As a courtesy to our many readers (four hits a day and climbing) and as a public service, here at your AP Site we decided to cover the 2002 elections with in depth analysis of each of the major races and commentary from the folks that actually live in the toss up states. Hopefully, we’ll be able to give you a more accurate description of the current political climate in the afore mentioned states than the major news organizations can.
MINNESOTA With the tragic death of Senator Paul Wellstone, former Vice President Walter Mondale has claimed the democratic nomination, going against Republican candidate Norm Coleman. In two recent polls, Gallup and CNN both show this race is a dead heat and it may be days after the election until a winner can clearly be ascertained. We asked John Phillip Carmichael, Dakota county Libertarian party Chairman for his input.
John Phillip Carmichael-“Well, this is probably the tightest Senate race Minnesota has ever seen. I’m predicting that Mr. Coleman will be elected. The real important thing is though, that our Libertarian voice be heard and I believe it will be a record turn out for us. We’re driving all our voters to the poles to make sure we do have our due representation. The folks at Jack Clariman Ford has even allowed us to rent a mini van for Tuesday morning, at a discount, to make the trip to the poling station, which shows you how much our party has gained ground. Last year we used my Ford Escort to make the trip and even though Ford says you can fit four people comfortably, it was still kind of cramped on the trip. Now that our party has a fifth voter, well we just needed to move on up to something bigger.
In one of the most watched races, democrats hope to unseat Gov. Jeb Bush and replace him with Bill McBride. Although it would have little impact on the national scene until the 2004 presidential elections, democrats are looking for some payback from the hotly contested Presidential election of 2000, in which their state gave its electoral votes to George W. Bush. Poling does not show a clear winner hear, so we spoke with Republican voter Raymond “Lucky” Spielman of Orlando about what he hopes and thinks the winner may be.
Raymond Spielman-“I really don’t give a rats (expletive deleted) about who wins. They’re all (expletive deleted) crooks anyway. The only reason I’m a Republican is cause my mom ran for an assembly seat last year and she needed all the votes she could get. I doubt I’ll even vote. And I’ll tell you one other thing, the next Yankee that tells me a joke about Floridians not being able to count, I’m going to smack the smirk right off their face.”
In what many conservatives think is an illegal dirty trick, Former Senator Frank Lautenberg has replaced disgraced Sen. Torricelli and will going up against Republican challenger Douglas Forrester. Most poles predict a Lautenberg win in this heavily democratic state. Although the outcome may already be decided, we asked Jules Venturinni of The Truth In New Jersey Politics Committee for her take on the controversy and possible outcome.
Jules Venturini-"What we see in this race is another election where the citizens of New Jersey have to chose between two of the major party appointed candidates. The Truth In New Jersey Politics Committee has been asking the two major party candidates for their input on the issues we care about for a year now, with no response. Particularly, why have we not claimed The New York Jets or The New York Giants as our own? They both play in East Rutherford. That money generated should be ours. If the Arizona Cardinals played in California could you still call them the “Arizona” Cardinals?"
In what many would have said was virtually impossible a year ago, Texas me vote its first Democratic Governor since Ann Richards won the seat over ten years ago. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have made frequent visits to help their candidate Gov. Rick Perry beat democratic challenger Tony Sanchez. This race is touted as one of the most expensive and most controversial the state has ever seen with Gov. Perry recently accusing Mr. Sanchez of money laundering. We went to democratic voter Charles Shehann of Galveston for his take on the race.
Charles Shehann-"I am really psyched up about our chances. I mean, I have a better feeling about this one than I did when Ann Richards won. Its really important for us democrats down here to win. We pretty much blew our chances of being the major party in this state back in 63 when we decided to not go with the bubble top. I’ve been saying that for years, had we gone with a bubble top we would have easily gone for Mr. Kennedy in 64 with or without LBJ who was really just a mean guy. Did you see what he did to dogs? Man, one bubble top could have changed history."
This closley watched race for Governor pits former Senate candidate Mitt Romeny against Democrat Shannon O'Brien. O'Brien is hoping to become the first democratic governor in 12 years, having formely served in the state house and senate. Mitt Romney is best known for work during the Olympics and for his loss to Senator Ted Kennedy four years ago. There are also three other candidates on the ballot which may tip the vote to one of the two major party candidates. For a local take on the situation we asked Candice McElroy of Boston.
Candice McElroy-"Mitt Romeny makes me want to puke. I can't stand to even look at him. He couldn't poor water out of a boot with the instructions on the sole. If he wins I'll jump off a cliff. I heard that he kicks puppies as well. My friend Lois knew Romeny back in elementary school and said he would eat bugs for 25 cents a pop. I can't believe this race is even close."