Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

The voter suppression drive

The voter suppression drive comes <$NoAd$>into clear view (emphasis added) ...

Citing a new list of more than 37,000 questionable addresses, the state Republican Party demanded Saturday that Milwaukee city officials require identification from all of those voters Tuesday.

If the city doesn't, the party says it is prepared to have volunteers challenge each individual - including thousands who might be missing an apartment number on their registration - at the polls.

The move, which dramatically escalates the party's claims of bad addresses and potential fraud, was condemned by Democrats as a last-minute effort to suppress turnout in the city by creating long delays at the polls.

That's from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Quite apart from the

Quite apart from the political swirl and controversy over the new OBL tape, the analysis discussed in this article in the LA Times strikes me as on the mark and an intriguing explanation for some of the weirdly non-bin-Laden-like things said on the tape. It's worth a read.

More from the field

More from the <$NoAd$>field ...

Local and national GOP officials are distancing themselves from a Washington, D.C.-based college Republican group that has used aggressive and misleading tactics to raise millions of dollars from elderly people.


The Herald-Sun reported Thursday that the College Republican National Committee has received at least 87 percent of its North Carolina donations from people who list their occupation as retired. Most of those contacted by The Herald-Sun were in their 80s.

This campaign season, the CRNC has raised more than $6.3 million nationally, putting it in the top 15 political groups tracked by the IRS. The group raised $93,280 in North Carolina.

Because the CRNC solicits under different names, such as the National Republican Task Force and the National Republican Victory Campaign, many seniors have donated to the group repeatedly, often several times in a single day or week. Many had made more than 50 donations since January, sometimes totaling thousands of dollars.

When asked about their giving, many of them had little understanding of how much they had donated or where their money was going. The group's high-pressure mailings, which often play on senior citizens' emotions, suggest that the money would help re-elect President Bush and other Republicans. But according to the Center for Public Integrity, which monitors campaign spending, the CRNC has spent at least 83 percent of its proceeds since 2000 on direct mailings and other fund-raising expenses.

See the rest here.

Then there's this wonderful nugget from the Seattle Times ...

Some of the elderly donors, meanwhile, wound up bouncing checks and emptying their bank accounts.

"I don't have any more money," said Cecilia Barbier, a 90-year-old retired church council worker in New York City. "I'm stopping giving to everybody. That was all my savings that they got."

Barbier said she "wised up." But not before she made more than 300 donations totaling nearly $100,000 this year, the group's fund-raising records show.

The guy at the center of all this seems to be Scott Stewart, chairman of the CRNC from 1999 until last year.

He left to run the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign in Nevada.

A simple point This

A simple point: This election is going to be won or lost on the ground, with organization and turnout. If you're part of the GOTV effort, on either side, this is in your hands.

The president said one

“The president said one time in caucus, ‘I don’t know how much you want to use this on the campaign trail, but our intelligence confirms they want me out.’ So however that bears on your view of the administration is secondary to the fact that if they think they can dislodge the president by hitting us before the election, they will."

Cong. Mike Pence, (R-IN)
October 30th, 2004
The Republic
(Columbus, IN)

[ed. note: Regrettably, The Republic is subscription only. And, no, I wasn't a subscriber before this evening. But, for the benefit of TPM readers everywhere, I plunked down the $8.95 weekly subscription rate and charged it to the TPM Educational, Research and Time-Wasting fund. A not of thanks to TPM reader SC.]

A short note on

A short note on the race, the polls, and what the Bush camp is calling bin Laden's "little gift."

The next few days phone polling probably amounts to one of the biggest industries in the United States.

So it's interesting to look at the results of last night's post-gift polling.

First, the four tracking polls released today and thus including roughly one-third of calls after the release of the OBL tape ...

In Zogby's, Kerry moved up one point.

In Rasmussen's, Kerry moved up one point.

In WaPo/ABC, Kerry moved up two points.

In Tipp, Bush moved up two points.

Two other national polls were released (at least that I've seen), Newsweek and Fox.

One third of the Newsweek poll was done last night. And in their poll Bush was up over Kerry by 50% to 44%. That's four points better than the Newsweek poll the previous week that had Bush over Kerry 48% to 46%.

Look, though, at the Fox poll.

Fox did one poll Wednesday and Thursday night. And then they did another poll with calls Thursday and Friday night. So the common denominator is that both polls had calls Thursday night. And half the calls in the second poll were done post-gift.

The first Fox poll had Bush up 5% (50% to 45%) and the second had him up 2% (47% to 45%).

Now, does this mean the bin Laden tape is giving a boost to Kerry? Of course, not. These are tiny changes. And it's altogether possible that this small shift is simply the result of statistical 'noise' -- numbers wobbling around within the polls' margins of error.

But it should put at least some damper on the notion that the release of the OBL tape would lead to some sudden Bush surge.

At least if the pundits are listening.