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strong Dem Strong Dem (43)
weak Dem Weak Dem (1)
barely Dem Barely Dem (6)
tied Exactly tied (0)
barely GOP Barely GOP (1)
weak GOP Weak GOP (2)
strong GOP Strong GOP (47)
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Sep. 21 New polls: CT MD NJ OH RI RSS
  Pickups: Missouri Montana New Jersey Ohio Pennsylvania Rhode Island Tennessee


News from the Votemaster

We have polls in five states today. Here are the most important ones. In Connecticut, incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is barely hanging on. His 47% to 45% lead over Ned Lamont according to ARG is a statistical tie.

In Maryland, a surpising poll from SurveyUSA puts Lt. Gov. Michael Steele much closer than earliter polls. He now leads Ben Cardin 48% to 47%, also a statistical tie.

In New Jersey, yet another statistical tie, with Tom Kean, Jr. at 48% and incumenbent Sen. Bob Menendez at 45% according to Quinnipiac University.

In Ohio, the race might be tightening, as Quinnipiac University puts incumbent Sen. Mike DeWine behind challenger Rep. Sherrod Brown by 1%, 45% to 44%. A University of Cincinnati poll also puts Brown ahead, this time 51% to 47%. Brown had been leading by much more earlier in the year.

In Rhode Island, ARG puts Sheldon Whitehouse ahead 45% to 40%. This is the third poll since the primary, and it appears that Whitehouse indeed has a small lead.

Over in the House, OH-02 is becoming a real catfight. Incumbent Jean Schmidt leads Victoria Wulsin by only 45% to 42%, another statistical tie. This is the district Iraq veteran Paul Hackett almost won in a special election earlier this year.

As usual, I don't quote margins of error. They are normally 3-4% in these polls, but so early in the season, public opinion can change radically in a few days so don't take the polls too lierally.

The NY Times has a story on the front page today entitled Only 25% in Poll Approve of the Congress. In theory, then, the election should turn into a Democratic romp. However, it is good to remember the saying (sometimes attributed to Yogi Berra) "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice they are not." Time and again it has happened that people say: "Congressmen are all incompetent, corrupt, crooks--except for mine, who is a fine upstanding gentleman." Or, in a definite citation of Yogi Berra: "It ain't over till its over." If everyone votes for his or her representative while hating the other 434, the Republicans keep the House.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington released its second annual list of the most corrupt people in Congress. Here is the list:

Members of the Senate:

Conrad Burns (R-MT)
Bill Frist (R-TN)
Rick Santorum (R-PA)

Members of the House:

Alan Mollohan (D-WV)
Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO)
Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Richard Pombo (R-CA)
John Doolittle (R-CA)
Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
Tom Feeney (R-FL)
Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Katherine Harris (R-FL)
John Sweeney (R-NY)
William Jefferson (D-LA)
Charles Taylor (R-NC)
Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Gary Miller (R-CA)
Curt Weldon (R-PA)

Five Members to Watch:

Chris Cannon (R-UT)
J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ)
Dennis Hastert (R-IL)
John Murtha (D-PA)
Don Sherwood (R-PA)

Their press release tells the whole story.

Another important political story today is the decision by a Georgia court to throw out Georgia's law requiring government issued photo ID to vote. The court said this law would deprive citizens who are legally entitled to vote because they happened to lack the required ID. The litigant is this case was an elderly woman who is nearly blind and could not get to the DMV to obtain an ID card. Congress is considering a law for the whole country similar to the one just struck down.

I have patched up the full list of House races somewhat, but there still are many blind links. Please check to see if all the Wikipedia pages for candidates in your state exist. If not, create them. First copy the text below onto your clipboard. In Windows, select it, then use Edit > Copy. Then follow these steps:

  1. Go to Wikipedia and sign up as a user and log in.
  2. Enter the candidate's name, (correctly capitalized) in the search box and click Go. If the name is in use, try again with a middle initial or something like "John Smith (politician)".
  3. Click on "Create this article".
  4. Cut and paste the text below into the box. Then edit it to fit the candidate. Noteworthy achievements should always be included and the article should stick to facts, not opinions. If the candidate has previously been elected to public office, list the dates, offices, and achievements while in office.
  5. When you are done editing, preview the page, then edit again if need be.
  6. When the article is ready, save it.
You might want to first check out this tutorial on Wikipedia . Here is a dummy template:
'''John Smith''' is an [[United States|American]] politician from [[California]],
running as the [[United States Democratic Party|Democratic]] candidate
for Congress in  the 9th [[congressional district]].

==Early years==
John Smith was born in Los Angeles on Aug. 1, 1953 and went to elementary and 
high school there, He later attended UCLA and graduated in 1975 with a
Bachelors Degree in Political Science.

==Career==
After graduation, he worked for xxx company as a yyy for 12 years.
Then he ... [include notable achievements here]

==Issues==
Smith is running for Congress because he wants to end the war in Iraq 
now [or stay the course in Iraq,or whatever].
Furthermore, a cornerstone of his campaign is ...
Smith also wants to end our dependence on foreign oil by converting all cars 
to E85 within 15 years and is strongly pro choice [or the reverse or whatever].

==External links==

* [http://www.smithforcongress.com/ Official site]

[[Category:Politicians|Smith, John]]
[[Category:Living people|Smith, John]]
[[Category:United States House of Representatives candidates|Smith, John
]]

The more detailed the page is, the better, You can also provide hyperlinks, footnotes, references to other Wikipedia articles etc. But stick to verifiable facts--not your opinion. Most candidates have a biography section on their home page, which you can find by typing the candidate's name to Google.


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