Even if you only have a passing interest in American politics, keeping informed about the hotly anticipated Midterms tomorrow is a must.
These elections are widely touted as a referendum on the Iraq war, so it makes for pretty edge-of-your-seat stuff. Crikey has put together a grab bag of Congressional election references to help you while away a slow Wednesday at work:
Up-to-the-minute updates: You Decide 2006 at Fox, Opinion Buzztracker (round-up from all sides) at Fox. America Votes 2006 at CNN. Log on to Washington bible Wonkette for all the latest gossip. Technorati is providing a round-up of blogs on the elections, and keep abreast of the parties’ progress using Slate‘s election scorecard.
Electoral fraud: Let the recounts begin — Expect to see charges of voter fraud, intimidation, and manipulation. — National Journal, MSNBC
Online video coverage: “This is a watershed year in terms of the way video is going to help online news and information services cover the elections,” said Mitch Gelman, senior vp and executive editor at CNN.com. “The increase of high-speed access has been extraordinary just since the last election.”
Has Bush helped or hindered the GOP? The closer the election comes to the finish line, the more President Bush’s aides battled the perception he was doing his party as much harm as good and was unwanted in many districts.
States to watch: For leading indicators of how the election is going, start looking at Kentucky, and a little later in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Indiana. — Daily Record
The key issue — Iraq: The guilty verdict in Saddam Hussein’s trial became the latest in a string of dramatic developments that could influence tomorrow’s elections, as Democrats and Republicans launched a barrage of ads and get-out-the-vote efforts in a campaign dominated by views about the Iraq war. — The Boston Globe
The election hits YouTube: “This YouTube video is not only an extremely effective election ad (far better than that embarrassing Harold Ford smearjob cr-p), it’s also a great example of how YouTube is providing a platform for anybody to broadcast their creative take on the political process, and in so doing join it.” — Huffington Post
All important turnout tactics: Which political force will prove stronger — the niche-marketing effort, led by GOP strategist Karl Rove and powered by computerised outreach methods, or the classic “throw the bums out” mood of an electorate uneasy with the Iraq war and unhappy with one-party rule? — The Los Angeles Times
Scandal roundup: Republicans are worried that a string of scandals, most notably the Mark Foley pageboy affair that emerged in September, will depress turnout among conservatives, particularly evangelicals. — The Times UK
Swing voters: The 2006 midterm elections could go down in the books as the year that Karl Rove’s strategy of energising the Republican base reached its limits, and Iraq opened the door for Democrats to court disaffected independent voters. — Wall Street Journal
Last minute spinning: President George W Bush is hoping to be underestimated one last time. Promising that his Republicans will hold both the House and the Senate on Tuesday, the President used Air Force One to hopscotch the Sun Belt and Midwest as he closed out a campaign that could determine whether he spends the next two years on offense or defense. — Time Magazine
How does this compare to the last time Congress switched parties in 94? There are similarities. We knew ’94 was going to be a Republican year, just as we suspect this to be a Democratic year. But few really saw in advance the extent of the GOP tidal wave that swept Democrats out of control in both chambers in ’94, with a pickup of 52 seats in the House and eight in the Senate. — NPR