Here is the Washington Post article on the Allen/Webb debate on "meet the Press". And this is New York Times version of events. Note the great photo, cowboy boots vs. combat boots. The thrust of both articles and the MSM in general is that Allen didn’t do as well on the air as he should have (I saw only part of it, but agree with that opinion). After all, Webb might be a smart guy and all, but a clever and experienced politician should have been able to put Webb on the defensive for not only some positions he holds (or has held) on the mid-East, but for some of his would-be associations (e.g., Kennedy, Reid, Pelosi, et al) if he were elected. This didn’t happen and Allen was put back on his western heels. Webb is a smart guy, a warrior, certainly a fine writer, and one capable of building trust with citizens, a real old-fashioned Southerner (see his Born Fighting) who could have been elected a generation ago. While the polls will have this race tightening, Allen will hold it. The only way he would not is if there really is a tidal wave against Bush’s Iraq policy. If there is, then Webb will become the best they have (and will also discombobulate the national Democratic Party); think about Webb campaigning with either Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton. You might want to review Mac Owens piece on Webb when he announced for the Democratic primary in February.
I think more will become of the noose on a tree that once stood in his office.
If gas prices keep falling, Allen and the rest of the GOP will hang on. Hell keep his seat and the GOP its majorities in both houses--its that simple. Webb will make a good run of it; hes a bright and very tough man, even if I think his campaign is misguided. "Fields of Fire" is supposed to be (finally!) coming out as a movie soon. I hope it does the novel justice. Webb wrote it as a response to a sneering law professor of his at Georgetown back in the early 70s who liked to insult Vietnam veterans. Thats the Webb I really admire.
This race is very close and things arent moving Allens way. As Peter says, hes no match for his admirable and eloquent opponent in person. And VA is trending D in the last few years. But the state is still more R than not and Allen has the advantages of incumbency--and not so long ago he was viewed as statesmanlike enough to be a plausible president. The Rs cant hold the senate without a win here, and may not anyway. The most recent poll shows Chaffee significantly down in RI to the D--no big loss or no loss at all, really, except as a vote for organizing the Senate. All in all, the Senate is far from lost and far from won.
THE USA TODAY today has good news. The D and R are even in the generic congressional vote survey among likely voters. And the presidents approval number is in the mid-40s. So maybe Peter S. is right.
As Dick Morris says, the encouraging numbers are based on the fact that several terror-related events and issues have been in the news. He thinks this is just as likely to be a "snooze alarm" as a "wake-up call."
Its not based on a re-evaluation of Republican or Democratic strength or weakness on any issue. Its simply a matter of salience. Who knows how salient terrorism will be on November 7. As usual, "MeCain" et al are screwing us royally.