View Full Version : Daschle Backers Amass

30 Oct 04,, 12:45
Is Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) getting panicky in his reelection bid against former representative John Thune? Republicans gleefully note that after a newspaper poll showed Thune in the lead this week, Daschle's long-standing ban on third-party ads abruptly ended, and a chartered planeload of Democratic lawyers, lobbyists and loyalists is scheduled to fly from Washington to Sioux Falls today.

"There's almost a panic [among Democrats] around the nation about Daschle being able to cling to his seat," Thune campaign manager Dick Wadhams said.

Not so, Daschle supporters say. For starters, they say, the Zogby poll published in the Rapid City Journal is flawed. It showed Republican Thune leading Daschle, 48.5 percent to 45.5 percent, just within the margin of error. At first, however, the poll had shown an even larger Thune lead, which seemed so improbable that the pollsters adjusted their voter turnout estimates and arrived at the narrower gap.

Democrats scoffed, saying the poll remains suspect. It contradicts other public polls showing Daschle slightly ahead, and it showed House GOP challenger Larry Diedrich leading Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D). Even some Republicans find that hard to believe.

Bringing in the planeload of lawyers and other volunteers from Washington is simply prudent in the post-2000 election world, Daschle spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said. And the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said it decided to pour $600,000 into anti-Thune ads -- despite Daschle's long-standing plea for third-party groups to stay out of the state -- because independent groups have been trashing Daschle for months.

University of South Dakota political scientist William Richardson said, "I think both sides are very nervous, because from everything we can see, it's still too close to call."


30 Oct 04,, 23:07
"Too close to call" seems to have become a household name :biggrin: these days, heh?