Monday, August 21, 2006

Special Edition American Idol Recap

Yeah, ok, I went to see this. It was my Anniversary gift to my parents-

American Idol Live: Presented by Pop Tarts
August 19, 2006 Allstate Arena- Rosemont, IL

Rankings from worst to best vocally:

10. Kellie Pickler (but thank goodness for binoculars!)
9. Bucky
8. Katharine (well, she told everyone that she is still sick after missing the first three weeks of the tour and she only did two songs)
7. Mandisa (very hot in person)
6. Ace
5. Lisa
4. Paris
3. Elliott
2. Chris
1. Taylor

And yes, the new Mint Chocolate Chip Pop Tarts are good.

Maine U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

August 21, 2006
78 Days Until Election Day

Maine U.S. Senate

Status: Republican Incumbent
2004 Presidential Result: Blue State (East)

Outlook: Safe Republican

In a season of apparent Democrat optimism about the 2006 elections, Maine is a liberal leaning New England state that will easily reelect a Republican to the U.S. Senate.

Of course, that Republican incumbent is Olympia Snowe, one of the more moderate Republicans in Washington, but somebody whose personality and positions on the issues has her ranked in some surveys near the very top of the most popular U.S. Senators in the country within their own state. Earlier this year, Time magazine included Snowe in their feature on the ten best U.S. Senators. While she is certainly not as far to the right as most Republican Senators, Snowe has always been viewed as a far more loyal party member than Rhode Island’s embattled Senator Lincoln Chafee, who leans even more to the left.

Considering Snowe’s overwhelming popularity, no formidable Democrat stepped forward to run against her as she sought a third term in the Capitol’s upper chamber. For a time, there was speculation that Democrat Congressman Tom Allen might be angling for a chance to run against Snowe, but he never came close to getting into this race and at least one somewhat second-tier candidate bowed out as well.

The Democrat primary was won in an extremely narrow fashion by liberal activist Jean Hay Bright, who had previously lost several other attempts at elected office. The candidate she defeated was also a liberal but somebody who probably would not have been viewed as ideologically strident as Bright. Some Maine Democrats may rejoice that in this unwinnable race, Hay can energize the left wingers in the party that lack of interest would allow Bright, who want to send a message that the party should be unyielding on issues related to the War in Iraq and proposals to impeach or censure President Bush. Interestingly enough, another peace activist is also running as an Independent and he and Bright have jostled back and forth as to who is the most progressive and who can denounce President Bush as a criminal the loudest, etc.

It is a foregone conclusion however that Snow faces very little in the way of a competitive race this year. Her job approval numbers are above 70 percent and she is likely to win a majority of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats alike in November. A Rasmussen Reports poll released today shows her leading Bright by a lopsided 68-20 margin. Snowe’s support is up slightly from the 66% mark she received in that poll in June. At that time, Bright spun that as good news for her by pointing out that she was currently holding Snowe 3 points under the 69 % total she had been reelected with in 2000.

With the exception of Dick Lugar running without major party opposition in Indiana, the race in Maine, in spite of the political makeup of the state, will probably see the largest landslide result of any U.S. Senate race in the country this year.

Snowe campaign link:

2006 U.S. Senate races predicted thus far: 5 D, 3 R
Post-election Senate balance of power thus far: 32 D, 43 R