Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

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The results are in! We have election predictions from Kenny Baer, Michael Barone, Peter Beinart, David Brooks, Mark Cunningham, Robert George, Paul Glastris, Robert Reich, Russ Smith, Andrew Sullivan and Michael Tomasky. Enjoy. And remember, you can still send in your entry to the TPM election prediction contest until 9 PM EST this evening.

Kenny Baer, Super-Connected, Uber-New Dem

AR -- Pryor.
MN -- I'll go out on a limb, and call it for Coleman. The GOP learned its lesson from 2000, and has played this masterfully. This race is a real dead heat, and I'll predict that Mondale's debate performance will remind everyone why he was no match for Reagan on TV. It'll be tight, but Coleman is an attractive alternative. Coleman wins. And Humphreyism is dead.
SC -- I still think Sanders can do it. THeir internals have it close. BUt if pushed, I'll give it to Graham. Graham.
CO -- I love Zogby's recent numbers. Strickland is the real deal, and CO now has to be considered real battleground territory. Strickland by 2.
MO -- Appointed Senators never win re-election, and Jean Carnahan is no exception. The numbers are tightening, but Talent wins.
SD -- I thought that this state was lost. But my prairie upset is in MN. So I'll say that South Dakotans want Daschle in charge. Johnson holds on.
GA -- Cleland holds on. Barnes at the top of the ticket helps enormously.
NH -- Shaheen has run a masterful race. Shaheen.
TN -- It would take years to mend all the fences to elect a Dem to the Senate in TN. Lamar!
IA -- Harkin. But watch Jim Leach lose.
NJ -- That scream you hear is Bob Torricelli yelling at the tv screen as his arch-enemy Frank Lautenberg takes his Senate seat.
TX -- In the end of the day, Cornyn wins.
LA -- Landrieu does not make it to 50, and loses in the run-off.
NC -- The Bowles surge is not enough. Liddy Dole wins.
By the time they count and litigate all the votes from LA's run-off, the Senate stays at the current make-up, 50-49-1. Daschle then resigns as majority leader and announces his exploratory committee...

[Late Word ... Baer called TPM world HQ six minutes before the 5PM posting deadline and flipped his picks for Minnesota and South Dakota.]

Michael Barone, US News

Here are my predictions.
Arkansas: Pryor (D)
Minnesota: Coleman (R)
South Carolina: Graham (R)
Colorado: Allard (R)
Missouri: Talent (R)
South Dakota: Thune (R) (but who really knows?)
Georgia: Cleland (D)
New Hampshire: Sununu (R) (I've switched back and forth on this one)
Tennessee: Alexander (R)
Iowa: Harkin (D)
New Jersey: Lautenberg (D)
Texas: Cornyn (R)
Louisiana: Landrieu (D) ahead, but fails to get 50%
North Carolina: Dole (R)

Turnovers are Arkansas, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, so that would leave the Senate 51 Repubs, 49 Demos (including Jeffords). Somehow I suspect that one of the Republican turnovers I predicted won't happen--South Dakota to me is the iffiest, though of course who knows about Minnesota.

Peter Beinart, The New Republic

South Carolina-Graham
South Dakota--Johnson
New Hampshire--Shaheen
North Carolina--Dole
Lousiana--Landrieu under50%
New Jersey--Lautenberg
Dems plus 1 or 2 pending Landrieu runoff

David Brooks, The Weekly Standard

The Senate will be 51-49 Republicans, putting Jeffords in the Dem column. That means the Democrats are going to win in Arkansas, Colorado, South Dakota, Iowa, New Jersey and New Hampshire. The Republicans are going to win South Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and North Carolina. Louisiana will take another three weeks, but in the end Landreau will lose in what will become a national race in one state.

Mark Cunningham, New York Post

This works out to no net change, I think. But I'll make my master prediction Dems +1. But Mo. wildcard confirms a bunch of judges ...

Arkansas -- Dem
Minnesota -- GOP
South Carolina -- GOP
Colorado -- Dem
Missouri -- GOP
South Dakota -- GOP
Georgia -- GOP
New Hampshire -- Dem
Tennessee -- GOP
Iowa -- Dem
New Jersey -- Dem
Texas -- GOP
Louisiana -- Dem, after the runoff
North Carolina -- why won't they make that woman STOP? Republican

Robert George, New York Post

Dems 53*
GOP 46
Ind 1

Arkansas -- Pryor 53, Hutchinson 47
Minnesota -- Mondale 50, Coleman 48
South Carolina -- Graham 52, Sanders 48
Colorado -- Strickland 54, Allard 46
Missouri -- Carnahan 50.5, Talent 49.5
South Dakota -- Johnson 53, Thune 47
Georgia -- Chambliss 51, Cleland 49
New Hampshire -- Shaheen 51, Sununu 49
Tennessee -- Alexander 55, Clement 45
Iowa -- Harkin 54, Ganske 46
New Jersey -- Lautenberg 53 Forrester 45
Texas -- Kirk 50.5, Cornyn 49.5
Louisiana -- Landrieu 46, Terrell (23) -- runoff in December
North Carolina -- Dole 52, Bowles 48

*Dem net pick-up of three seats,pending the outcome of Louisiana -- though I'm going out on a serious limb with Texas. Mama always told me I shouldn't go near that Infamy Pool...

Paul Glastris, The Washington Monthly

Arkansas: Pryor beats Hutchinson D+
Minnesota: Mondale beats Coleman
South Carolina: Graham beats Sanders
Colorado: Strickland beats Allard D+
Missouri: Carnahan beats Talent
South Dakota: Johnson beats Thune
Georgia: Cleland beats Chambliss
Hew Hampshire: Shaheen beats Sununu D+
Tennessee: Alexander beats Clement
Iowa: Harkin whoops Ganske
New Jersey: Lautenberg toasts Forrester
Texas: Cornyn beats Kirk
Louisiana: Landrieu (eventually) beats Perkins
North Carolina: Dole beats Bowles
total Democratic gain: 3 seats

Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary & Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate

Arkansas: Pryor wins
Colorado: Allard wins.
Louisiana: Landrieu wins eventually, but not until December runoff.
Minnesota: Mondale wins.
South Dakota: John Thune wins.
Texas: Cornyn wins.
Georgia: Cleland.
North Carolina: Dole.
Missouri: Talent.
New Hampshire: Shaheen.
Tennessee: Alexander.
Iowa: Harkin.

Result: We don't know until December which party runs the Senate.

Russ Smith, New York Press

Final spread for Senate: 50 GOP, 49 DEM, 1 IND.
GOP picks up +1 in House
Dems net 5 in statehouses. KKT loses in MD, Romney wins MA. And upset is Simon in CA. Otherwise, Midwest bloodbath for GOP.
In Senate: MN: Coleman by 1 pt.
AR: Hutchinson by 2 pts.
South Carolina: Graham by 6.
CO: Allard by 2.
South Dakota: Johnson by 3.
NH: Shaheen by 4.
TN: Lamar by 5.
MO: Talent by 2.
NJ: Lautenberg by 6.
GA: Cleland by 6.
TX: Cornyn by 4.
LA: Runoff.
Iowa: Harkin by 8.
NC: Dole by 0.5

Andrew Sullivan, Andrewsullivan.com

AR: Pryor D
MN: Coleman R
SC: Graham R
CO: Allard R
MO: Talent R
SD: Johnson D
GA: Chambliss R
TN: Alexander R
IA: Harkin D
TX: Cornyn R
LA: Landrieu (w/ runoff) D
NC: Bowles D
NH: Shaheen D

Michael Tomasky, New York Magazine

1. Ark., Pryor, +3. Housekeepergate shows Hutch desperation.
2. Minn., Mondale, +2.5. Or at least Rick Kahn better hope so!
3. So. Car., Graham, +5. But that's pretty close for South Carolina.
4. Col., Strickland, +3.5. On the wings of the Ideopolis.
5. Mo., Talent, +1.5. Unless they move East St. Louis to St. Louis tonight.
6. So. Dak., Johnson, +3. Because of TPM's great exposes, natch.
7. Ga., Cleland, +2. Roy Barnes's big margin in gov. race the diff.
8. N.H., Shaheen, +4. Like foliage, she's peaked well.
9. Tenn., Alexander, +6. So he finally wins something. Huzzah.
10. Iowa, Harkin, +5. Helped by Wellstone eulogy. Really.
11. New Jersey, Lautenberg, +9. Thanks to Fritz, now seems as if he's been in for months.
12. Texas, Cornyn, +3. Although if polls are undersampling black vote...
13. La., Landrieu, 46. No five-oh, in other words, but run-off won't be decisive and she'll win it.
14. No. Car., Dole, +1.5. But God how I'd love to say otherwise.

Dems pick up three, Reps pick up one, so new Senate, BCS:
Dems 52
Reps 47
Inds 1

BCS = Before Chafee Switches.

See it for yourself. Just added to the TPM Document Collection is the flyer distributed in African-American precincts this morning in Baltimore, Maryland, which tells voters they must pay off all parking tickets, traffic tickets, back rent and outstanding warrants before voting. You gotta see it to believe it. Also, note incorrect date of election day. Republicans? Voter suppression? Oh, C'mon ...

God, are these races gonna be close. Not too many posts today. I'm swamped working on an article about voter suppression and voter fraud. If anything truly stunning pops we'll run with it, though. This afternoon at five we'll be posting election predictions from Michael Barone, Andrew Sullivan, Robert Reich, Russ Smith, uber-Dem-insider Kenny Baer and others ...

Republican party? Voter suppression? Oh c'mon ...

This clip out of the AP's reportage from McAllen, Texas ...

Two poll watchers representing Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Cornyn were removed from polling places amid accusations of voter intimidation in Hidalgo County.

The decision to eject the two GOP workers, one watching early voting in McAllen, the other in Edinburg, was made by early voting supervisors Thursday and confirmed Friday by Teresa Navarro, Hidalgo County's elections administrator.

The dismissals follow Navarro's decision Thursday to ban local Republican activist Tom Haughey from all early voting places for allegedly interfering with the work of presiding judges and their election clerks. Dave Beckwith, a spokesman for Cornyn, said there were two sides to every story.

"Inappropriate behavior at polling places is never condoned by our campaign. However, there are conflicting stories as to what happened," Beckwith told The Monitor in McAllen. "I hope that a pretext is not being made to disregard Republican poll watchers on a methodical basis because we need poll watchers from both parties to ensure confidence in the integrity of the election."

One of the poll watchers, Joseph Hopkins, declined to comment to The Associated Press.

A telephone number for the other poll watcher, Laura Mason, was not listed and she could be not be reached on Friday night.

In McAllen, a voter reported Hopkins to an early voting supervisor for making a "racist remark." Hopkins is said to have joked, "I'm just a poll watcher but I don't see many Poles. I just see a lot of Mexicans."

In Edinburg, Mason was accused of "repeatedly talking to and harassing" voters, including an elderly woman who said she was "confronted." An early voting supervisor warned Mason and later removed her. When Mason came back to the polling place Friday, Navarro asked her to leave.

"We cannot have this sort of behavior by poll watchers," Navarro said. "Poll watchers are not permitted to talk to voters, never mind harass them. I will continue to defend my early voting supervisors and the rights of all legitimate voters to cast their vote without the threat of intimidation."

Navarro said an election observer from the Secretary of State's office arrived in Hidalgo County Friday, one day ahead of schedule, after she expressed her concerns to the office.

And so it goes ...

As true aficionados of these hallowed pages know, this site is coming up on its second anniversary. Specifically, the debut of TPM came on November 13th 2000 with a post about uber-right-wing-attorney Ted Olson, now going under the label of Solicitor General of the United States. So of course a big gala celebration is going to be held on the 13th.

But, wait,wait, let's go further back into the pre-history of TPM. Don't be afraid, we'll go through it together ... TPM started during the 2000 recount when news really did change almost every hour or every day and unlike almost any other political story in more than a century the country's entire constitutional order was in uncharted territory and, in a sense, in danger. But there was a sort of pre-Talking Points Memo just before the election: a contest to see who could come closest to predicting who would win the presidency, what the percentages would be, who would win the House and the Senate, and so forth.

You can see the results of the contest here -- Check it out. It's like a serious TPM relic. Amazing stuff, I assure you.

Now needless to say the whole matter of the presidency turned out to be rather more complicated than we'd imagined. But, you know, let's just not get into that right now.

In any case, it's time for another contest. Tell us your predictions for the United States Senate.

Here's the deal.

1. First predict the final partisan split, how many GOPs, how many Dems, etc.

2. Then make your call for the fourteen Senate races in Arkansas, Minnesota, South Carolina, Colorado, Missouri, South Dakota, Georgia, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Iowa, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana and North Carolina. (In your email write each state on a line and then the party or candidate name of the winner. So like this ...

Tennessee Democrat
New Jersey Republican
Missouri Democrat

Please do it this way and not in discussion form. Otherwise it'll be impossible to go through them.

3. If you want you can then predict the actual spread in as many of the races as you choose.

The way the contest will be scored is that we'll go from one tier to the next. If you get the overall spread right you advance to the next section. If you don't get it you're out. Then if you get each Senate race right, you'll advance on to the tabulation of individual spreads in specific races. The person who gets either all the races right or who gets all the races right and the most race percentages right, wins.

Is all this clear? Frankly, I'm not even sure it is to me. But whatever... You get the idea.

All entries must be received no later than 9 PM East Coast time on Monday evening. Send them to contest@talkingpointsmemo.com. The results will be announced after they're tabulated and after the results of the various races are known -- which frankly may take a while.

As for the prize: fame, celebrity and renown among TPM readers worldwide.

If you look at CNN or MSNBC or pretty much any of the major news sites this weekend, you see a similar picture: President Bush and President Clinton barnstorming the country. It's a very revealing picture.

If you're going to do a slimy and dishonest direct-mail hit, you at least want to get all your facts right. Unless apparently you're the RNC. On Thursday we noted the new RNC mailing -- now available for viewing in the TPM Document Collection -- to South Dakota voters which claimed that Senator Tim Johnson was involved in voter fraud in the state. (Headline: "Tim Johnson and the Democrats are Hiding the Truth about Voter Fraud").

The mailing includes pictures of four newspaper story headlines about the supposedly burgeoning voter fraud story. One of the four, from the Rapid City Journal, screams "A Violation of Trust."

Only that story wasn't about voter fraud at all. It was about embezzlement in Pennington County, South Dakota.


At first I thought maybe they were going by the new Gingrich Rules of accuracy. As in "Hey, buddy, we just put a headline there in our mailing about voter fraud. We didn't say that headline was about voter fraud. You're assuming too much."

Today's Argus Leader reports the problem and the RNC's Mindy Tucker had to apologize: "We regret that one of the four (newspaper headlines) was included by mistake and should not have been included."

Oops ...

A few weeks ago I recommended Ken Pollack's new book The Threatening Storm to TPM readers. The book, as discussed earlier, is a history of the US relationship with Iraq over the last several decades and a case, though I think an even-handed one, for invasion. Here's a more lengthy and detailed review of the book I've written for The Washington Monthly. For TPM's own take on the Iraq question, see this earlier article, also in The Washington Monthly.

At some point over the course of his career Rick Hertzberg managed to be granted a special dispensation from the normal journalistic obligation to lard his commentary with fatuity, cliche and above-it-all cynicism. (Dowd, Fineman, et.al., no such special dispensation.) Read his piece on the two year anniversary of the 2000 election travesty.

An interesting study in contrasts.

Here's a clip from today's article ("Barnett: No illegal ballots found") in the Argus Leader, in which South Dakota's Republican Attorney General, Mark Barnett, throws a good deal of cold water on the whole 'voter fraud' story.

The investigation into allegations of voter fraud in South Dakota has not turned up any illegally cast ballots but the woman at the center of the controversy still likely will face charges, Attorney General Mark Barnett said late Wednesday.

Barnett said last week that state and federal authorities had found 15 absentee ballot applications with apparently forged signatures. The bad documents surfaced during an investigation of voter abnormalities in 25 counties including registrations for people who were dead or too young to vote.


Throughout the controversy, Barnett has smothered discussion of widespread voting irregularities, saying the investigation was focused on one woman, Becky Red Earth-Villeda of Flandreau who was working as independent contractor under a Democratic Party voter drive.

On Wednesday, the attorney general said the woman's actions, while likely criminal, have not led to fraudulent voting.

"So far I have not found that she had any ballots that have been illegally voted," he said in an interview.

Here's the Republican National Committee mailing (just added to the TPM Document Collection) South Dakotans received in their mailboxes today. The headline pretty much says it all: "Tim Johnson and the Democrats are Hiding the Truth about Voter Fraud." But if you want all the ugly details you can look for yourself.

It doesn't get any slimier.