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Insights: Politics—The Election's Even Split

The 2001 Congress will likely be divided down the middle
Dick Morris
From the Print Edition:
Kevin Costner, Nov/Dec 00

(continued from page 1)

Congressman Bill McCollum is running against Democratic State Insurance Commissioner Bill Nelson to fill the vacancy created by Connie Mack's retirement. McCollum came to national attention in the Clinton impeachment trial as one of the House managers pressing to remove the president. The unpopularity of the impeachment process and McCollum's generally conservative record contrast with the populist, pro-consumer reputation of centrist Nelson. Even though George W. Bush will likely carry Florida, give the edge here to Nelson.


Republican Lincoln Chafee, who after his father's death last October was appointed to fill his seat in the Senate, is trying to hold on against an expected strong Democratic challenge from either Representative Bob Weygand or former Lieutenant Governor Richard A. Licht. Rhode Island is God's gift to the Democratic Party. It's the most Democratic state in America, and it's unlikely that Chafee can hold on.  


GOP Senator Spencer Abraham--a former political consultant--is struggling to defeat a fierce challenge from popular Congresswoman Debbie Stabenow. Abraham has consistently lagged below 50 percent of the vote, a usual sign of an incumbent in trouble. With Al Gore likely to carry Michigan, this seat may well change hands.  


Senator Rod Grams may have the fight of his life against one of four Democratic challengers. Grams's poll numbers have never looked very good, and his most likely opponent--Mark Dayton--is very well funded. Since Grams has never really taken root in this highly liberal and Democratic state, he may well lose this Election Day.  


In a local version of an Ali-Frazier fight, the popular Democratic Governor Thomas R. Carper is opposing the popular GOP Senator William V. Roth Jr. Roth has been in the Senate forever. His fame dates from the Kemp-Roth tax cut of the early Reagan years. But Carper looks too powerful to beat, so Delaware will likely go Democratic.  


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