- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Republican trend?

“The latest polls show something very strange and quite encouraging is happening: The Republican base seems to be coming back home. This trend, only vaguely and dimly emerging from a variety of polls, suggests that a trend may be afoot that would deny the Democrats control of the House and the Senate,” Dick Morris and Eileen McGann wrote in a column yesterday in the New York Post.

“With two weeks to go, anything can happen, but it is beginning to look possible that the Democratic surge in the midterm elections may fall short of control in either House,” the writers said.

“Here’s the evidence:

• “Pollsters Scott Rasmussen and John Zogby both show Republican Bob Corker gaining on Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. in Tennessee, a must-win Senate seat for the Democrats. Zogby has Corker ahead by seven, while Rasmussen still shows a Ford edge of two points.

• “Zogby reports a ‘turnaround’ in New Jersey’s Senate race with the GOP candidate Tom Kean taking the lead, a conclusion shared by some other public polls.

• “Even though Sen. Jim Talent in Missouri is still under the magic 50 percent threshold for an incumbent, Rasmussen has him one point ahead and Zogby puts him three up. But unless he crests 50 percent, he’ll probably still lose.

• “Even though he is a lost cause, both Rasmussen and Zogby show Montana’s Republican Sen. Conrad Burns cutting the gap and moving up.

• “In Virginia, Republican embattled incumbent Sen. George Allen has now moved over the 50 percent threshold in his internal polls. (He’d been at 48 percent.)”

Response ad

A response to a political ad by actor Michael J. Fox warns Missourians that a referendum on Nov. 7 is intended to trick voters into approving human cloning.

Mr. Fox, in his ad for Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill, accuses Republican Sen. Jim Talent of opposing stem-cell research that could help people like him and urges the election of Mrs. McCaskill. Mr. Fox suffers from Parkinson’s disease. The Democratic candidate favors the ballot initiative, which ostensibly is about stem-cell research, while the Republican opposes it.

However, a new ad scheduled to run in Missouri uses the attention focused on Mr. Fox to denounce the referendum as misleading. The ad includes St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan, scheduled to pitch in the World Series tonight, warning voters that the ballot initiative would legalize human cloning. “Don’t be deceived,” he says.

Former St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, who led the team to a Super Bowl victory, says, “Don’t be tricked” into thinking that stem-cell research will bring any cures within the next 15 years.

The ad is introduced and ended by actor Jim Caviezel, who portrayed Jesus in “The Passion of the Christ.”

No tsunami

“The polls indicate that a tsunami effect is expected, with the loss of 40 Republican seats in the House and enough in the Senate to shift control of both Houses to the Democrats,” former New York Mayor Ed Koch writes at www.worldtribune.com.

“However, I am sticking with my prediction that the Republicans will hold both Houses, because the Republican base made up of the Christian right and evangelicals is, for ideological reasons, more committed to voting than the Democratic base. I have said continually that the Democrats should be running on the issues they do best — Social Security, comprehensive medical insurance, abortion (choice), education, housing, fair taxation, and not engaging in Bush-bashing as the major reason to elect them,” said Mr. Koch, a Democrat.

Getting snippy

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman sat between his Democratic and Republican rivals in Monday’s final Connecticut Senate race debate — and got it from both sides, as well as from hecklers.

The three-term senator, who has a 17-point lead in the latest statewide poll, struck back at Democratic challenger Ned Lamont, who has assailed him as a career politician desperate to hang on to his seat and one beholden to powerful Washington special interests.

“You constantly distort and, frankly, just tell lies,” Mr. Lieberman, who is running as an independent after losing the Democratic primary to Mr. Lamont, said at the Garde Arts Center in New London. “No matter how many millions of his own family’s money Ned Lamont spends, the polls show the people of Connecticut are not buying it. They can’t be bought.”

Mr. Lamont, a wealthy cable-TV executive who has poured $12.7 million of his own fortune into his campaign, bristled.

“Senator Lieberman just called me a liar, and he made a lot of outrageous accusations,” Mr. Lamont replied. “Senator, everything we’re talking about is your record, and you can’t run from your record.”

Hecklers interrupted the debate at times, and some chanted “Lieberman Protects Cheney.” They were escorted from the theater, the Associated Press reports.

Jersey ruling

The New Jersey Supreme Court will issue its long-awaited decision on homosexual “marriage” at 3 p.m. today, the court announced yesterday, the Baptist Press reports.

The ruling by the seven-member court could make New Jersey the second state in the nation to legalize such unions — a decision that almost certainly would have an effect on the November elections.

Homosexual activists are optimistic that the court will back them. The New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 1999 that the Boy Scouts could not prevent homosexuals from becoming troop leaders, an opinion written by Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz, who retires after this decision. The Scouts ruling was subsequently overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ugly situation

The communications director for U.S. Senate candidate John Spencer yesterday accused New York Daily News blogger-reporter Ben Smith of fabricating his story that the Republican challenger said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton grew up ugly and as a result underwent plastic surgery.

“A close reading of the stories in the paper reveal that the words ugly and plastic surgery are never bracketed in quotations and were never uttered by Mr. Spencer in the context your headlines portray,” Robert H. Ryan said in a letter to Martin Dunn, Daily News deputy publisher and editor in chief.

“I plan to take whatever action is needed to set the record straight,” Mr. Ryan said in the letter.

Mr. Smith has said that the candidate made the comments to him while the two were aboard a commercial jetliner. However, the reporter said the conversation was not taped.

Mrs. Clinton laughed off the Daily News story on Monday, telling reporters, “My high school picture was cute.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]

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