Twitter Is the Best Predictor of Congressional Races

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Number of House races correctly predicted by Twitter in the 2010 midterm elections, according to National Journal: “The key measure, researchers from Indiana University found, was a candidate’s ‘tweet share,’ the percentage of total tweets about a race that mention them. The more often a candidate is mentioned on Twitter relative to their opponent, the study reported, the greater their chance for victory.”


Maybe his new year’s resolution was to quit being a schmuck.

After almost two months, Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller announced Friday that he will end his legal challenge to incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s write-in victory, The Anchorage Daily News reported.

Speaking at a news conference in Anchorage, Miller said it was time to accept the “practical realities” of recent court rulings that had gone against him.

Then again, being a schmuck is hard to quit.

In his first interview after his public concession, Miller appeared on “John King, USA,” where CNN’s Ed Henry asked him if he had called Murkowski to personally concede. Miller said, “I have not called her. In fact, I don’t have her number.” When asked if he had sought out her phone number through the Alaska GOP, he answered, “Well, I think we already have conceded. We’ve asked for it before. I don’t have it.”

Murkowski Poised for Palin Payback

M001153Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) found out what it was like to be shunned by her party during the 2010 election. While high-profile types like Sarah and Todd Palin backed tea bagger Joe Miller, Murkowski refused to cede her office after her initial primary loss, despite calls to quit from such GOP notables as Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), and of course, the quitter queen herself, Sarah Palin. Instead, Murkowski made history by winning as a write-in candidate.

Now all those Republicans who kicked Murkowski to the curb are finding out they might be in for a very long six years.

…Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski seems to be declaring political independence.

She cast a yes vote for all four of President Obama’s big legislative items in the lame duck congressional session: don’t ask, don’t tell; the tax cut compromise; the START treaty; and the DREAM act.

With the Senate almost evenly split in the coming session, a move to a more moderate position could make Murkowski a swing vote on any important issue.

So instead of being sidelined for not, as Palin put it, heeding “the will of the people,” Murkowski could be the highest profile senator since Joe Lieberman. Good going, Republican party!

Unemployment Continues to Fall — Ahead of House Republican Majority


Number of new unemployment claims submitted last week, making it two weeks in a row that new claims dropped. The figure needs to get to about 400,000 to declare a recovery but at its height during the past year, 500,000 claims were the norm. The incoming Republicans in the House will no doubt claim credit for the recovery already in progress.

Union Plans to Turn Out Latin Vote

Despite being urged not to vote by a group with ties to the Bush White House and financing from GOP and pro-life leaders, Latinos will vote this year. So says Hector Figueroa, an officer with the Service Employees International Union-32BJ (SEIU), who claims most American Latinos are eager to cast their ballots.

Figueroa…says that almost 60 percent of Latino voters now say they are “very enthusiastic” about voting, up from 41 percent on September 6, according to the latest Latino Decisions tracking poll.

“There is a strong sentiment that those behind the Arizona law have been able to place candidates in strategic elections, and their election would be quite detrimental to our community. So in some ways it has galvanized attention. And Latinos want to be there at the polls and be counted.”

They want to be counted in spite of shameful ads like this one, run by the shadowy Latinos 4 Reform:

And if watching the ad itself doesn’t inspire Latino outrage at those who would cynically keep them out of the democratic process, SEIU volunteers will be working the phones on election day to turn out the Latino vote.

Vote, Even If It’s for Moderates. Hell, Especially If It’s for Moderates!

Here’s a great video produced by Progress Florida, but worth watching even if you live elsewhere. Remember folks, they are turning out the base this election. As Democrats and progressives, we can’t prove that the only way to get us to vote is to also appeal to our most extreme views. If you’re not enthusiastic about supporting moderate or even conservative Democrats, then you can’t complain when Republicans and tea baggers continue to trot out their most extreme candidates, the ones least likely to get anything helpful done in Washington or state capitals. Now go vote.

Angle Ad: If You’re White, Aliens are Coming to Get You

The newest ad from U.S. Senate candidate from Nevada, Sharron Angle, is the Willie Horton story of our day. Anyone who could watch this piece of work and not get the fear-mongering it employs should watch it again. But just in case you still don’t get it, Mi Blog es tu Blog‘s Laura Martinez breaks it down. Ads like Angle’s, she says:

…remind us that Latino immigrants are a scary bunch — crossing the border armed with knifes and torches, ready to strip you of your benefits and jobs and scare the hell out of your white family.

Angle’s spots go way beyond blatantly stereotyping Latino immigrants as a bandana-wearing crowd ready to corner you in some dark alley. More gravely, they send a message of “us” against “them.” It’s Brown vs. White. Watch closely: While the ad mentions immigrants going to college and collecting social security, every shot of the “illegal aliens” shows particularly swarthy Latino youth all dressed up for gang initiation. The family that is shown living in fear of them is white.

…I can only hope these “dangerous fellows” will take some time off their criminal activities to go to the polls this November.


It doesn’t bother him that maintaining tax cuts for the top 2 percent of income earners would increase the deficit by $700 billion. In his world, deficit spending is bad if it saves middle class jobs but good if it covers tax cuts for the wealthy.

— St. Petersburg Times editorial titled, “Rubio’s Rigid Ideology,” which ends, “Rubio embraces an inflexible ideology, not practical solutions. The Republican leaves no room for compromise or consensus — and that is what is wrong with Washington.”

Somebody Needs to Drop Out

Marco Rubio, addressing the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) this spring. Like all tea baggers, Rubio denounced Pres. Obama's use of teleprompters in his speech.

It’s time for Kendrick Meek to drop out of the U.S. Senate race in Florida.

A new Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times poll shows Marco Rubio now leading, with 41 percent. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has the support of 26 percent of those queried, while Meek has 20 percent.

Meek can look forward to a lifetime of having earned the nickname “Kendrick Nader”

Why should Meek be the one to drop out? Two reasons. First, his numbers have been no better than they are right now from the beginning. Meek has consistently failed to sway large numbers of voters and there is no reason to expect that to change in the next nine days.

Second, were Crist to back out, Meek would stand virtually no chance of pulling Republican support. Crist backers who are registered “R” will vote “R.” On the other hand, many Democrats are willing to vote for the no party affiliated Crist if it means denying Rubio a victory.

The poll had a margin of error of 4.1 percent, so if Rubio stayed at 41 percent and Crist picked up Meek’s supporters (which he would very likely do), he would garner 46 percent.

Sadly, since early voting has already started, it might be too late even if Meek does decide to do the right thing and step away. Florida appears to be headed toward having a Sen. Rubio in its future. It’s a grim prospect, and Meek can look forward to a lifetime of having earned the nickname “Kendrick Nader” if he makes it happen.