DeLay's Texas colleagues have his back
The Texas Republican Congressional delegation still hearts Tom DeLay.
Ten Republican members of the Texas congressional delegation, including a few who owe their jobs to redistricting engineered by U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, came to Houston on Thursday to endorse the incumbent.
"We're not here because Tom DeLay is 'The Hammer' or because Tom DeLay is some intimidating, threatening character," said Rep. Joe Barton of Ennis, referring to DeLay's nickname as an enforcer of party discipline. "We're here because he's been a leader and a voice for positive conservative change."
That's so sweet. A fuller report, including some potentially useful quotes from several of DeLay's BFFs can be found at DeLayVsWorld
. This one is my personal favorite:
DeLay's 1984 classmate Joe Barton spoke for a long time on DeLay's integrity ("I'll stake my reputation that he's a man of integrity").
Hey, it's not like Smokey Joe's got one to lose.
DvsW goes on to report from a "press availability" for DeLay's primary opponent Tom Campbell. One bit of interest there:
Campbell shared that they'd done an internal autodialer tracking poll by OneNet Info (whom I'm unfamiliar with, and I know lots of pollsters) over the last few days which showed Campbell with 47%, DeLay with 38%, and Other with 14%. He claimed that this was an improvement over some of their recent polling, though he conceded that with only 151 respondents, the margin of error was quite large (his campaign puts it at 9%, I suspect it might be even larger since Dr. Hill put the Chron's recent poll with 213 respondents at a 9% margin of error).
to the rescue! (Note to Richard Cohen
: The following involves math. You may want to find a middle schooler to help you understand it.) The margin of error on a sample size of 213 is 8.8% if you use a 99% confidence interval. With the generally more used 95% confidence interval, the MoE is 6.7%. For a sample size of 151, those numbers become 10.5 and 8.0.
More interestingly, if one accepts Campbell's poll sample as being representative of the population in question, then the probability that he is leading DeLay by some amount is 86.6% if we assume the 95% confidence interval. Having said that, I agree with DvsW's skepticism - I've never heard of this polling outfit either, internal polls are notoriously favorable to the campaign that commission them, and a choice of "Campbell, DeLay, and Other" may push a few Fjetland and Baig supporters to Campbell's tally. I don't think we'll have any real idea how this race is going until we start to see the returns.
On a side note, ThinkProgress has a scanned copy of the portion of the constituent letter DeLay wrote recently where he claimed that he did not have personal relations with that man, Jack Abramoff. Check it out.
UPDATE: More bad news for DeLay:
Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, trailed his Democratic opponent, former Rep. Nick Lampson, in fundraising and cash in the bank, according to new financial reports that covered the first six weeks of the year.
DeLay, who faces three contenders in the March 7 Republican primary for the 22nd Congressional District, said he raised $154,712 and spent $304,795 between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15, the time span covered in the pre-primary filings required of candidates. The lawmaker reported having about $1.3 million in the bank.
Lampson, who is running unopposed in the Democratic Primary, reported having raised $250,970 in the same time frame and having spent $125,027. He said he has more than $1.4 million in cash on hand.
According to his report, DeLay's largest expenditure — $110,000 — went towards paying Richard Cullen, the attorney representing DeLay in the investigation of an influence-peddling scandal involving indicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
It's pretty ironic how after all he's done in Congress, DeLay may wind up spending his last years in office fattening the wallets of trial lawyers everywhere.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 24, 2006 to Election 2006
More interestingly, if one accepts Campbell's poll sample as being representative of the population in question, then the probability that he is leading DeLay by some amount is 86.6% if we assume the 95% confidence interval.
It's 86.6% period. The "95% confidence interval" isn't something you have to "assume." No matter which confidence interval you use to calculate the probability, you should get the same result. (If Wikipedia'a 99% confidence table had a row for 10.5%, it would have the same value in the 9% difference column. If you extrapolate from the 9% and 10% rows you'll get that result.)
Actually, that's calculated using the wrong formula for standard error of difference, since there's a significant number of "Other" supporters in the poll. But it's probably close enough.
As Taylor Marsh notes, a new poll by Rasmussen Reports (the polling outfit most trusted by Bush followers) was released today, and it contains not bad news, but panic-inducing news, for Bush and his followers:
For the first time ever, Americans have a slight preference for Democrats in Congress over the President on national security issues. Forty-three percent (43%) say they trust the Democrats more on this issue today while 41% prefer the President.
Worse (for Bush followers), of the paltry 44% who approve of Bush's performance, only 23% strongly approve, as contrasted with the 38% who strongly disapprove. That means that not only do far more Americans disapprove of his performance than approve, but the disapproval is more intense and more strongly felt than is the approval.
At some point, won't it be difficult for Bush followers and their media allies to keep depicting Bush critics as fringe, deranged freaks, given that a solid majority of Americans are now Bush critics? And, as a corollary, won't it be equally difficult to continue to suggest that anyone who opposes Bush's policies on the war in Iraq or terrorism is a subversive and a traitor, given that this category, too, clearly includes a majority of Americans?
...Now is exactly when the Democrats need not fear anything. Americans have abandoned Bush. They no longer trust anything about him - not his integrity, his veracity or his competence. Not even his ability to protect them. And he will not even have Congressional Republicans to protect him, as they will be looking for ways to distance themselves as much as possible.