Other election issues

I don’t want to jinx it, but unless all the polls are totally wrong, or something horrendous happens in the next few weeks, the uncertainty on November 4th is not going to be about who is the next President, but about the rest of the elections.*  Do the Dems really have a chance at 60 votes in the Senate?  Is Massachusetts going to commit budget suicide? What’s going to happen to marriage equality in California?

Sam Wang makes a convincing case that if you have money left to spend on political contributions this cycle, you should spend it on the Senate races in Oregon, Georgia and Minnesota.  Of those, the one that jumps out at me is Georgia, because I haven’t forgiven Chambliss for his utterly sleazy ads about Max Cleland.  (And Jim Martin’s making sure the voters don’t forget either.) 

Increasing the margin in the House is probably less of a priority, but I’m still trying to find some money to toss towards a couple of races:

  • Judy Feder’s contest to beat Frank Wolf in Virginia — she’s awesome, and is one of the half dozen or so people in the US who I actually think understand health care reform.  That said, he’s a popular incumbent and he trounced her two years ago.  Virginia polls close early — 7pm Eastern time** — so that’s a good race to keep your eye on — if she wins, it’s a sign that the Dems are really riding a wave.
  • Dennis Shulman in New Jersey.  He’s a blind rabbi, a psychologist, running against someone who is incredibly conservative for his district.  And I know his daughter.

I’m finding it hard to get too excited about my own Congressional race, but Anonymous is a Woman has some good posts about it here and here.  I haven’t seen any polling, but I think Connolly should win easily — the district has moved to the left, and the seat has only stayed Republican as long as it has because of people’s respect for Tom Davis and appreciation of what he’s done for federal workers.  I got a very annoying push poll from Fimian last week (although even the poor sap they had doing the poll couldn’t pronounce his name.)

As far as I can tell, we don’t have any wacky policy referenda on our ballot here in Virginia.  Here in Fairfax, there’s a parks bonds referendum, which I’m probably going to vote against.  Given the huge budget deficit the county is running (due to the collapse of property tax revenue), I just don’t think that it makes sense to borrow for things that are nice, but not essential.

* Not that I’m complaining about this.  After the last two Presidential elections,I’d really like one where I’m not sure it’s worth staying up to watch the California returns come in.  My dad and I were talking about this and we decided that the question we wanted to ask is: what’s your prediction for what time you go to bed on election night?

In 2000, I was 6 months pregnant, had a brutal cold, and had to catch a
flight to go to a work meeting in Cleveland at 5.30 the next morning.  At about 2 am, I finally gave up and went to bed.  In 2004, I gave up when they moved Florida back from Kerry to too close to call.

** If you’re likely to be stuck at work and racing home to vote, you might consider going ahead and voting absentee early.  If you’re at work *or commuting* for at least 11 hours that day, it’s an approved reason to vote absentee.  That sounds like a lot, but a 9 hour day and a one hour commute each way qualifies you.

15 Responses to “Other election issues”

  1. urbanartiste Says:

    I am expecting to be up all night, which is horrible since I have to work the next day. I thought the worst was when Al Gore ran against George Bush and everything was up in the air for days and then weeks. I voting for Obama, but everyday the phrase “I can’t believe Hillary is not on the ticket” goes through my mind. I am really excited about Congress becoming predominantly democrat, particularly since McCain and Palin are increasing turning to negative and fear mongering tactics.

  2. Lisa V Says:

    We are trying to decide whether to watch the results here or head down to Dem headquarters for awhile. I’d like to party and be happy with a bunch of people, but I also want to be with my kids to share what hopefully will be a very happy night for us.
    We are voting early in the morning (before work) to avoid lines, but we both want to take the kids to the polls. Absentee voting seems anti-climatic.

  3. the other bj Says:

    do you have to state a reason to vote absentee there? i’m permanently registered for absentee here in ca.

  4. Lynnie Says:

    I just absolutely hate waiting up on election night. I spent election night 2004 trying to sleep but waking up every couple hours and turning on the radio and dialing up on our slow internet connection. It was AWFUL and what a disappointment. At least now we have a t.v. so I can at least watch the results. Still, I just wish it was all over!

  5. dave.s. Says:

    Absentee voting was wonderful: in and out in 25 minutes. I expect election day lines of three hours. It’s interesting, though: the election is over for me now. Lots of sound and fury, but I just watch.

  6. K Says:

    One good thing about living in the Midwest – we are an hour behind. I can manage to stay up until 11, but midnight would be out of my reach!
    I always voted for Davis back when I lived in VA, even though I’m about as Democrat as they come. He seemed to be a reasonable, smart politician who listened to his constituents.

  7. jen Says:

    This year in Illinois we have early voting. You don’t have to state a reason, you just show up at your local library any time in the three weeks before the election and cast your ballot. And this includes voting times on Saturday!! It’s a great way to make the democratic process friendlier to the time-pressed.

  8. liz Says:

    I predict staying up ’till 1:00 AM Wednesday, either biting my nails or wired from excitement.
    I hopehopehope Feder wins it, but am afraid she may be the sacrificial lamb of generally Republican voters who are wincing at voting a straight Democratic ticket.

  9. landismom Says:

    I’ll definitely be staying up late that night! 2006 was really a good year for me–the election was wrapped up so quickly, we knew that we had won before I even got to the victory party!
    I doubt that will happen for me this year, but I’m still hoping.

  10. bj Says:

    I’m very wary of us getting to complacent. I think that it’s still far enough away for things to change, and I thought that we should neither have gotten too worried when McCain saw the Palin bounce, nor too comfortable now. I will be in an airplane on election day (will vote absentee, as I always do).

  11. trishka Says:

    i would second the urging to give money to the democratic oregon senate candidate, jeff merkley!

  12. laura Says:

    We gave money to Shulman and are putting up a sign for him in our yard.

  13. bj Says:

    I’ll put in a plug for Darcy Burner, Seattle area mom. She’s running for Congress against Reichert. I think she has a chance. Interesting life story, too.

  14. bj Says:

    I’m bemused that Gordon Smith is trying to pretend that he’s not a Republican (and emphasizing his ties with Obama). And, the rumor is (we haven’t gotten our ballots yet) that WA state Republicans are going to identify themselves as “GOP” in the hopes that a few voters won’t realize that they’re Republican.

  15. amy Says:

    Unless I suddenly happen to be working in a newsroom, I’ll be asleep. It helps that I’m not excited about either presidential candidate. My daughter brought home today an ‘invitation’ (meaning she’ll go unless I stop it) to a set of group-therapy sessions for kindergarteners of divorce during the schoolday, courtesy of the school district and a guidance counselor I’ve never spoken with. I cannot begin to tell you how much I don’t want more social services and community organization, thank you kindly. And then, of course, there’s McCain and Palin, and that’s not a happy thought either.
    Actually I saw on CSPAN Grover Norquist mumbling about his new book, _Leave Us Alone_. That sums it up for me neatly.
    I’ll be writing in Hillary, less because I think she would’ve been a fantastic president than because I see, once again, an utter absence of respect for women and the work we do in the Democratic party, in what I’ve seen of Obama’s committee behavior these past few years, and in the Obama campaign, particularly after winning the nomination. My vote is up for grabs: Whoever demonstrates genuine respect for women, and in particular for the work mothers do as well as our personhood, gets my vote. After that we can begin to talk about geopolitical strategy and economic policy and the rest of the things I studied as a wide-eyed chile of the Reagan years. If they can’t manage simple respect, though, then to hell with them; I will get by either way.
    No interesting races to report here on the sub-presidential level.

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