Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

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Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Monday, November 06, 2006
Man of Steele

You know, if St. Mathias, patron of contested elections, granted me one race tomorrow to decree by wand-wave, I'd wave in Michael Steele of Maryland. This Catholic, pro-life, black politician, already Lt.Gov. of his state, is exciting, and if elected would soon started getting mentioned for President. Someone like him could stir up American politics in a very good way.

He could actually win the Senate race tomorrow: though he hasn't led his opponent, Rep. Ben Cardin (D-Idiot), in any polls, he has recently had tons of "mo" (that's momentum, not Cardin's type of "mo," which is mo-ron), and has pulled up even with his barely-sentient opponent.

Moreover, in his night-before predictions, Robert Novak calls this one for Steele:
Maryland: The momentum in this race has all been going one way for weeks now. The problem is that for a Republican in Maryland, there is always such a long way to go. Not only has Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R) run a near-flawless campaign, he has also benefited from several gaffes by his opponent, Rep. Ben Cardin (D) -- particularly one debate performance that can be described only as disastrous for Cardin.

Near the end, the two are tied in the polls. The question here is whether Steele will get the 12 percent of the black vote that those public polls suggest, or the 20-plus percent suggested by his internals.

The Braynard Group did a late poll for us showing Cardin leading, 48-38, and Steele attracting just 12 percent of the black vote. We had to consider this an outlier, particularly when Mason-Dixon, Survey USA, and the Baltimore Sun all showed a much closer race. However, the others may be missing something, and it is interesting how they share the 12 percent number in common.

The problem is that 12 percent would be consistent with a year in which Republicans did not win a single new black vote, and Steele has been collecting key endorsements from Democrats in the black community, and should do much better than the average Republican.

Steele may well outperform Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) on tomorrow's ballot, and we believe that both will win. Leaning Republican Takeover.
Other states?
Missouri: The race between Sen. Jim Talent (R) and state Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) is so tight that both sides are preparing for a recount....

Ohio: Sen. Mike DeWine (R) has shown some late signs of life, and a late ad attacking Rep. Sherrod Brown (D) may have helped him gain some ground. But it's too late. Ohio will be a disaster for Republicans this year, littered with GOP corpses. Likely Democratic Takeover.

Pennsylvania: State Treasurer Bob Casey (D) will bring an end to the career of Sen. Rick Santorum (R) tomorrow. Likely Democratic Takeover.

Tennessee: Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R) is running away with this one. Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D) probably lost at least 1,000 votes every time he opened his mouth to talk about "the Lord" in the past two weeks. Leaning Republican Takeover.

Virginia: We wrote last week that Sen. George Allen (R) was behind, but as the race has moved back toward positive campaigning in the final days, Allen appears to have successfully weathered any backlash from his slash-and-burn campaign tactics. Allen now appears to have surged, but this one will be very close.

Even if former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) does not beat Allen, he ends Allen's presidential aspirations for 2008. Allen never took his race seriously -- that is what will go on his tombstone if he loses. Leaning Republican Retention.
(This post brought to you by the 17th Amendment -- which should be repealed immediately, but that's another post.)