Senate Polls

Article excerpt

Byline: Greg Pierce, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Senate polls

The latest Rasmussen Reports poll on the Senate race in Tennessee shows Republican Bob Corker with a 53 percent to 45 percent lead over Democrat Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr.

The survey of 500 likely voters, conducted Thursday, has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

That result tipped the Tennessee race from "tossup" to "leans Republican" in Rasmussen's "Senate Balance of Power" analysis, which shows 45 Democrat seats, four "lean Democrat," 48 Republican and one "lean Republican" seats. Control of the Senate, according to Rasmussen, now depends largely on two remaining "tossup" seats in Missouri and Virginia.

The latest Rasmussen poll in Missouri has Republican Sen. Jim Talent with a 48 percent to 46 percent lead over Democrat Claire McCaskill. In Virginia, Rasmussen shows Republican Sen. George Allen narrowly leading Democrat James H. Webb Jr., 49 percent to 48 percent.

Spelling contest

"In the 22nd District of Texas Tom DeLay's old district workers for Republican write-in candidate Shelley Sekula Gibbs are handing out pamphlets that warn" in screaming all-capital letters, "don't let Nick Lampson and his liberal Democrat allies take away your choice this election," Byron York writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

"The handout lays out instructions for writing in Gibbs' name, plus the urgent directive [also in all-caps] 'Remember on Tuesday November 7, vote for Shelley Sekula Gibbs for U.S. representative twice!'

"The twice! part refers to the fact that, to fully support Sekula Gibbs, people who want to vote for her have to first vote for her to finish out the last couple of months of DeLay's term she's on the ballot for that and then write in her name to vote for her to be the next full-term congressperson from the district," Mr. York said.

"That's where things get complicated. The phrase 'write-in' is not entirely accurate in this race. In most of the precincts in the 22nd District, voters won't write anything. Instead, they will work on a machine called the Hart InterCivic Voting System in which they will be required to turn a wheel to select letters on a screen."

Mr. York explained that to vote for Mrs. Sekula Gibbs, voters will have to spell the name correctly, including hitting "space" between all three names and "enter" after every character including the spaces.

"It does not take a prophet to see that there will likely be some irregular entries from people trying to vote for Sekula Gibbs. If the race is close, there will be intense fights over every variation of her name entered into the Hart InterCivic system.

"What will be accepted as a legitimate vote and what won't? Texas law says only that 'A vote on an office or measure shall be counted if the voter's intent is clearly ascertainable .. .' What that will mean in practice is not entirely clear. It seems likely that obvious misspellings of Sekula Gibbs's name will count, as will short versions like 'S Gibbs.' On the other hand, in a close contest, Republicans and Democrats might end up fighting over every vote."

Connecting dots

"So, less than a week before the midterm elections, four workers from Acorn, the liberal activist group that has registered millions of voters, have been indicted by a federal grand jury for submitting false voter-registration forms to the Kansas City, Missouri, election board. But hey, who needs voter-ID laws?" the Wall Street Journal said in an editorial.

"We wish this were an aberration, but allegations of fraud have tainted Acorn voter drives across the country. …