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Jewish World Review Nov. 1, 2002 / 26 Mar-Cheshvan, 5763

Joel C. Rosenberg

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Exclusive new poll numbers ... |


A distinct political backlash against Walter Mondale is developing after Democrats turned the memorial service for Sen. Paul Wellstone into a campaign rally.

Internal GOP tracking polls over the past week, exclusively obtained by WORLD magazine, show Republican Norm Coleman gaining 7 points since Tuesday night and now in a statistical dead heat with Mondale, 43% to 42%

The first GOP poll taken last weekend when Mondale's name was first floated to replace Wellstone put the 74-year old Democrat ahead of Coleman by 3 points, highly-placed GOP sources say.

By the Tuesday before the memorial service, internal GOP polls show Mondale had climbed to a 7 point lead, and Republicans were deeply concerned they couldn't overcome the "Mondale Mystique." An independent, public poll showed Mondale up 8.

"Everything changed Tuesday night," said a top Republican operative. "The Democrats' political rally really turned off independent voters. It alientated [Minnesota Governor Jesse] Ventura. And we saw Coleman's numbers rise almost immediately, and intensity for Coleman has significantly increased."

What happened?

"Basically, we're back where we were when Wellstone was alive," the GOP source said. "Independent, undecided voters really didn't like Wellstone. Now they're looking cautiously at the guy who's filling in for the guy they didn't like."

President Bush will now campaign in Minnesota with Coleman on Sunday.


New internal GOP tracking polls:

* Republican Sen. Tim Hutchinson -- 44%
* Democrat Mark Pryor -- 44%
* Republicans operative most worried about this race


New internal GOP tracking polls:

* Democrat Sen. Max Cleland -- 44%
* GOP challenger Saxby Chambliss -- 41%
* Perhaps best shot at a GOP pickup
* President Bush campaigns for Chambliss on Saturday


New internal GOP tracking polls:

* Rep. John Sununu -- 44%
* Gov. Jeanne Shaheen -- 42%
* But three independent polls show Shaheen ahead by 3 to 4 points.
* Sources say AFL-CIO sending in 500 employees to help Democrats get out the vote


* GOP Sen. Wayne Allard -- 45%
* Democrat Tom Strickland -- 41%
* GOP operatives say strong top of ticket -- Republican Gov. Bill Owens -- helping boost Republican turnout, helping Allard over the top


New internal GOP tracking polls:

* Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu -- 44%
* If she doesn't get more than 50%, she'll face a run-off.


* Desperate Iowa GOP House incumbents -- and Senate candidate Greg Ganske -- need the "Bush Bounce," so the White House political operation sending the President to Cedar Rapids on Monday.

* The redistricted and thus newly embattled GOP Rep. Jim Leach is now in the 1st Congressional District. He appears to be scratching and clawing his way to a lead, but House operatives remain worried. New internal GOP polling shows Leach ahead of Democrat challenger John Norris 52% to 40%.

* GOP Rep. Jim Nussle in the 2nd Congressional district is also in a brutal battle against TK. But Nussle now seem to be closing the sale with voters. He's up 54% to 46%.

* GOP Rep. Tom Latham is now up 8 points, but still below 50%. New polling shows the race at 48% to 40%. Speaker Dennis Hastert is going in to stump for Latham on Sunday.

* Christian conservative GOP state representative Steve King is strong to pick up a newly created Congressional seat in southeastern Iowa.

* Democrat incumbent Rep. Boswell is suddenly facing an incredibly strong GOP challenge from Stan Thompson. Boswell had been fine for months, but is dropping steady and is now under 50% -- 48% to 42%.

* Voter fraud in Iowa becoming major issue. Some districts have seen requests for 20,000 to 40,000 absentee ballots, almost none of which are coming from registered Republicans. "Abnormally high," says one GOP operative. "We're watching it real closely. These could be serious fraud cases developing."


* Republican strategists fear a net loss of House seats in Georgia of one to four seats due to aggressive redistricting by Democrat governor and legislature.

* But...the newly created 12th Congressional district could be a pickup for the GOP. Republican Max Burns has pulled slightly ahead of Democrat Champ Walker, 52% to 48%.

* the redrawn 11th Congressional district, Republican state senator Phil Gingry is finally gaining steam. Latest poll puts him down 3 points -- 43% to 46%. Speaker Hastert heads there to campaign with Gingry today.


* GOP operatives believe they now have a shot at defeating incumbent Democrat Rep. Dennis Moore Kansas's 3rd Congressional District. Republican Adam Taff, a former Naval aviator -- now a pilot for United Airlines -- is surging in the past two weeks and Washington is sending extra resources.

Moore -- 47%
Taff -- 44%

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JWR contributor Joel C. Rosenberg is a columnist for World magazine. Comment by clicking here.


11/01/02: What is the "Bush Bounce?"
10/03/02: Lautenberg's radical record is a GOP challenger's dream!
01/10/01: The multi-million dollar black conservative professor
12/13/01: PREDICTIONS 2002

© 2001, Joel C. Rosenberg