Tags: Reid | Vulnerable | in | 2010

Poll: Majority Leader Reid Vulnerable in 2010

By    |   Sunday, 16 August 2009 08:52 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Poll: Majority Leader Reid Vulnerable in 2010
2. Gingrich: GOP Could Take House in 2010
3. Congressional Junkets 'Rival Club Med'
4. Hugo Chavez Targets 'Bourgeois' Golf
5. Club for Growth: Democrats 'Fail Miserably' on Pork
6. Imus in Talks With Fox Business Network


1. Poll: Majority Leader Reid Vulnerable in 2010

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may be the most powerful Democrat in the upper house, but he's not the most popular politician in his home state of Nevada.

A new poll of likely voters reveals that in a head-to-head race in 2010, Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Lowden would defeat Reid by 6 percentage points — 48 percent favored Lowden, 42 chose Reid, and 10 percent were undecided.

Lowden has not announced her candidacy, and in fact, the poll was commissioned by Nevada Republicans in an effort to convince her to toss her hat in the ring, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

In the poll by Denver-based Vitale and Associates, 44 percent of respondents identified themselves as Democrats, 38 percent said they were Republicans, 15 percent said they were independent, and 3 percent did not state an affiliation.

The poll also disclosed that only 39 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Reid, who was first elected to the Senate in 1986, and just 34 percent said they would vote to re-elect him.

The results of the poll will help encourage Lowden to run, according to Republican strategist Robert Uithoven, who said "there's plenty of support for her."

Nevada's unemployment figure of more than 12 percent is likely contributing to Reid's low approval rating, the Review-Journal observed.

"All of those are very, very telling pieces of information," said pollster Todd Vitale. "I've never seen an incumbent with numbers this bad who hadn't had some scandal."

Interestingly, a Nevada politician who is involved in a scandal has a higher favorable rating than the majority leader.

Republican Sen. John Ensign confessed in June to a nine-month affair with Cindy Hampton, a campaign aide. But the poll showed his favorable rating at 40 percent, 1 percentage point higher than Reid's.

Ensign does not face re-election until 2012.

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2. Gingrich: GOP Could Take House in 2010

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich thinks things could be looking up for the Republicans in the 2010 elections.

He told Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity: "I think there is an outside but growing possibility that you could begin to see Republicans take the House in 2010" because voter dissatisfaction with various Democratic initiatives. "When people get mad over one item, and then they get mad over a second item, and then they get mad over a third item, they build momentum," Gingrich stated. 

As for the Democrats in the Senate in 2010, Gingrich told Hannity: "I think it's very hard for them to lose the majority in the Senate, but easy for them to end up with a net loss of three or four [seats]."

That would destroy the Democrats' current 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority.

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3. Congressional Junkets 'Rival Club Med'

Members of Congress have been taking advantage of the August recess to head off on overseas junkets — some of them cushier than others.

Sen. John McCain made plans to lead a congressional delegation — CODEL for short — of several senators on a junket with stops in hot spots including Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Libya. No spouses signed up to go along.

"But for every workhorse CODEL, there are those that look to rival Club Med," Foreign Policy magazine observed.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, scheduled visits to such "trouble spots" as Britain, Greece, Italy, Turkey, and Egypt. Cuellar and four of his five fellow travelers said they would bring their spouses.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, planned to lead several House members and their spouses on an around-the-world trip to Ireland, Switzerland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, and Canada.

"But who gets the award for planning what looks to be the cushiest trip?" Foreign Policy asks. "Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., is scheduled to lead a CODEL to Germany, Italy, and Spain."

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4. Hugo Chavez Targets 'Bourgeois' Golf

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his supporters have directed their leftist rant at a new target: golf.

Appearing recently on national television, Chavez launched into a tirade against the sport, saying, "Let's [make] this clear: Golf is a bourgeois sport." He went on to mock the use of golf carts as indicative of golfers' laziness.

Following the tirade, pro-Chavez officials have moved to shut down two of the country's best-known golf courses, in Maracay near Caracas, and Caraballeda on the coast.

Seven golf courses have already been shut down in the past three years, Julio Torres, director of the Venezuelan Golf Federation, told The New York Times.

Most of the closed courses were originally built for Americans working in the oil industry.

Last month Chavez discussed a housing shortage and questioned why Maracay was blighted with slums while the golf course and grounds of the state-owned Hotel Maracay extend over about 74 acres of prime real estate "just so some little group of the bourgeois and the petit-bourgeois can go and play golf."

He also said golf is not a "people's sport."

Ironically, Venezuela's top ally, Cuba, is talking with Canadian and European investors about building as many as 10 new golf courses in Cuba to attract tourists.

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5. Club for Growth: Democrats 'Fail Miserably' on Pork

The anti-tax Club for Growth has released its 2009 "RePork Card" rating House members on their efforts to rein in federal spending, and only one Democrat received a perfect 100 percent rating.

Idaho freshman Rep. Walt Minnick received the perfect rating, meaning he voted for all 68 amendments proposed in the House to strip out earmarks, or "pork," from the 12 spending bills in the first half of 2009.

On the whole, the Democrats "failed miserably," according to Congressional Quarterly's CQ Politics Web site, with an average score of just 3 percent. A total of 202 Democrats received a 0 percent score.

On the Republican side, 21 House members received a perfect 100 rating, and the average score was 57 percent.

"At a time when our national priority ought to be economic growth, House members have been busy stuffing the 2010 appropriations bills with wasteful pork projects," the Club for Growth said in a statement.

Rep. Minnick also had the most independent voting record among House Democrats in the first half of 2009, according to a CQ vote study. He backed the Democratic position only 40 percent of the time in roll call votes pitting most Democrats against most Republicans.

"All of which makes good political sense," CQ Politics observed, "given that the one-time Republican is seeking re-election in one of the country's most conservative states, in a district that voted for Republican John McCain over President Obama 62 percent to 36 percent."

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6. Imus in Talks With Fox Business Network

Veteran talk-radio host Don Imus is making plans to have his radio show simulcast on the Fox Business Network.

Imus is in "final negotiations" with Fox, which intends to simulcast his syndicated early-morning show most likely from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. beginning in September, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"Imus in the Morning" is now syndicated by Citadel Broadcasting out of New York, and simulcast on RFD-TV, a cable network that covers rural America. The arrangement with RFD would end if he reaches a deal with Fox.

Imus was widely condemned in 2007 for his derogatory comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team, and lost his show on CBS and MSNBC.

He eventually reached a settlement with CBS and found his new home on Citadel.

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Poll: Majority Leader Reid Vulnerable in 20102. Gingrich: GOP Could Take House in 20103. Congressional Junkets 'Rival Club Med'4. Hugo Chavez Targets 'Bourgeois' Golf5. Club for Growth: Democrats 'Fail Miserably' on Pork6....
Sunday, 16 August 2009 08:52 PM
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