican John McCain has bet his White House fortunes on a blitz meant to scare voters from Democratic rival Barack Obama — a time-honored tactic with long odds of success this year, experts warned Monday.

“Most people see it as what it is: Desperation from a failing campaign that sees the race slipping from them,” Scott McClellan, former press secretary to US President George W. Bush, told AFP by telephone.

McCain aides have said it hopes to shift the debate away from the US economic crisis that exploded in mid-September, helping Obama build a steady lead in decisive states 28 days before the November 4 election.

Maybe these sort of headlines will make sure of a big turnout.

Can’t see how this campaign will do much for Ms Palin’s reelection in Alaska either. I mean, even the good folks of Alaska (wink) don’t vote for losers (wink wink) – especially stupid ones.
You betcha.

Has anyone else read the Jay Cost article on RealClearPolitics? It has an analysis of Obama’s favourables after the Reverend Wright scandal broke. It is not a pretty graph for Obama. Jay was speculating that perhaps the Wright issue might assist McCain if his surrogates go hard at it for the next little while as undecided voters make up their minds. I am not sure how much I buy that it will have all that big an impact – I expect the polls to tighten by a point or two no matter what – but I also do not buy that it will have no impact or that the impact will be negated by Palin’s preacher. Obama is not running against Palin.

I will not bother with the link, as it gets swallowed. The article is on the main page, at the top.

Thanks, Possum. That’s most reassuring. Didn’t really want to face the fulltime prospect of doing schtick in Sunshine Plaza or busking in Queen St Mall in order to put food on my family.

I wish my brother Pie were here…

Jay Cost, RCP, RW blogsite.

Gouldie, Teh Economy didn’t feature as an issue during the first Wright smears because, as Senator McCain reassured Americans till last week, “the fundamentals of the economy are sound”.
Now, Team McCain have been swiftboated by their own ideology. The bastards can rant and rail till the cows come home but ’twill be to no avail because a clear majority of Seps are switched off to their bleatings in a similar way that a majority of us were swithched-off to all things El Rodente in the run up to last November.

820 Possum and others. One of the problems to look at is that over the last 25 years with deregulation the “financial services” sector of the economy seems to have about doubled. I would be surprised if a sane economy couldn’t get by with the % from 25 years ago. That would mean freeing up quite a few 100,000 workers in Oz for useful employment in areas such as environmental repair, climate change research and implementing solutions etc. I imagine the US and other OECD is probably similar. The problem is that we might get the job losses without the committment to alternative employment. But its certain that we should rip into arguments that we cant afford to radically deal with climate change because of the financial crises.

David further more,

This guilt by association path is going to be trouble ultimately for the McCain campaign,” Democratic strategist Paul Begala said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “John McCain sat on the board of a very right-wing organization, it was the U.S. Council for World Freedom, it was chaired by a guy named John Singlaub, who wound up involved in the Iran contra scandal. It was an ultra conservative, right-wing group.”

Steve “Schmuckens” Schmidt,
Chief Strategist,
McCain/Palin Campaign, 2008.


Seems you’ve had a bit of bad luck lately. That’s what happens when you ignore good advice. What’s the matter with you, Steve, didn’t you read the email Karl sent you about Rawhide’s Law? Yup, you got it, Buddy. Rawhide’s Law!

“When a political party becomes too mavericked-up, it will always need a steering committee to restore herd parity”

Lift your game, Steve, or GTF out of an honourable P.O.W.’s mission to keep America safe from people who want to pal around with terrorists.



Tues Oct 7:;_ylt=A0WTUdqYyepIBaoAchEDwLAF

Tues Oct 7:;_ylt=Aqs4vpRaY1MuGSV64yNFJJcDwLAF

Colorado looks pretty close with the kid with his nose in front.
If any ECV’s are about to be stolen by machines this has almost got to be the perfect situation. It is all geared for a steal:

And that’s about par for Colorado for weeks — fluctuating in the polls between slightly Democratic to slightly Republican on the political maps — and putting the state in the political crosshairs for the first time in memory for both major presidential candidates.

But, as anyone who has turned on a television for the past two months can attest, the presidential election is not the only thing going on in Colorado.

A little light relief:

“ALL four major banks have tonight cut their standard variable rates by 80 basis points following the shock 1pc cut by the Reserve Bank.”

The Australian

Obama is ahead now in Missouri(50-47, according to Rasmussen)
I’m going to stop being cautious!
In my view, Obama has a certain 264 electoral votes, including Iowa and New Mexico. McCain is falling even further behind in Pennsylvania/Michigan/Minnesotta – he’s got no chance of picking up even one Kerry state.
So, Obama needs only another 6 electoral votes, or one out of:
Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia.
Surely the odds favour him picking up at least one of these
And if the landslide is on, Colorado/Nevada/Indiana/Missouri come into the picture, maybe even Georgia too(if there’s a huge black voter turnout).
No doubt the polls will narrow, and McCain’s smear campaign might hurt the kid, but Obama has more options open to victory.
McCain really needs a huge performance in tomorrow’s debate, even to stay at least remotely competitive.


Don’t be too sure about the polls narrowing.

Apparently Americans start getting their 401k reports in the mail from tomorrow.

*insert ANGER smiley

838 The banks should be forced to pass on full amount of official changes but have some discretion to vary own rates. Put onus on banks to justify any unofficial variations instead of hiding behind RBA. Inflation target goes out window (good thing as mindless adherence to limited number of measures is bound to cause problems sooner or later) – with $A falling imports will be dearer although fear of lower sales/recession will help limit price rises in more competitive sectors (ie nor supermarkets, fuel etc)

What I Learned At The Sarah Palin Rally Before They Threw Me Out!
Linda Milazzo got thrown out for calling the Fence a liar:

You see, I’d gone to this event for a reason. Not to see Sarah Palin. I already knew who she was. I went to see the Palinettes – the supporters of this unspectacular woman who had so readily been won over. I wanted to meet them and speak with them and understand their attachment to this lowest common denominator politician – a woman so unqualified for Vice President that her appointer running mate should be imprisoned for treason………………………. While Palin’s peevishness is appalling, it pales in comparison to the dangerous ideology that she and her followers share. By unleashing Sarah Palin, John McCain has reinvigorated the anti-choice/anti-woman/anti-reproductive rights fanatics, who not long ago were at the forefront of domestic terror. Interesting that Palin insinuates Obama when referring to:
“terrorists who would target their own country”
when it’s those who share her ideology who have committed heinous domestic crimes. Let us not forget the health-care workers who were murdered by anti-choice radicals who share Palin’s no exceptions for abortion beliefs. Let us not forget the women and family clinics that were bombed. Let us not forget Eric Rudolph – the anti-abortion terrorist who killed two people and injured 100 others during the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. The same Eric Rudolph who bombed abortion clinics that killed even more people. The same Eric Rudolph who sadistically attacked a gay bar. Let us not forget that the Sarah Palin wing of anti-choice fanaticism victimized America for years, committing crime after heinous crime. What John McCain has unleashed on America with his choice of Sarah Palin is an outright invitation to these cults to wreak havoc


Are you sure?

This article in the UK Tele is a bit different to your take on it.
Can you reassure us again that we will not have to make a runner?

I have a gold tooth!

We face extreme danger. Unless there is immediate intervention on every front by all the major powers acting in concert, we risk a disintegration of global finance within days. Nobody will be spared, unless they own gold bars……………….“The US government has a technology, called a printing press,” said Fed chief Ben Bernanke in November 2002. (His helicopter speech).

Ta ministress Megan.

What a hoot!

He should lay in to her about all the abortion clinic bombers and shootings as well. They all belonged to the pro life religious nutters she likes to entertain.

McStupid and the Fence are now in the category of elephant ball biters and their chickens will come back to them the size of a emu Alaskan Moose and kick their shithouse down.

Palins May Owe Tens of Thousands of Dollars in Back Taxes

When Sarah Palin accepted John McCain’s offer to be his running mate, she probably didn’t fully realize what being in the national spotlight meant. For example, your tax returns get to be analyzed in public (for free) by miscellaneous tax experts.

Liberty University to Cancel Classes on Election Day

Liberty University, founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell an located in Lynchburg, VA, is trying very hard to get all its students to register to vote in Virginia and is canceling classes on election day so they can vote. The university has about 20,000 students. It is thought that the vast majority are Republicans.

There’s more…

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