Random Thoughts on a Couple of Races

Some recent polls have suggested that Senator George Allen is sinking like a stone in Virginia. It’s a relief, then–no matter how you feel about Allen’s campaign–that the latest Roanoke College Poll, out today, has him up by three points. In a poll of fewer than 500 likely voters, I assume that’s well within the margin of error.
A number of candidates, some of whom may win, have not distinguished themselves during this election cycle. It’s nice to be able to point to one who has: our friend Michele Bachmann. Michele is running in Mark Kennedy’s district, Minnesota’s 6th. Her opponent is Patty Wetterling, who ran against Mark two years ago. Left-wing groups and the national party have poured large amounts of money into the race, mainly on highly-deceptive attack ads against Michele. They seem to have failed completely, as the latest Reuters/Zogby poll has Michele leading by ten points. This is consistent with everything I know about other polling data, including the candidates’.
I’m not sure there is any particular lesson to be drawn from Michele’s success, beyond the fact that even in a down year, a great candidate who works hard and focuses relentlessly on the issues can buck the trend. Observing Michele’s race makes me wonder how many Republican candidates might have done better if they had stayed true to conservative principles, refused to abandon the President–both President and Mrs. Bush made appearances here for Michele–and stuck resolutely to talking about issues, not sideshows.

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