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2006 Election Maps Mashups 105

John Fitzpatrick writes, "Search Engine Watch has an article on the launch this week of map-based search tools to follow the 2006 Congressional elections, from both Google Earth and the map-based real estate site HotPads.com. The Google Earth Blog notes the release of two election-oriented layers outlining the borders of the congressional districts and linking to Google News articles related to the different races. And HotPads is offering the 2006 Election Edition. From their blog: 'The 435 congressional districts are outlined on HotPads Maps, with red and blue designating the party affiliation of the districts' current Representatives. By clicking on the districts' "I" buttons..., users can view quick facts about the districts including the current Representatives and the candidates in November's contests. By clicking on the quick facts bubble, users can get more detailed information [from] Wikipedia articles with detailed information about the candidates and the close races.'"
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2006 Election Maps Mashups

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  • by remove office ( 871398 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @03:37PM (#16565458) Homepage
    Democrats will take the 435-member House of Representatives back by a likely margin of 5-15 seats. There are almost no serious analysts who disagree on this point. Once Dems take back the House, they will have subpeona power and will begin investigating the Administration's leadup to war, etc. In the first 100 hours of Dem control in the House, future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that she plans to hike the federal minimum wage for the first time in almost 10 years, establish (real) restrictions on lobbying, enact the 9/11 comission reccomendations that the Administration refuses to enact 5 years later, increase federal funding for stem cell research with a veto-proof majority, and lower the amount of money that seniors have to pay for prescription drugs. Obviously all this stuff has to get through the Senate and be signed by the Presidednt into law however.

    In the 100-seate Senate, things are likely to tighten up considerably (Republicans currently hold a majority of 55 so Democrats need to pick up 6 seats to take it back). The only really competative races to watch in the Senate are:
    Montana (whre Democratic challenger Jon Tester leads Republican incumbent Conrad burns- whose Jack Abramoff ties are weighing him down),
    Tennessee (where Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is retiring, leaving an open seat for Dem Harold Ford Jr and Republican Bob Corker to fight over- this race is mostly tied),
    Missouri (where Republican incumbent Jim Talent is virtually tied with Dem challenger Claire McCaskill, who has made this race about increasing the minimum wage and stem cell research- two issues that heavily favor Dems),
    Rhode Island (where moderate Republican incumbent Lincoln Chafee is struggling to win re-election over strong Dem challenger Sheldon Whitehouse, who leads him in the polls in this solid "blue" state),
    Pennsylvania (where Republican incumbent Rick Santorum is seen universally as the most endangered incumbent in the country, trailing behind Democratic challenger Bob Casey for months now),
    Virginia (where Republican incumbent George Allen leads Democratic challenger Jim Webb, but only after Allen's dropped considerably due to racism allegations surrounding the caught-on-video use of the slur 'macaca'),
    and Ohio (where Republicans statewide are in trouble due to a series of statewide scandals involving the GOP).

    Republicans are looking to pick up the Washington state seat, which they won't, and the Maryland seat, which they also will not (most analysts agree on this). The only possibility for a Republican pickup is really New Jersey (Dem incumbent Bob Menendez vs Republican challenger Tom Kean Jr- corruption is an issue on both sides of this race), where polls indicate that Menendez is leading slightly.
  • Re:backwards (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quadraginta ( 902985 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @04:32PM (#16566488)
    Then you suspect wrong. First of all, turnout in the last national election was 57% of the voting-age population. 57% of the population can't be classified as "extremists" without perverting the definition of "extreme."

    Secondly, the most recent national-level election history has been one of sharp and sudden swings, e.g. from Carter to Reagan/Bush to Clinton and on to Dubya, not to mention the '94 Republican tidal wave, and possibly the Democratic resurgence this year. That makes no sense at all if only dedicated partisans -- who hardly ever change their vote -- are voting. On the other hand, it does make sense if large masses of votes come from a bunch of flaky uninformed wishy-washy oh-I-dunno fools whose votes can be easily swayed by a clever political ad or blip in the economy or a sex scandal or some other random noise. It's like there's a wire loose in the national decision-making apparatus (or inside their pointy little heads), so any random thwack on the case makes the output voltage flop around crazily.

    Thirdly, the history of the Republic has been one of steadily expanding franchise. That is, as you reel back the decades and centuries, fewer and fewer people have been allowed to vote. If the country is in shambles now and it wasn't then, and this has anything at all to do with who votes, then it must be that widening the franchise -- making it easier for more people to vote -- is what has led to trouble.
  • by NMerriam ( 15122 ) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @06:43PM (#16568614) Homepage
    It's funny, I was thrilled when Bush won in 2004. Because it was clear to anyone paying attention that Iraq was so ineptly planned that nobody would be able to turn around by that point. Bush had to stay in power so they couldn't blame someone else for fumbling their ball. And no matter who is in control of Congress, Bush is still the Commander in Chief right through the 2008 election.

    The albatross of Iraq is going to be dangling around the Republican Party's neck for as long as amputees and bodybags are coming home, and no matter how hard they try they'll never be able to rewrite history to make the failure anyone's fault but their own. The only way the Republican party will keep control of the Executive branch in 2008 (barring divine intervention in Iraq, which Bush should have gotten by now considering his close relationship with Jesus!) is by candidates running in the exact opposite direction of every policy from the past 5 years (I suspect we'll be hearing the phrase "flip-flop" quite a bit as Republican Presidential candidates try to explain their foreign policy positions).

    Neoconservatism, as stupid as it was, at least had the virtue of being such a colossally bad theory on the use of power that it failed spectacularly in only the first few years of implementation. Not very good for the tens of thousands who had to die just to prove what a bad idea it was, but it took Communism decades longer and millions more to be so equally, thoroughly, discredited.

    I look forward to the day when real conservatives come back into power in the GOP and these chickenhawk neoconservative cowards are put back at the children's table where they belong.
  • by Keebler71 ( 520908 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:24PM (#16571760) Journal
    Can I ask you, in all seriousness why you're still happy with the Republicans? I mean, I can understand why you would feel that an attack on this country merits a strong military response -- but that's not what we're involved in at the moment is it? We're stomping around in a quagmire for obscure reasons that have nothing to do with the 9/11 attack or Al Qaeda, correct?

    It's a quagmire to be sure, but I, and many conservatives believe that it was still the right call. I believe that it was the right call, given the information that we had at the time. Of course much of what we *thought* turned out to be incorrect. Liberals somehow assume that this means we were "lied" to. I do place blame on the administration for being lazy and running with the one rationale that seemed to resonate with the press (WMDs) when we in effect already in a state of war with Iraq (at the least they were violating the terms of the truce on a daily basis). Does it have anything to do with 9/11 or Al Qaeda? Of course, not. However, before 9/11 the US used to just ignore thugs like Saddam who opently threatened and provoked the US. The amount of grief that the US would put up with changed that day. Do I think there have been mistakes our post-war Iraq policy? Absolutely. Do I think it would be worse for all involved if we simply pull out our troops on some arbitrary date or worse yet signal weakness by legislating an end date? Absolutely.

    Or to take another point, I can understand why a conservative would worry about fiscal responsibility... but we don't have fiscal responsibility, do we? How about that deficit, eh?

    I love this point. Liberals love to throw this one around - somehow trying to show that they are more fiscally responsible than Republicans when in fact they hemorrage federal money. Name me a social program that the Democrats would not like to spend more money on. They don't like the GOP Social Security plan because it doesn't spend enough money. They don't like the GOP prescription plan because it does spend enough money. They don't like No Child Left Behind because it isn't backed up with federal funds. They don't approve of homeland defense legislation because it doesn't spend enough federal funds on infrastructure. Am I proud that we are running a deficit right now? No - of course not... but I am pretty impressed that the deficit has been cut in half [boston.com] over the last 5 years. Unemployment is lower than during the Clinton presidency. Inflation is low. The economy is doing pretty damn well. The irony of course is that the left yells for the Republicans compromise with them on these spending bills. This universally means spending more (not less) than the Republicans originally propose. If the Republicans were not compromising with the Dems the deficit would be even less (of course the Democrats would be making even more noise about the lack of "bi-partisanship").

    By the way, I've been meaning to ask some Repubican or other... do you think you guys could return some of the money Enron stole for you? Seriously, how do you feel about your party recieving stolen goods?


    (And what kind of "conservative" has such contempt for the Magna Carta, not to mention the Constitution? Aren't they time-tested enough? How can you just shrug off what's being done to central fabric of our country?)

    Easy, I don't believe that I or anyone else has lost any constitutional rights. I don't for instance believe that I have a right to make international phone calls with international terrorists overseas without being surveilled. Now, I do think the administration has certainly been pushing the envelope of presidential powers - however the SCOTUS and Congress have pushed back - that is reassuring to me. Government is working.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead