We lead off with analysis by CQPolitics' Bob Berenson, Dems Likely to Increase Congressional Majorities:
Using the same method that has worked well for CQ’s election analysts over decades, we’ve been tracking 481 Senate, House and governorship races for two years and have deemed an unusually high figure of 135 races as at least somewhat competitive.
On Tuesday, we at CQ Politics find out how well we did with our ratings.
But first, my own personal estimates. I predict that Democrats are likely to gain eight Senate seats and in the neighborhood of 25 House seats. With only a small handful of the 11 governors’ races highly competitive, I foresee a net gain of one for the Democrats.
The Democrats are maintaining their momentum from the 2006 midterm elections, when big gains gave the party control of both chambers of Congress. And, the success of Democratic strategists at putting dozens more Republican seats “in play” this year has made it likely that they will significantly expand majorities in both the Senate and the House.
Here's the ranking for the First:
Here's the ranking for the First:
(D) vs. Brian Davis (R)
2006: Walz (D) 53 percent, Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R) 47 percent
The Republican Party’s endorsed candidate, oncologist and neophyte politician Brian Davis, survived a Sept. 9 primary against state Sen. Dick Day. Davis now is looking to unseat Walz after his 2006 upset of six-term Republican Rep. Gutknecht, but the incumbent has a serious financial lead.
And even those races rated Democrat Favored or Republican Favored — meaning the named party is likely to win — carry the warning label that an upset is not an unrealistic possibility.
Thus, getting and helping Congressman Walz in these last two days until the polls close on Tuesday evening is essential. The Walzians are working with the coordinated campaign on GOTV. Volunteer here. A video clip at the Austin Herald of one of the Walz barnstorming events, Congressman Tim Walz visits Austin,illustrates that most of the stops aren't just about rallying the faithful; they're about putting walking list and call sheets for voter contact into the hands of the faithful so they have the tools to get out the vote. From the accompanying article:
Thus, getting and helping Congressman Walz in these last two days until the polls close on Tuesday evening is essential. The Walzians are working with the coordinated campaign on GOTV. Volunteer here.
A video clip at the Austin Herald of one of the Walz barnstorming events, Congressman Tim Walz visits Austin,illustrates that most of the stops aren't just about rallying the faithful; they're about putting walking list and call sheets for voter contact into the hands of the faithful so they have the tools to get out the vote. From the accompanying article:
Politicians made their last rounds over the weekend as U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, accompanied by former Vice President Walter Mondale, stopped by the Mower County DFL Headquarters in Austin Saturday.
The Democrat visited with supporters at the Labor Center before they headed out door-knocking for his campaign.
“Making the case is already done,” Walz explained on Saturday. “If we watch what we can control, it can work itself out.
“This is really when the speeches are over,” he said.
Veterans’ issues, transportation and agriculture have been his top priorities, Walz said, pointing out he is focusing on a “middle ground” and “taking back trust in one another” if elected to a second term. . . .
The report is an eye-opening contrast with newspaper accounts of Davis' campaign stops, where he speechifies to the gathered base, then tells them to round up their friends to vote. The Republican is struggling to establish his message, having been put on the defensive, and asks his followers to provide their own resources, rather than providing the tools to reach voters and win.
Come to think of it, that's pretty much what the Davis campaign has been about all along. The base, and little else.
KAAL-TV looks at GOTV efforts in Rochester. A lot of DFL volunteers calling; a lot of floor space in the GOP boiler room. The Al Franken blog posted a round-up of a joint campaign swing in Al and Rep. Tim Walz Campaign in Rochester, Faribault, Owatonna, Mankato and Winona. Good links to earned media.
The Rochester Post Bulletin reports that Absentee ballot numbers balloon as people vote early. On Saturday, KEYC-TV broadcast Blue Earth County Breaks Record For Early Voting Numbers.
We'll be closing most posts in the next day with reasons to vote for Congressman Walz. Here are a couple of endorsements. From the NRA:
NRA-PVF Endorses Tim Walz for Re-election to U.S. House of Representatives
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
FAIRFAX, VA-The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is endorsing Congressman Tim Walz for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in the first congressional district of Minnesota.
“During his first term in the House, Congressman Walz consistently supported the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen, and demonstrated a strong commitment to the Second Amendment and our country’s rich hunting heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, Chairman of NRA-PVF. “Because of his unwavering pro-gun support, Tim Walz earned an ‘A’ rating and an endorsement from NRA-PVF.”
Congressman Tim Walz said, “I grew up hunting and spent 24 years in the Army National Guard. I know how important Second Amendment rights are to the people of southern Minnesota. I’m proud to stand with the NRA to protect our Second Amendment rights, and I’m truly grateful for their endorsement.”
Rep. Walz cosponsored the BATFE Reform bill that seeks to modernize and improve BATFE operations by rolling back unnecessary restrictions, correct errors and codify longstanding congressional policies in the firearms arena. He also cosponsored the D.C. Gun Ban Repeal and signed onto the historic Congressional amicus brief in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.
Cox continued, “Tim Walz believes in southern Minnesota values, and will continue to be a true and consistent friend in the U.S. House of Representatives. I encourage all gun-owners and NRA members to re-elect Tim Walz to the U.S. Congress.”
Chris W. Cox serves as Executive Director and Chairman of NRA-PVF. The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund is responsible for political candidate rankings. These are based on candidate voting records, public statements and responses to NRA-PVF questionnaires.
From the New Ulm Journal:
From the New Ulm Journal:
We were surprised two years ago when Mankato DFLer Tim Walz pulled an upset in the First District Congressional Race, unseating the 6-term incumbent, Rep. Gil Gutknecht, in what has traditionally been a conservative, Republican district.
We attributed his win, in large part to the anti-war sentiment at the time, but it was also clear that Walz had worked very, very hard for the win.
That hard work has continued since Walz went to Washington. Walz has been an energetic representative for the district, working on a variety of issues. He is a frequent visitor to the district, and uses the information he gets from back home to make legislation that better serves the people.
This was evident in his work on the Farm Bill. He requested, an got, several changes and measures added that made it a better bill for Minnesota farmers. He admits it is not a perfect bill, but a good compromise.
On military and veterans issues, Walz, a former Command Sergeant Major in the National Guard, has been a strong supporter of the troops, even as he opposed the conduct of the war. He went to bat to make sure Minnesota National Guard troops who served extra-long duty in Iraq were not deprived of their full benefits over a one-day discrepancy in their orders. He stood up for the wounded soldiers when unacceptable conditions were uncovered in the Walter Reed Army Hospital patient residences.
Walz is opposed by Republican nominee Brian Davis, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Davis has an interesting background as a nuclear engineer, and as a physician. He would probably have some interesting contributions to make on energy and health care issues.
But Davis has labored to tie Walz to the Democratic leadership. We think that effort is not too successful. While Walz's voting record, according to some rankings, puts him on a high percentage of votes with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's positions, other ratings put him in the middle of the pack among liberals in the House. His recent vote against the economic bailout package went against the party line.
Fiscally, Walz firmly believes in the "pay as you go" philosophy of government spending. If the government increases spending in one area, it has to be paid for with spending cuts elsewhere or, if need be, a tax. It is an approach that Congress must adopt if runaway deficit spending is to be brought under control.
Walz says his first allegiance lies with the people of the First District, not with the Democratic leadership. We think he has worked hard for this district in his first term, and deserves a second