Inside Politics

Hard to find

“It’s less than five months until Election Day, yet I still can’t find even a dozen open House seats that could well change party control,” political analyst Stuart Rothenberg writes in Roll Call.

“I’m not looking only for seats that are likely to change control, or even for those that are true toss-ups. No, I’m merely looking for districts with a one-in-three chance of switching control. And I still can’t find a dozen districts that merit inclusion on the list,” Mr. Rothenberg says.

“The small number of open seats that could flip in November continues to be a major problem for the Democrats, who insist that their party has some chance at a majority in the House this fall.

“Democrats may be able to knock off a handful of GOP incumbents, but they’ll need to add a number of Republican open seats to their column to have any chance of talking about a Democratic-majority House.”

Kerry’s lead

Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry leads President Bush 51 percent to 44 percent among American voters in a two-way race for president, according to a Los Angeles Times poll published yesterday.

Mr. Kerry’s margin of seven percentage points shrinks only slightly to six percentage points, 48-42, in a three-way race, with independent candidate Ralph Nader getting four percentage points, poll results show.

More than a third of those surveyed said they don’t know enough about Mr. Kerry to decide whether he will make a better president than Mr. Bush. Asked who is more likely to flip-flop on issues, they chose Mr. Kerry 2-to-1.

But by 56 percent to 16 percent, voters felt that Mr. Bush was “too ideological and stubborn.” They gave Mr. Kerry better marks for ideas for strengthening the economy, building respect for the United States worldwide, and handling the problems of health care cost and access, the Associated Press reports.

The telephone poll of 1,230 registered voters nationwide was conducted Saturday to Tuesday. The margin of error was plus or minus three percentage points.

Reagan and Clinton

“How ironic that it was Reagan’s agenda which dominated the Clinton administration: The 42nd president’s signal achievements of welfare reform and a balanced budget owe their intellectual and political foundations to the vision of the 40th,” Dick Morris writes in the New York Post.

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