North Carolina: Earlier this week, the Charlotte Observer slammed Elizabeth Dole on immigration:
Sen. Dole worked hard to help kill a decent immigration reform bill in the U.S. Senate in July. It wasn't perfect, but it provided a practical, intelligent way to secure the border -- and pay for it. It also took the sensible step of providing illegal immigrants a conditional path to legal status. Too bad lawmakers such as Sen. Dole were more interested in shouting "amnesty" and opposing any step toward legal status than they were in helping the folks back home.Subsequently, Dole weakly responded to the paper: 1) confusing inaction with accomplishment 2) listing how she would throw literally billions of dollars at the problem without explaining where those billions would come from, and 3) focusing on ways to enhance border security without addressing exactly what her position is on what should be done with the more than ten million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
South Dakota: A new (though apparently partisan) poll sees Senator Tim Johnson absolutely crushing his hypothetical Republican opponent by a 67-29 margin. The poll also clocked Johnson's favorable-unfavorable at 64-18.
Mississippi: Yup, the scheduling for the special election to replace Trent Lott will ultimately be determined by the courts. Why do I think that even GOP Gov. Haley Barbour knows that he's full of it and trying to get away with a fast one? Because in defending his desire to pull the special election off until Election Day 2008, he's (apparently rather vociferously) "claiming executive authority." It shouldn't matter if Barbour is the Pope or Superman or whoever. The Mississippi state Constitution has language that determines the process. It's up to the Mississippi courts to determine the interpretation. "Claiming executive authority" seems like a gambit of desperation.
Oregon: The Oregonian calls out Gordon Smith for his contradictory comments on Trent Lott's apparent endorsement of segregation. I think Gordo's Christmas wish is that this story goes away.
Virginia: Conservative state delegate Bob Marshall has formed an exploratory committee as he considers a Republican primary challenge to Jim Gilmore.
Kentucky: Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Horne received the endorsement of Democracy for America's Kentucky chapter.
New Hampshire: A new ARG poll actually sees Republican John Sununu leading popular Democratic former Governor Jeanne Shaheen. How can this be? Two explanations. First, the Shaheen name has been in the press in a negative light over the last couple weeks thanks to Bill's comments. If that's the reason, it should blow over after the New Hampshire primary activity wears down. Second, the ARG polls may have an anti-Democrat or pro-Republican bias. Why would I suggest that? Because ARG also saw wildly popular Democratic Governor John Lynch only poll 48-32 in a hypothetical match-up against Republican Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta. Lynch won re-election last year with 74% of the vote. To only poll at 48% in a hypothetical match-up seems awfully low. If that's the reason, these numbers should not be cause for concern.