Sunday, October 31, 2010

KYSen: Paul pulls away in PPP poll

At the risk of looking like a Thomas E. Dewey campaign staffer in 1948, it might be time--in some races--to celebrate Republican victories. But get your butt out and vote on Tuesday as if your livelihood depended on it. Because it does.

The reason for my optimism? A Public Policy Polling survey on the Kentucky US Senate race that reads like a Philadelphia newspaper the day after the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Flyers in the Stanley Cup finals.

Rand Paul has expanded his lead in the Kentucky Senate race even further over the last week and is headed for a blowout win. His margin over Jack Conway is 55-40.

Kentucky is obviously a conservative state. Conway's ability to win was always going to depend on getting a lot of folks who supported John McCain in 2008 to vote Democratic for the Senate this time around. The most amazing finding on this final poll is that Rand Paul is actually picking up more Obama voters (15%) than Conway is McCain voters (9%). That's the formula for a landslide.

Over the last month of the campaign this went from being a relatively competitive race to a not so competitive one. That didn't have a ton to do with Rand Paul- his favorability in early September was 45/40 and now it's 48/43, basically unchanged. The shift is more a reflection of Jack Conway's image with Kentucky voters being shattered in the closing days. Seven weeks ago his favorability split evenly with 36% of voters rating him positively and negatively alike. Now he's very unpopular with only 34% of voters saying they like him and 52% expressing unfavorable opinions toward him.
The House appears to be a lock for the GOP, but as Doug Ross reports, the reliable Intrade market predictor forecasts an 8 seat GOP pick-up in the Senate. But 12 are still in reach.

Every vote accounts.

Vote!

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Chicago Marathon 10/10/10: Chinatown

Chinatown, near the end of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon course, is one of my favorite spots among the 26.2 miles of pavement. There's a break station, plenty of fans--not only is there plenty of parking in the area, there is a CTA el stop nearby--and lots of frivolity.

And photo opportunities.

Next: Spectators

UPDATE 10:00pm: The Marine Corps Marathon took place in Washington today, and Tania of Midnight Blue Says participated in the 10 kilometer race. View her slide show here.

Earlier posts:

Chicago Marathon 10/10/10: Pilsen and sponges
Chicago Marathon 10/10/10: International runners
Chicago Marathon 10/10/10: Cancer runners
Chicago Marathon 10/10/10: More charity runners
Chicago Marathon 10/10/10: Charity runners
Chicago Marathon 10/10/10: I gotta pee
Chicago Marathon 10/10/10: Politics
Chicago Marathon 10/10/10: Boystown
Chicago Marathon 10/10/10: Saluting the troops
Miss Black Illinois completes Chicago Marathon
My 21st consecutive Chicago Marathon



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New travel series: Iowa I Opener and Buffalo Bill

"Gentlemen, you intrigue me. I think I shall have to give Iowa a try."
Con-man Harold Hill, after being run out of Illinois, in The Music Man, 1962.

Time for another Marathon Pundit travel series. In August I traveled to Iowa--which will be the focal point of much of the nation when the 2012 presidential campaign begins. On Wednesday.

Iowa of course isn't that far from Morton Grove, just a two hourdrive west on Interstate 88, the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway.

I began my last travel series, Four Corners Furtherance, with a Buffalo Bill Cody post, I will do the same here.

The great showman, Indian Wars scout, buffalo hunter, and Pony Express rider was born in 1846 in a four-room log cabin near LeClaire, Iowa in Scott County, near the Quad Cities. The cabin no longer stands and the site is now a cornfield. I learned that in LeClaire's Buffalo Bill Museum, which is nicely situated in the center of town on the banks of the Mississippi. The museum also has exhibits dedicated to bridge engineer and Civil War ironclad builder James Buchanan Eads, as well as James Ryan, the inventor of the flight recorder. But the museum was a disappointment--there wasn't a lot of Buffalo Bill stuff there. Ryan was a native of LeClaire, I wasn't able to ascertain Eads' link to Iowa, other than members of his family lived in the Hawkeye State.

But I did get directions to the Cody Homestead, via the Cody Trail, at the museum. Buffalo Bill's father Isaac managed a 600 acre farm from there. The home, built with native limestone, still stands--albeit with significant alterations. Buffalo--what else?--graze nearby. I didn't pay the $2 entry fee to get inside--I was in a cheap mood after leaving LeClaire. Buffalo Bill and his sister Julia attended school in a log cabin, a shack really, near the limestone beauty. A reconstruction of the school stands nearby and is pictured on the lower right. The Codys also owned a frame house in LeClaire--the home still stands--but in Cody, Wyoming. It was moved there in 1933.

Like many pioneers, Cody's father was restless--he moved the family to Kansas Territory in 1854. It was in Grasshopper Falls where Isaac was stabbed after denouncing slavery in "Bleeding Kansas." Three years later the wound was listed as a factor in his death from pneumonia. Nine years later his mother, Martha, died of tuberculosis.

Shortly afterwards Buffalo Bill joined the Kansas 7th Calvary and fought in the Civil War. Greatness followed.

Next: Pike's Peak

Buffalo Bill posts:

Buffalo Bill's gravesite
Buffalo Bill's Scout's Rest Ranch 
July 4, 1882: Buffalo Bill Cody and the birth of the rodeo

Related Civil War posts:

The Battle of Tupelo
Vicksburg Battlefield, Part Four, The USS Cairo

Travel series:

My Kansas Kronikles
My Mississippi Manifest Destiny
Midwestern Presidential Pathway
California Collision
Upper Peninsula Upventure
Four Corners Furtherance

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Obama limps into Chicago--and a report from the conference call with IL GOP chairman Pat Brady

President Obama came to Chicago last night to rally up the Democratic base--just 20,000 of them. Remember, this is the president's hometown. Fox 32 Chicago's Mike Flannery, the city's most respected television political analyst, said only liberal "true believers" were in attendance--independents had other things to do.

Republicans have already made up their minds.

One of the candidates Obama is trying to keep standing is failed Mob Banker Alexi Giannoulias.

Yesterday morning Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady held a conference call about the Obama rally and Tuesday's election. "The visit today says more about Alexi's weakness as a candidate than anything," Brady told us. "Let's take a little look at the history here. Alexi Giannoulias was the fourth choice of the Democrat Party… He was not the enthusiastic choice, by any means, of the Democrats here in the state…"

Looking beyond Saturday night, Brady was optimistic about Election Day. "It's going to be a big night for the Republicans on Tuesday. [In] our early voting in all the congressional districts we are even or ahead of the Democrats, which as you know, is a great sign for us because we, in 2008, were down three to one at this point. Early voting in 2006 I think it was two and a half to one. We feel, given all the polling that I have seen in the last forty-eight hours combined with our first ever state-wide get out the vote program, where we have made 4.2 million voter calls since April, that we are going to have a very, very good Tuesday night. But with that being said, we are still working hard and running like we are five points down…"

During the question and answer session, I queried Brady about the problems with absentee military voting here. Earlier this month Obama's Justice Department gave 35 Illinois counties a "pass" from their requirement to get absentee ballots in the hands of our troops 45 days before Election Day. Some of those members of our military are of course getting shot at.

A "pass?" I don't get it either--other than most of the men and women who serve out country vote Republican. Oh, does this mean the DOJ approves Illinois breaking the law?


"The Justice Department failed to monitor this," Brady said. "It is going to allow one extra day for these ballots to be postmarked, in my opinion, disenfranchising military personnel from their right to vote."

The fix--if you can call it that, "Is far short than what they should have done."

Downstate St. Clair County, home of Scott Air Force base, is one of those 35 counties.

Despite this insult to our troops--for the first time in over ten years Illinois Republicans are eagerly looking forward to Election Day.

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