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Could Democrats loose Obama's former Senate seat?





deanhills
Do you think Democrats may loose Obama's former Senate seat, as there seems to be a lot of political controversy surrounding this seat:
Quote:
As questions linger about what Barack Obama's team knew about an alleged scheme to sell his vacant Senate seat, the talk dominating Democratic circles from Washington to Chicago to Springfield is focusing on more immediate and tangible concerns, all ending at the same place — is it now possible the Democrats could lose the seat?

The key questions:

-- How long will Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, hold onto his job?
Blagojevich went back to work Wednesday, a day after being arrested and charged with trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat as well as other alleged shakedowns and pay-to-play plots. Obama joined the chorus of people urging his fellow Democrat to resign and repeaeted that admonition on Thursday.

But Democratic insiders in Chicago fear that Blagojevich will hold onto his seat knowing that doing so is perhaps his best bargaining chip for a lighter prison sentence if he's found guilty. If he fears he's about to be tried and convicted, he could offer to resign as part of a plea bargain agreement.

-- If he does stay in office for weeks or months, will the Illinois General Assembly strip him of the power to appoint someone to fill the remaining two years of Obama’s term in the Senate?
Sentiment is strong in Springfield to do that. And the Senate’' Democratic leadership, which includes Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is signaling that it would refuse to seat anyone appointed by Blagojevich, which is within the Senate's powers.

But Blagojevich still has a few cards to play, chiefly using the calendar.

Even if the legislature passes the special election law next week, one insider said, Blagojevich still has to sign it into law or veto it. But he also could hold into it until the current legislature ends on Jan. 14, forcing the new legislature that takes office that day to start over.

Then, that session of the legislature would have to wait six days before sending the new election law to Blagojevich, and he could hold it for 60 days before vetoing it. The legislature would certainly vote to override the veto, but by then it would be mid-March. It would be some time later before the actual election could be held, all the while leaving the seat vacant as Congress debates and votes on critical parts of Obama’s agenda, likely including his proposals to help the economy.

-- And if the General Assembly orders a special election instead, is there now a chance that the people of Illinois will rise in anger against the Democratic Party and, gasp, elect a Republican to Obama's seat?
Until this week, it was a foregone conclusion that Obama's seat would remain in Democratic Party hands as fellow Democrat Blagojevich had the sole power to fill the vacancy.

And it's still possible a special election would send another Democrat to Washington. As one Illinois Democrat said Wednesday, the candidate would be running against Blagojevich. And Illinois could feel some considerable loyalty to Obama and his party, especially if he campaigned for the candidate.

But some Democrats in Washington aren't so sure. They fear that voters could rise up in anger and vote against any Democratic candidate — and help the Republicans take one they never thought they'd have a shot at.

Source: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/157/story/57650.html
jmi256
deanhills wrote:
Do you think Democrats may loose Obama's former Senate seat, as there seems to be a lot of political controversy surrounding this seat:


I think it’s quite possible, but the election is still out far enough to make any prediction pure speculation at this point. Rasmussen polls (which a certain someone likes to claim is biased toward Republicans) have the Democrat leading. Given the rampant corruption within the Democratic Party, however, I think this will get closer as the election nears. Joe Biden’s son is also thinking of running for his daddy’s seat in Delaware, which seems to also be within reach.

Quote:
Polls show Dems might lose Obama, Biden Senate seats
Republicans seek strongest candidates for key midterm ballots


President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. won't be on the midterm ballot next year, but their former Senate seats will be, and both races are now either tossups or leaning Republican in high-visibility contests.

Mr. Obama, who was a freshman senator from Illinois when he was elected president, and Mr. Biden, who was in his sixth term as a senator from Delaware, come from states that have been running strongly Democratic in past elections. No one doubts that Mr. Obama would have been a re-election shoo-in had he remained in the Senate and that Mr. Biden had his seat for the foreseeable future.

But in another sign of political winds that appear to be blowing against the Democrats in the 2010 cycle, Republicans and independent political analysts say the chances are at least even that their seats could be taken over by two strong Republican candidates next November, when the GOP is expected to make gains in Congress and in the state governorships.

"Not to steal one of President Obama's favorite words, but in Illinois and Delaware, Republicans have a truly historic opportunity to win both the president and vice president's Senate seats, and we're fortunate to have the strongest possible candidates already in the race," said Brian Walsh, chief spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

"There is still a long way to go until the election, and we certainly expect polls will fluctuate, but it's clear that even in traditionally blue states, voters are demanding accountability and want to restore checks and balances in Washington," Mr. Walsh said.

In Illinois, where Democrats are still reeling from an explosive "pay to play" corruption scandal that led to the arrest and impeachment of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, five-term Rep. Mark Steven Kirk, the expected Republican nominee, is running for Mr. Obama's seat. The Democratic front-runner is state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, whom an opposing Democratic campaign adviser calls a "deeply flawed" candidate.

Illinois Republican leaders have been pounding Democrats for widespread corruption in the state's government, noting Mr. Giannoulias' ties to real estate developer and Democratic fundraiser Tony Rezko, who was convicted last year of fraud and money laundering.


"His family bank, where Alexi served as an officer, made loans to Tony Rezko, who is now sitting in a penitentiary," Republican state chairman Pat Brady said.

But Democratic campaign strategists have been among Mr. Giannoulias' critics, too.

"Alexi Giannoulias' own vulnerabilities are so significant, and far more damning than Kirk's among the electorate. ... His nomination would put Barack Obama's former Senate seat in extreme jeopardy for the Democrats," pollster Geoff Garin said last month in a widely distributed polling memo for Senate candidate David Hoffman, who is opposing Mr. Giannoulias for the Democratic nomination.

Earlier this year, the White House and state Democratic leaders thought that state Attorney General Lisa Madigan would guarantee that Mr. Obama's seat would remain in Democratic hands. But after getting the full Oval Office treatment to persuade her to run, she turned down Mr. Obama.

Party strategists say Mr. Giannoulias was their second choice, though White House adviser David Axelrod, who lobbied for Ms. Madigan, isn't enthusiastic about the turn of events. "She would have walked into the seat," he told the New York Times last month.

"The Blago saga will hang heavy over our politics," Mr. Axelrod said.

Sen. Roland W. Burris, who was appointed by Mr. Blagojevich to fill the vacancy, decided not to seek the election after he became the target of a Senate ethics committee investigation arising out of the corruption charges against Mr. Blagojevich. He was cleared of wrongdoing, but the panel said he had provided "incorrect, inconsistent, misleading" information about his conversations with the embattled governor and that his actions were "inappropriate."


The latest Rasmussen poll has Mr. Kirk, a party moderate who represents the northern suburbs of Chicago and has regularly won support from Democrats and independents there, in a statistical dead heat with Mr. Giannoulias, trailing the Democrat by 42 percent to 39 percent last week. An earlier poll had them tied at 41 percent.

Mr. Brady, who is privy to internal Republican Party polls, said Mr. Kirk "will win by five points or more. I don't think this is as close as pollsters say."

The Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report are calling the contest a tossup, but both election handicappers think the Republicans have a good shot at taking the seat.

"The state has a strongly Democratic bent, but the party's [corruption] problems, questions about Giannoulias, and an unusually appealing moderate Republican nominee give Democrats major problems in the Land of Lincoln," the latest Rothenberg Political Report said.

Mr. Biden's seat in Delaware also appears vulnerable. Rep. Michael N. Castle, a Republican who has won nine statewide elections as the state's only House member, has been leading state Attorney General Beau Biden in polls. Mr. Biden has delayed saying whether he will be a candidate for the remaining four years of his father's term.

Mr. Castle, a 70-year-old former governor, is a moderate whose cross-party appeal has drawn support from Democrats and independents over a political career that spans more than 40 years. A recent head-to-head voter survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm, showed Mr. Castle leading the younger Mr. Biden by 45 percent to 39 percent.

A Public Policy Polling analysis of its findings pointed to two strong trends in Mr. Castle's favor: a 52 percent to 23 percent lead among independent voters, and the fact that he draws far more support from Democrats than Mr. Biden does from Republicans. The analysis found that 48 percent of Democrats view the Republican lawmaker favorably, while 15 percent of Republicans have a positive view of the 40-year-old Mr. Biden.

Independent analysts still think the vice president's son will enter the race, but there has been growing speculation about why he has not revealed his intentions more than two months after Mr. Castle announced his candidacy. He returned home in October after a year's tour of duty in Iraq and has been spending more time with his family while he considers his options.

"Both personally and politically, this was necessary and smart. There probably isn't much of a need for Biden to establish his campaign early, since he doesn't need to build a brand-name recognition and certainly won't encounter any trouble raising money," said Jennifer Duffy, senior elections analyst at the Cook Political Report.

Stuart Rothenberg has put the Delaware Senate race in his "lean Republican Takeover" column but cautions that "even if Beau Biden takes a pass on the contest, the combination of the state's Democratic bent and Castle's popularity strongly suggest a very competitive contest."

But many oddsmakers and analysts still think the edge goes to Mr. Castle. "This race is close, and Biden, if he gets in the race, will have a decent shot at winning. But Mike Castle looked like the favorite last winter, and nine months later he still does," said an analysis on Public Policy Polling's Web site.



Source = http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/14/gop-hopes-rise-for-obama-biden-senate-seats/
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
I think it’s quite possible, but the election is still out far enough to make any prediction pure speculation at this point. Rasmussen polls (which a certain someone likes to claim is biased toward Republicans) have the Democrat leading. Given the rampant corruption within the Democratic Party, however, I think this will get closer as the election nears. Joe Biden’s son is also thinking of running for his daddy’s seat in Delaware, which seems to also be within reach.
You're more of an expert, but from the outside in I can't see the Republicans functioning more than as a protest vote anywhere. I'm not a supporter of the Democratic party, but am looking for firm and true leadership in the Republican Party that can publicly distance itself from right-wingers, that just isn't there. Cheney seems to be the only person really heard by the media, and Cain now and then makes a sane comment, but both of them are deadbeats and over the hill. We need a team of Republicans with fire in their belly and really good ideas that supercede protest ones before they will really make a difference. Right now they have become the party you vote for in protest against the Democrats or a Democrat person who is standing for election and that one does not particularly like very much.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
You're more of an expert, but from the outside in I can't see the Republicans functioning more than as a protest vote anywhere. I'm not a supporter of the Democratic party, but am looking for firm and true leadership in the Republican Party that can publicly distance itself from right-wingers, that just isn't there. Cheney seems to be the only person really heard by the media, and Cain now and then makes a sane comment, but both of them are deadbeats and over the hill. We need a team of Republicans with fire in their belly and really good ideas that supercede protest ones before they will really make a difference. Right now they have become the party you vote for in protest against the Democrats or a Democrat person who is standing for election and that one does not particularly like very much.

Which is probably why Obama will be having two terms in office... Lack of any other viable option.
(It would take one heck of a leader to fix the Republican party's problems without shattering it into a dozen factions, and I don't see anybody around who might do so.)
There's still no way a third party could make it to the presidency, but hopefully both major parties will lose congressional seats soon.
jmi256
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
You're more of an expert, but from the outside in I can't see the Republicans functioning more than as a protest vote anywhere. I'm not a supporter of the Democratic party, but am looking for firm and true leadership in the Republican Party that can publicly distance itself from right-wingers, that just isn't there. Cheney seems to be the only person really heard by the media, and Cain now and then makes a sane comment, but both of them are deadbeats and over the hill. We need a team of Republicans with fire in their belly and really good ideas that supercede protest ones before they will really make a difference. Right now they have become the party you vote for in protest against the Democrats or a Democrat person who is standing for election and that one does not particularly like very much.

Which is probably why Obama will be having two terms in office... Lack of any other viable option.
(It would take one heck of a leader to fix the Republican party's problems without shattering it into a dozen factions, and I don't see anybody around who might do so.)
There's still no way a third party could make it to the presidency, but hopefully both major parties will lose congressional seats soon.

To be honest, I could care less if a Republican or any other party gets into the WH next election if they don't have conservative principles. I'd take a conservative Democrat over a liberal Republican any day.
ocalhoun
jmi256 wrote:

To be honest, I could care less if a Republican or any other party gets into the WH next election if they don't have conservative principles. I'd take a conservative Democrat over a liberal Republican any day.

Ideally, a libertarian would change over to the republican party, and unite it enough to get elected...
Fat chance.
jmi256
ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:

To be honest, I could care less if a Republican or any other party gets into the WH next election if they don't have conservative principles. I'd take a conservative Democrat over a liberal Republican any day.

Ideally, a libertarian would change over to the republican party, and unite it enough to get elected...
Fat chance.

The ironic thing is that the type of people attracted to modern politics, regardless of party, is the exact opposite type of person who is going to make any real change. While most people regard the government as a necessary evil for certain purposes (defense, courts, etc.), they would rather be left alone the majority of the time. Meanwhile the people who make a political career do so because they think they can use government to 'fix' whatever pet problem they see as needing to be fixed. Those who claim to be sacrificing themselves, their 'talents' and their industry are just as bad. It’s sort of like the old saying “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”, but modified to “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, legislate.”
lagoon
This fractionisation always happens after a major election defeat, as I think will happen to the Labour Party in Britain. As soon as the Reps feel the hunger for power again, they will become more moderate, unite, and probably win. Obama will win a second term, I predict, but The Reps will win after that.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:

To be honest, I could care less if a Republican or any other party gets into the WH next election if they don't have conservative principles. I'd take a conservative Democrat over a liberal Republican any day.

Ideally, a libertarian would change over to the republican party, and unite it enough to get elected...
Fat chance.

This would be awesome. But yes, probably not very likely in the next election. It probably would take a while for them to create a platform and base, people will have to get used to them first.

jmi256 wrote:
The ironic thing is that the type of people attracted to modern politics, regardless of party, is the exact opposite type of person who is going to make any real change. While most people regard the government as a necessary evil for certain purposes (defense, courts, etc.), they would rather be left alone the majority of the time. Meanwhile the people who make a political career do so because they think they can use government to 'fix' whatever pet problem they see as needing to be fixed. Those who claim to be sacrificing themselves, their 'talents' and their industry are just as bad. It’s sort of like the old saying “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”, but modified to “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, legislate.”
Agreed with this too, except I wonder whether in the background those who are in large part sponsoring the politicians are thinking the same as we are in the forums. That there is a drastic and major change necessary, and that having the same two parties on and off all the time is actually fuelling the problems, not making them less. I am almost certain some of Ocalhoun's thoughts must be going through the Republican and Libertarian Parties. What would also be quite savvy is to ally with the Green Party. I particularly like their ideology for Community-based economics along the lines of Independent Business Alliances vs. proliferation of large corporations. Especially the big banks and large insurance corporations, not to mention BIG Government are all killing the economy.
gandalfthegrey
Not going to happen. Both lean heavily Democrat. The Republican's lost any chance at the Illinois seat when Jack Ryan had to drop out in 2004 because of his sex scandal.
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