Maybe this should be a daily feature. Hardly a day goes by that the leading national political web sites don’t have gloomy news for R’s: * Elizabeth Dole, whose North Carolina Senate seat was thought to be safe, now appears to be in a tight, or at least tightening race with state senator Kay Hagan. A Public Policy Polling survey shows Dole leading, 48-43 (616 registered voters, 4% margin of error). Congressional Quarterly rates the race as “Republican favored,” adding that Hagan’s prospects hinge upon her ability to stay close to Dole in fundraising. That little bit of news could have repercussions in Texas, because Democratic senatorial campaign money will be allocated to the states where D’s have a chance of picking up a Senate seat, and so to some extent Rick Noriega and Hagan are competing for cash. Noriega’s race, at the moment, is a tick closer at four points (44-48, 43-47, in two recent polls) than Hagan’s is. * The Los Angeles Times‘ political blog, Top of the Ticket, is reporting that Ron Paul is not going away quietly. Paul still has a $5 million warchest and hopes to have a speaking role at the convention: Largely under the radar of most people, the forces of Rep. Ron Paul have been organizing across the country to stage an embarrassing public revolt against Sen. John McCain when Republicans gather for their national convention in Minnesota at the beginning of September. Paul’s presidential candidacy has been correctly dismissed all along in terms of winning the nomination. He was even excluded as irrelevant by Fox News from a nationally-televised GOP debate in New Hampshire. But what’s been largely overlooked is Paul’s candidacy as a reflection of a powerful lingering dissatisfaction with the Arizona senator among the party’s most conservative conservatives. [T]hat situation could be exacerbated by today’s expected announcement from former Republican Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nod, a slot held by Paul in 1988. * The president’s numbers continue to sink: 82% of Americans now say the country is on the wrong track, up 10 points in the last year, according to politicalwire.com. And there’s this: “Bush now has gone 40 months without majority approval, beating Truman’s record (also during economic discontent and an unpopular war) of 38 consecutive months from 1949-52.”
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Weekly dispatches from the middle of the road of Texas politics.
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