U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., got some attention on several state and national political sites in the past few days as Missouri is ranked as a “leans Republican” state for the 2012 general election.
McCaskill’s people did their best to portray her as an independent last week. She was ranked number 50 in the U.S. Senate for liberal/conservative tendencies in a National Journal story that McCaskill’s campaign staff trumpeted in press releases.
The big question for McCaskill is whether voters will care about her record in a state where Barack Obama is likely to be on the losing end of the election.
For Republicans, the question is whether the winner emerging from the primary — U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman or political newcomer John Brunner — can generate some enthusiasm, which so far has been lacking.
The Rev. Franklin Graham was questioned about President Obama’s faith during a Tuesday interview on MSNBC.
Unlike the comments that Rick Santorum made on his own during the weekend, Graham was answering questions from interviewers. And Graham did not question whether Obama is a Christian, despite what some national bloggers implied.
In the first series of questions on the video above Graham is asked whether Obama is a Christian and responds “I think you will have to ask President Obama.” He explains to the interviewer that he would not presume to decide whether someone else is, or is not, a Christian.
The questioner on Morning Joe then says “so you don’t take him at his word?” Graham responds “No. Of course I do.”
Unfortunately, more than one of the questioners continue to act as though Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, has said Obama is not a Christian. Those who do not see the video may rely on reports that do not represent the actual questions and the answers.
Responses dealing with Islamic law and attacks on Christians are a little further into the video.
Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum used Sunday’s Face the Nation interview to back away from his comments on Saturday that seemed to question President Obama’s Christian faith.
The clips used by interviewer Bob Shieffer show Santorum saying the Obama energy plan is about “a theology that is not based on the Bible.” Santorum said it was never his intent to question Obama’s Christianity, saying instead he was talking about Obama’s world view that elevates the earth to an equal footing with humans.
“I’ve repeatedly said I don’t question the president’s faith. I’ve repeatedly said that I believe the president’s a Christian. I am talking about his world view and the way he approaches problems in this country. I think they’re different than how most people do in America,” Santorum said.
In a later interview, Santorum said he was talking about ideology and not theology, so it was reporters who got his intent wrong.
Illinois Statehouse News has a good story about Knapheide Manufacturing Inc. of Quincy, under a headline about Illinois workers facing the challenge of keeping up with manufacturing.
The story, linked here, tells part of the story of David Del Castillo, who worked on an assembly line before he was laid off in April 2009 and upgraded his skills with an associate’s degree in advanced manufacturing. Now he’s back at work at Knapheide with a higher income and more responsibility.
It’s great to see a local company get notice statewide.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is promoting legislation for a statewide handgun registry that would cost gun owners $65 to register a firearm, with renewal due every five years for an additional $25.
Downstate lawmakers were quick to oppose the bill. The video above is from Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, as supplied by the Illinois Senate Democrats.
Rep. Jim Watson, R-Jacksonville, sent out his own response.
“As a legislator consistently endorsed by the Illinois State Rifle Association and the NRA, I will continue to stand against ridiculous anti-gun laws like this,” Watson said.
Emanuel’s plan is similar to a gun ordinance in Chicago that already requires owners there to pay a fee and register firearms. Emanuel said the statewide registration is needed because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reports that 56 percent of guns used in Chicago crimes come from outside city limits.
Illinois already requires gun owners to have an Firearm Owners Identification card, which is issued only after an FBI background check.
It should be noted that several gun bills — sponsored by both supporters of gun rights and opponents — come up in the Illinois General Assembly each year. Most are not passed.
A pair of campaign funds for Illinois Senate Democrats have more than a 2-to-1 advantage according to the most recent campaign disclosure reports.
The Senate Democratic Victory Fund and the Citizens for Cullerton political action committee reported combined cash-on-hand of $2.5 million. The Republican State Senate Campaign Committee and Citizens for Radogno reported $1.2 million.
Funding does not win elections, but few elections are won without adequate funding. There’s certainly more time for both camps to raise funds, but it shows how funding flows to the party in charge. Years ago when the Illinois Senate was still in Republican hands, the GOP funds raised more money than the ones operated by Democrats.
The Illinois Manufacturers Association released results of a poll held in the 47th District Senate race shaping up between Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville and GOP challenger Randy Frese, R-Paloma.
According to the poll, 52 percent of respondents expect to vote for Sullivan and 30 percent favor Frese, with 19 percent uncertain about which candidate to support.
It would be surprising if an incumbent was not favored at this point. The good point for Sullivan is that this early number puts him above the magical 50 percent mark. Frese, on the other hand, may feel he’s pushed his name recognition up considerably in the northern reaches of the district in order to win a 30 percent following.
Keep in mind that Sullivan was shown trailing then Sen. Laura Kent Donahue in 2002 only weeks before the election where he stunned the incumbent. The only polls that matter are the ones voters go to on election day, and not all respondents in a poll are really going to cast votes.
Polls are interesting, but don’t tell the whole story.