Daily Archives: October 7, 2010

On Wednesday for the first time the RealClearPolitics “no toss-up” prediction for the Senate was a 50-50 tie. (Nevada flipped, as Sharron Angle moved fractionally ahead of Harry Reid in two new polls.) If the Delaware Tea Party had not succeeded in nominating Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, the projection would be a 51-49 Republican Senate.

NJ’s Josh Kraushaar on Democrats’ false optimism:

House Democrats have begun sounding an optimistic note that they will avoid a midterm wipeout as the base starts tuning in, campaigns engage, and President Obama travels the country reminding voters of the stakes.

A New York Times piece last weekend asserted that the “resilience of vulnerable Democrats” is complicating Republican efforts to win back control of the House, a narrative that quickly took hold in other news outlets. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has flatly refused to entertain the possibility that her majority is at risk, at least publicly.

But when you look at the national polling metrics and the race-by-race picture in the House, there’s little evidence of any Democratic comeback. If anything, Republicans are in as strong a position to win back control of the House as they have been this entire election cycle.

Much of the newfound glimmer of hope comes from a misinterpretation of polling data released by Democratic campaigns and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Many of the polls aren’t all that encouraging for Dems, but have been spun to present a misleadingly optimistic picture.

I recommend the new movie by Bjorn Lomborg and documentary film-maker Ondi Timoner, Cool It, based loosely on Lomborg’s book of the same title. It is a reply to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, and much better (effective though Gore’s movie was as propaganda). I went to a screening of the nearly final version at the Heritage Foundation yesterday. It is well done. Not just watchable but absorbing all the way through, and extremely persuasive.

I was a little concerned as the film got going that it would be essentially a profile of Lomborg. There’s a chunk of stuff at the start about what a nice guy he is. He has been a friend since I took his side in the controversy that followed the publication of the Skeptical Environmentalist–a terrific book–so I didn’t need to be told that he is conscientious, unfailingly courteous, and sweet-natured. Many others, I suppose, do need to be told this–since he is usually represented by environmentalists as a satanic figure, beguilingly kitted out in T-shirt and jeans, intent on planetary catastrophe. Still, I was glad the personal stuff quickly gave way to an urgent, intelligent, and entertaining account of the climate policy debate, with a strong focus on cost-effective solutions.

Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

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