Rasmussen Poll has Kulongoski up... big.

Just days after the AFL-CIO poll showed Ted Kulongoski with a big lead over Republican Ron Saxton, the independent Rasmussen poll shows similar results:

Kulongoski now leads Republican challenger Ron Saxton 45% to 35%, an eight-point jump since the last poll. ...

In the current survey, 43% of respondents report having a favorable opinion of Saxton, down from 48% in May. His unfavorable rating has taken an 11-point climb, jumping from 41% its current standing at 52%.

In the meantime, Kulongoski is rebounding with Oregon’s voters. Fifty-six percent (56%) of those surveyed say they have a favorable opinion of the incumbent. That’s a four-point improvement from the earlier poll.

Opinion has also shifted on his job performance. Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters now approve of Kulongoski’s performance as their governor, up from his previous rating of 49%.

Read the rest, and get the crosstabs. Discuss.

Comments

  • YoungOregonVoter (unverified)
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    2 questions: Where are they polling and what kind od methodology?

    If it is in the Portland area, then these numbers do not surprise me. However, Portland does not respresent Oregon and I would like to know how voters in the coast in Coos Bay polled, how voters in Pendleton polled, how voters in Bend polled, how voters in Eugene polled, how voters in Medford polled, how voters in Salem polled, so on and so forth.

    Second, was the poll self-selective or a random sample? Where was the polling? Was it in all areas of the state besides Portland? Were all age groups fairly represented according to their voting behavior meaning was there an overrepresentation of young, registered non-voters and an underrepresentation of elderly, registered ever election voters?

  • KISS (unverified)
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    It matters not, which one of these bums wins..Oregon loses.It's always same ol' same ol'. The two party system makes voting dismal. We are so lucky for the initiative right. No matter, corporations and big unions own both lap-dogs, it's the money that makes politics.

  • JTT (unverified)
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    Blueoregon has certainly become the undeniable spin central for the Kulongoski camp. PurpleOregon has the crosstabs from Rasmussen with an interesting analysis. Ted's "support" looks soft to me.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Is Rasmussen just stupid or was this poll paid for by Kulongoski for Oregon.

    You have to take into account Ben Westlund (and maybe Mary Scarett) or you're testing a race that isn't going to happen.

    Blue Oregon,

    I know you're openly Democrat and pro-Kulongoski (I'm right there with you) but please stop publishing these dumbass polls that only tell activist "Don't worry Kulongoski is going to win no problem."

    Don't be afraid to tell people the truth. Its ok we are all adults and some of us even act that way.

  • You can't fool me, Ben (unverified)
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    I swear, those first four posts could have been written by Ben Westlund himself. Great job, campaign volunteers.

  • (Show?)

    It's nice to see more good numbers for Ted. The Grove Insight poll for which we released a memo last week was also questioned by some posts -- but because of my job (I work for the Oregon AFL-CIO) I was able to see for myself that the polling methods were legit. Of course, you'll have to take me at my word, which you are welcome to disregard if you want -- but we were looking for an honest assessment of where things were at and were pleasantly surprised to see Oregonians favoring Kulongoski by a wide margin.

    People will always question the polling methods when they see results they don't like. Ted's truly doing well out there, and I'm not afraid to be a partisan here -- I'm going to work hard to help him win.

  • YoungOregonVoter (unverified)
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    You are right they could have, but I am not at all connected with Westlund and his camp. I am just a young graduate student who got his B.S. in Political Science. I vote in every election. Whom I vote for is none of your business as there are 3 things I do not talk about in public: Politics, Religion and Sex.

    My questions concern the integrity of the poll, not the politics concerning it. I learned in my undergraduate studies just how flawed the polling process is, especially exit polling on election days. From the mixed reaction and immediate name calling, I take it that my input is unappreciated and that there is a genuine want for groupthink here on BlueOregon.

    I leave you with this: Be wary of polls unless you absolutely know the methodology behind it AND do not call the game over before it has started via polling. The game's outcome will be known on election day no matter how many people are paid to poll in the metro areas of Oregon.

  • anon (unverified)
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    The Rasmussen poll was a random sample. The sample size was 500, the respondents were contacted telephonically. The margin of error was 4.5, and the certainty (another margin-of-error statistic) was 95%. The numbers in the main post condense Rasmussen's findings. The responses for favorable/unfavorable included "strongly approve", "somewhat approve", "somewhat dissaprove" and "strongly dissaprove". To get 52% approval of Kulongoski, the "strongly approve" and "somewhat approve" numbers were combined. Check out <ahref=http: www.purpleoregon.com="">www.purpleoregon.com for a break down (I think you have to be a member to see full data on Rasmussen's web site).

  • LT (unverified)
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    I'm with Y O V. One of the best campaign managers I ever knew told me over a decade ago to question "likely voter polls" unless "how likely are you to vote?" is one of the first 3 questions.

    And I don't trust poll results unless I know more about the questions(wording and order), sample size, etc. than we usually learn. It is for that reason I trust the polls used in coverage of nominating conventions. I was a delegate once and when they say "we contacted all the delegates, and what they told us was..." they really did--it is legendary how much effort they go to in contacting every single delegate.

    Bogus polls (push polls, for example) tend to make some people suspicious of all poll results. And as YOV said, exit polls can be notoriously wrong. Jeff Greenfield wrote a great book about that.

    One more thing: it is really early yet. Polls can change. They are just a snapshot in time.

  • (Show?)

    Hey YOV -- Where are they polling and what kind od methodology?

    Good work on the Poli Sci 101 questions, but unless you've got some evidence that Rasmussen isn't a legitimate pollster, let's start by assuming that they've done the basics right.

    There isn't a professional pollster in this country that would go public with a poll that wasn't a random sample, that wasn't the right demographic mix, and wasn't really statewide when they said it was statewide.

    Now, if you've got some evidence that says otherwise, let's hear it. Otherwise, let's knock it off with suggesting unethical behavior by professional pollsters.

  • Sponge (unverified)
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    Poll results are virtually meaningless to the average voter, regardless of the methodology used to obtain the information. The only real value of polling is to help candidates identify areas of strength and weakness - in both themselves and their opponents - in order to help them frame the next steps in their campaign strategies. Don't waste your energy worrying about this, YoungOregonVoter; it's about as meaningful as your BS in Political Science.

  • (Show?)

    As a side note to JTT's observation that Purple Oregon seems to be telling him exactly what he wants to hear, I also went over to that site to see if I could strike up the same kind of conversation I have when canvassing "Purple" Washington County voters trying to make them more "Blue".

    What I found thoug, is that far from being between Democrats and Republicans on the political spectrum, that site really seems to be where disaffected far-left "independents" like JTT go to whine about how "conservative" Democratic politicans are. I guess when choosing their site-name, "www.greenoregon.com" was already taken, as is "www.naderoregon.com" (though both sites seem permanently broken).

    So how about "www.LetsDoToTedKulongoskiWhatWeDidToAlGore.com". That one's a better descriptor of PurpleOregon's purpose, and it hasn't been taken either!

    Hope this helps.

  • Brian the Green (unverified)
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    Was Joe Keating, Pacific Green candidate, included in the poll?

  • JTT (unverified)
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    Steven-

    Far from it. I have found PurpleOregon (though it's young) to be a site that tries to cut through the cr** of election year promises, special interest politics and extreme partisanship that litters Oregon's (and America's) landscape. And FYI-I'm not a liberal Portland greenie. More of a southern Oregon moderate, who doesn't fit neatly into a political box...but thanks for trying to put me there anyway.

    Now back to the poll...so here's the question I find most intriguing that hasn't been answered yet: if both the Grove poll and the Rasmussen poll are apparently legit, why the huge difference in the numbers of undecideds?

    Why are votes going to Saxton 10% lower in Grove's poll (25%), and undecideds so much higher in hers (+15)? Is it because Westlund, et al, were named in the Grove poll and not Rasmussen? Does that mean Saxton's voters move to undecided when Westlund enters? TK doesn't seem as affected (-3). Is Westlund hurting Saxton more?

  • YoungOregonVoter (unverified)
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    I do not have evidence. Thank you for the slight Kari, insulting those whom are asking legitimate questions always attracts followers to the left side of the ledger. Here's another Poli Sci 101 question: Does anyone have the transcript of the actual questions as they were read over the phone?

    Like LT brought up, the actual wording of a question matters greatly on how people respond. See this: http://pollingreport.com/abortion.htm.

    On another note, what do you mean by professional? Are pollsters employed by the Heritage Foundation professional? Likewise, are pollsters employed by the National Organization for Women professional? Or is professional entirely contingent on whose political creed you side with?

    Professional to me is just like non-partisan. People with a political agenda hide behind "Professional" or "non-partisan" so as to attract others their way. It is nothing more nothing less because pure objectivity does not exist in this world.

  • spicey (unverified)
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    hmmm, sounds like a lot of sour grapes.

    Well, I'm excited. If K's chances of winning are improving, leaves more time for me to work for Brading and THACKABERRY. Turning the House around would be such a coup for Oregon. I'll work for that!

    Have a good weekend, everyone. Enjoy the lovely weather. and the great poll numbers.

  • (Show?)

    Well, JTT, you may think of yourself as a moderate, but I've never read a word you've written that hasn't fit the mold of "disaffected leftist" perfectly. You certainly don't put forth anything remotely resembling the kinds of attitudes I deal with canvassing in my battleground county.

    For which I am thankful. My beef with leftists isn't one of ideology so much as it is with realism. I don't think it's arrogant to say that people who routinely volunteer for canvasses, staffing tables, and the like have more of a sense of the political center of this State than people who don't. And from that perspective, I would say that the Kulongoski poll is utterly unsurprising. True "Purple" Oregonians have every reason to be happy with his quiet competence in managing the State through its fiscal crisis, and the more leftists understand what's at stake with a Saxton victory, the more comfortable they're becoming with a Governor that's with them 85% of the time, rather than someone who'd at best do the right thing 10% of the time. The only thing left to Saxton is his base. Plus of course, the large swath of voters who can't find Oregon on a map of the U.S. (much less even name the Governor) - but they largely don't vote anyway.

  • (Show?)

    While we are really pleased with the improving numbers this race is still early. I fully expect the Saxton campaign to close this gap. We intend to work hard everyday. But these numbers are a real example of our current momentum.

  • Eric (unverified)
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    Sexton will close the gap because people will find that Ron was born and raised in Oregon and went to Willamette University. An Oregon guy for the State of Oregon. These facts alone should convince people to vote for Ron.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)
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    Eric:

    Yeah, the last Republican candidate for Governor who was born and raised in Oregon was Denny Smith in 1994. How many terms did he serve? Zero? Hmmn. Maybe where you're born doesn't matter that much after all.

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)
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    Remember folks, with six candidates likely to make the ballot, forget about winning a majority of votes. Instead, the rule for this race is:

    First one to 42% wins . . .

    • Wes
  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    Kari -

    You obviously failed Logic 101: Arguments based on a resort to authority (But unless you've got some evidence that Rasmussen isn't a legitimate pollster, let's start by assuming that they've done the basics right.) are pretty juvenile.

    So let's go to Polling 501, because in a lot of universities, courses >400 (>4000) are graduate courses, shall we? And Steve Maurer, I'm sure you'll be happy to chip in with an authoritative "realist" report.

    Anybody who has a functional brain in their head know the breakdown of the adjusted sample pool on other variables including (anon?):

    1) Some relevant a priori statistic, like how respondents voted in other partisan races?

    2) How many and in which recent elections respondents voted?

    3) How likely they are to vote in this race?

    Also, the raw sample pool size before adjustments (like many pollsters? Rasmussen adjusts the sample pool on which the final statistics are calculated based on a formula designed to reflect the likely breakdown of the voters casting votes in the election http://www.rasmussenreports.com/methodology.htm).

    One other thing, the increasing use of cellphones is making it harder and harder for folks like Rasmussen Reports who use automated calling limited to land-lines to get good data. In the NW the use of cellphones is higher than in other parts of the country (making it hard to develop adjustment formulas for our region based on data from other regions) and in general the demographics of cellphone users are quite skewed.

    As a Democrat who is not at all impressed with little K and his all but non-existent leadership skills, I'm equally not too impressed by these numbers. Right now it is not at all clear the turnout for this election will be very high. And as turnout decreases, for several reasons polling statistics become increasing unreliable unless the pollster is very good at assessing and adjusting for probable turnout.

    Furthermore, should turnout be good, it very well might be because folks want to be heard on a specific issue or race, and that might not translate to comparable interest and proportional results in the governor's race. Put another way: None of the candidates seems to be exciting the voters enough to be the reason they might turn out.

    There are ample reasons that are intellectually sound and rooted in realism to find these results to be amusing, but really quite meaningless.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    I hope that Saxton is doing that poorly, but, considering the fact that Kerry and Kulongoski both carried OR by only 3%, I think these numbers are meaningless. Because Saxton served on the Portland school baord, he will likely do better in Mult. COunty than most Republicans have. On the other hand, his statement about firing all state employees to terminate their PERS had to have cost him support all over the state. Apparently someone forgot to tell Ron that state/county/municipal government is the biggest employer in many rural areas.

  • Chuck Paugh (unverified)
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    I am still waiting for Kulongoski to answer the question of why he signed-off on allowing Oregon National Guard troops to go to Iraq to fight initially, and he continues to allow them to be called-up and sent to Iraq to fight and die.

    As governor, he has had the power all along to prevent Oregon's National Guard troops from being deployed into this illegal war. Since 1952 (496 U.S. 334, 355), the President has been required by federal law to receive the consent of state governors to deploy National Guard troops. The Montgomery Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1987 set a limit on governors now allowing them to "withhold consent with regard to active duty outside the United States because of any objection to the location, purpose, type, or schedule of such duty" and this was upheld by the US Supreme Court in 1990 (PERPICH v. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 496 U.S. 334). However, the justices also made it clear that if the governor's objection was a reason other than that stated in the act (quoted above), then troops could be withheld from deployment.

    Its been made clear that should the governor declare there is a statewide crises requiring the troops to remain in state such as a natural disaster, then he could prevent them from being deployed. It has also been said that if the deployment of the troops would violate US or international law -- such as the war in Iraq -- then the governor has the right to keep troops at home.

    Governor Kulongoski has refused to exercise his right as executive in charge of the Oregon National Guard to keep Oregon's guard troops at home instead of being deployed to Bush's personal illegal war in Iraq. Kulongoski could have stopped the deaths of close to 41 men and women from our state.

    Their blood is on Kulongoski's hands for not standing up as the executive in charge of the Oregon National Guard exercising his RIGHT and DUTY to prevent these young men and women from being deployed to an illegal war.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    Very well put Chuck.

    What is most disappointing is how cowardly the Democrat Party in this state and nationally has become in standing up for what should be core Democratic values.

    It's not too late for little K (and other failed Democrats) to make amends by admitting his lack of courage, and taking steps to correct that. If he and the Democratic Party fail to do that, they will do a disservice to our state and the nation, and likely will not any make meaningful gains across the board in state and national races.

  • listensecond (unverified)
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    The Governor was among THE FIRST Governors of any state to call for an exit strategy and withdrawl of troops, but respecting the courage and honor of the men and women serving SHOULD NOT be confused with support of Bush's war. The Governor has attended every funeral, which is not the same as backing this misguided policy.

  • LT (unverified)
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    What is most disappointing is how cowardly the Democrat Party in this state and nationally has become in standing up for what should be core Democratic values.

    First of all, what is on your list of core Democratic values: open public process, concern for the less well off, concern for specifics rather than rhetoric, concern for the enviornment?

    Ask, while I admire some of the comments you have made, there is something you need to realize about the name of the major parties. Pres. Bush is a Republican president, and DC is in control of members of the Republican Party. Gov. Kulongoski is a Democrat, and many of those who post on Blue Oregon are active in the Democratic Party.

    A few decades ago, some GOP strategists thought they were being clever by using phrases like "those idiots in the Democrat Party" and couldn't understand why the response of some was "But Dems. make more sense than the Republic party--if you are dropping final syllables you should do that with both parties".

    The point is this: there are those who see the phrase "Democrat party" and suspect one or both of the following is true: sloppy writing GOP writer making a slam against the other major party.

    If you meant no disrespect to the party which currently controls the Oregon Senate, then please proofread better the next time you mention that party. But if you are a Republican trying to make a point, please be aware that there are those sympathetic to DEMOCRATIC candidates who are less likely to trust those who drop the last syllable.

  • (Show?)

    I appreciate the interest noted by some to question results on the basis of methodology, and there's no getting around the fact that a poll not including any fringe candidates is a warping of the ability to test the current temperature of the race.

    But Rasmussen is a strong outfit, one that used to be more recognizably Republican-leaning than it is today. For one thing, they recently began adjusting raw results to account for shifts in self-reported party leanings, something most other places had been doing. They, along with Pew and SUSA, were spot-on in 2004, so they have a good track record. And there is no doubt in my mind that they used adequate and respected sampling methods and screener questions. The screening process may vary among outfits, but I'm sure Rasmussen is consistent in theirs, which allows comparison across previous tests by Rasmussen.

    As a predictor of the November race, this doesn't say much. But I would tend to respect the finding that Kulongoski is firming up his support, and Saxton has a ways to go to challenge that support.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    LT -

    Core Democratic values can be summed up as unwavering support for human rights, social justice, economic opportunity, and putting people ahead of corporate interests. These are terminal or goal values. As a technical point, what you describe are instrumental values how to achieve those terminal values.

    While I appreciate your sincerity in trying to offer constructive criticism, I would only offer that you should give the benefit of the doubt that people offering this kind of criticism (and I'm not alone) may in fact speak from equal life experience and critical reflection on the message they judge needs to be delivered. In my view, most of the folks here who may take umbrage at the comments rather than focusing on the rot in the party they address are the problem, and certainly are not the solution.

    I DO NOT generally put you in that category because you do offer interesting comments, and right now I find the reasons you have offered for supporting Westlund to have merit in so far as they highlight genuine problems with party nominees. Just to be clear, I will not vote for Westlund or Saxton because I don't feel they truly stand for those values, or at least in my judgement their instrumental values as they express them do not in any rational way lead to those terminal values. Unfortunately, this year little K has done little to earn my vote and contrary to popular emotion, a good argument can be made this election more than ever it is critical that Democrats like him earn the votes of our values-voters base rather than exhort them to whore out their values to a party message that is no more than "Democrats are not Republicans" or "You gotta vote for us because we can't afford another year like this".

    Both claims may be true as far as they go, but without knowing what terminal values they espouse I honestly can say that despite many years of experience and commitment to the Democratic Party, I honestly have no idea what most of those who claim to be Democrats would actually do, if anything to defend the terminal political values that I support. (And believe me, I have met with an almost uniform lack of success when I have contacted the offices of many elected Dems attempting to just get an unequivocal statement of their position on some issue fundamentally linked to one of the terminal values because they don't even post such a statement on their own websites that they control.)

    Just to be crystal clear: It's up to little K to decide whose votes he wants to earn and whose he feels he can afford to forego. If anyone believes the state absolutely needs little K, it is not too late to stand up and make sure he does what he can to earn the votes he needs and perhaps tell the rest of us you don't really need our votes.

    The typo on the first occurrence of Democrat Party is precisely that. Anyone can't tell that from the rest of what I've posted, including the very next occurrence of the word in the same sentence, are truly morons. (I DO NOT put you in that category since I think you were just pointing this out.)

    As far as the "respect" due the Democratic Party that controls our state Senate. I presume you can discern from this further comment whether I understand what I am communicating, and whether I as a lifelong Democrat who has never voted for a Republican, who argued vociferously with everyone I knew including family members to not vote for Nader because it could cost Gore the election, and who even wrote "Democrat" in big blue letters on my voter ID when I lived in a state that had non-partisan registration and refused to allow me to register as a Democrat even after I demanded to be able to do so, have accurately communicated the level of respect I feel they are due in these times based on their own behavior. (That includes their utterly juvenile, only half-joking vote to make all state races non-partisan, and making a mockery of the importance of special sessions in our government this past year.) The way I see it, they owe Democratic party members an apology.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    listensecond -

    Anyone is politically aware knows little K supported this illegal war early on. Earlier this year he was even opposed to withdrawal. Calling recently for an exit strategy because he feels he can gain politically and at most he that this illegal war has just been fought badly is far from not supporting it. And refusing to speak out against the war and failing to do everything in his power to stop our local troops from being sent, while instead standing over their graves, is not supporting the troops. (I make a clear distinction here between supporting the troops and supporting troops in their support for the mission.)

    The real question is whether you are really just a Rovian slimeball out to undermine Kulongoski with his base. Or just sincerely dumb and/or intellectually dishonest? If you are the former, he doesn't need your help, he continues to do a really good job at that on his own. If you are the latter, you might want to rethink your strategy if you want him to win because you are costing him votes with these kinds of arguments.

  • Chuck Paugh (unverified)
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    I spoke to an attorney friend of mine who said that Oregon National Guard members would have legal standing to sue the governor for deploying them to a war that violates international and forces troops to commit war crimes through violating international law.

    I'd like to see some of these guard members do this not only in Oregon but other states as well.

  • (Show?)

    failing to do everything in his power to stop our local troops from being sent

    OK, let's hear it. Exactly what, pray tell, can a governor do to stop local troops from being called up? I'd like to hear it, because you're clearly far more brilliant than any of the 50 governors in this country -- each of whom has failed to stop any troop deployments from their state.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    Kari -

    Spoken in the best spirit of what has become putrifying spirit of our state and national party as typified by little K and Lieberman. They are now both trying to misleads voters into forgetting they actually supported the war (and still do to the extent they have never renounced that original support), by making big noise that they oppose how the war is being run. There is a substantive difference between those two positions. It is the venality and not one position or the other which may be the permanent ruin of the modern Democratic Party this November.

    In your case, you are being similarly disingenuine. Rather than start from what I actually wrote: doing everything in his power to stop local troops from being sent, you instead make it seem that I had asserted something quite different Exactly what, pray tell, can a governor do to stop local troops from being called up? My condemnation of little K is of about his failure of character and leadership which made the specific result you describe inevitable. Your tactic, which is a standard one in politics when a candidate cannot directly answer such a direct challenge about his or her record and values, amounts to making it seem the candidate is a victim of circumstance and daring challenger to argue how things could have been done differently in those circumstances.

    The fact is, little K and the governors who you claim might have wanted to not send their own Guard troops, and failed Democratic senators like Lieberman, are not victims of those circumstances but instead actively worked to create them, each in their own way. To that extent they are co-perpetrators of this moral crime against the American people and the world.

    In the case of little K and any governors who shared his views, doing everything you can means not supporting the war from the start. It means banding together with other governors and risking personal political careers to make it politically impossible to send the troops. It means actually lending your support implicitly and explicitly to a strategy and organizations that would sue governors in their official capacity for, as Chuck Paugh notes, deploying them to a war that violates international and forces troops to commit war crimes through violating international laws. That includes publicly stating at the outset that the war was based on lies and would inevitably lead to war crimes and civil war, since credible arguments that each was or would be the case were publicly made before the war. Finally, right now it means denouncing a strategy and actions by us and political factions of our few remaining allies which seek to foment a cataclysmic war between cultures in the Mideast that will make it inevitable that even more treasure and the lives of even more troops are wasted.

    Seeing the facts in that light, it is clear little K and his wing of the state and national Democratic Party were not truly opposed to sending our troops to that war (or at least their opposition was not strong enough to overcome their cowardice.) They helped make it inevitable that Oregonians would be sent, and yes, you are correct that once they helped make it inevitable, there is no argument that can be made how it could have been stopped. The only thing they could have done is to renounce their actions, and try to make amends. Frankly, in the case of both Liebermann and little K, that meant stepping aside and supporting another candidate committed to un-doing the incredible wrong they have done.

    The only question right now is whether this kind of failure is so symptomatic of the current state of the Party that this election turns out to be a debacle.

  • Chuck Paugh (unverified)
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    Kari, if you will scroll up a little bit to Aug 5, 2006 4:03:32 PM, then you will see where I have posted the federal laws and Supreme Court decisions that have shapped and permitted governors to refuse to deploy a state's National Guard troops when requested by the President. The Supreme Court ruled that governors have this right, duty, and responsibility, however federal legislation outlines when a governor can and cannot do it. It does require the governor to stand up to the President of the USA and face the political fallout for doing it, and we've yet to have a governor be man or woman enough to do it.

  • Big K (unverified)
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    <h2>Kari, please do us a favor of deleting or editing postings that try to stick candidates with stupid nicknames. Thanks.</h2>
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