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October 05, 2006 11:40 PM UTC

FOX News: Hastert, Foley Could Be Devastating to GOP

  • 38 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

FOX News reports that internal GOP polling data shows that the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley and the apparent reluctance of Republicans to act on the matter sooner could have devastating effects for GOP candidates in November:

House Republican candidates will suffer massive losses if House Speaker Dennis Hastert remains speaker until Election Day, according to internal polling data from a prominent GOP pollster, FOX News has learned.

“The data suggests Americans have bailed on the speaker,” a Republican source briefed on the polling data told FOX News. “And the difference could be between a 20-seat loss and 50-seat loss.”

Most GOP lawmakers have stood by Hastert, pending a full airing of the facts in his handling of the Mark Foley affair, in which the former Florida representative was caught exchanging salacious messages with teen pages in Congress. The new polling data, however, suggests that many voters already have made up their minds.

The GOP source told FOX News that the internal data had not been widely shared among Republican leaders, but as awareness of it spreads calculations about Hastert’s tenure may change. The source described the pollster who did the survey as “authoritative,” and said once the numbers are presented, it “could change the focus” on whether the speaker remains in power.

While internal GOP polls show trouble for Republicans, the newest AP/Ipsos poll also showed that half of likely voters say the Foley scandal will be “very or extremely important” when it comes time to vote on Nov. 7. By nearly a 2-1 ratio, voters say Democrats are better at combating corruption.

Comments

38 thoughts on “FOX News: Hastert, Foley Could Be Devastating to GOP

  1.   This is starting to look like 1974, when a corrupt Nixon adminstration followed by an inept Ford administration led to the GOP being trounced in the Congressional elections.  Didn’t the Dems pick up about 50 seats that year?
      Speaker Nancy Pelosi…….get use to hearing it!

      1. Ignored in this whole Mark Foley debacle is the incontrovertable truth that Dennis Hastert is a scary fat man who looks like a cross between Jabba the Hut, a turtle, and Drew Carey.

  2. Why does FAUX News – purveyor of such lies as “Mark Foley (D-FL)” – release information on Hastert’s precarious position, unless someone inside the House leadership is angling for a promotion with Rupert Murdoch’s support?

    The AP/Ipsos poll is bad news for the GOP.  Hastert hanging on for dear life while NRCC head Tom Reynolds surrounds himself with children to isolate himself from hard press questions isn’t doing the rest of the Republican Party any favors, either.

    This isn’t over by a long shot – according to the page(s) involved, they were warned about two other GOP House members who are still in Congress.  Who are they, and was there a coverup as bad as the Foley job for them, too?

    One or two early post-Foleygate polls are coming back with five-point swings towards Democrats; that’s enough to change a *lot* of seats.

    1. This is standard Bush operating procedure. Give a public statement of support; stab privately in the back. I think it’s pretty obvious who “a Republican source” is.

      1. Is Tom Reynolds now former chief of staff he was also Mark Foley’s chief of staff at one point and is a gay republican, his name is Kirk fodham and he said that he personally warned Hastert and his top aides about Foley and Foley’s inappropriate contacts with pages.

      2. I agree with the astute comment by Canis latrans that the Fox News leak matches standard Bush administration operating procedure, suggesting to me that damage control is now being coordinated by Karl Rove.  The immediate goal is to preserve the party’s religious conservative base—without their motivated support the election is lost.  I make the following predictions.

        1.  Hastert is obviously toast.  He will announce that he will step down from Speakership next session, “in order to prevent distraction from Republican agenda during ongoing FBI investigation.”

        2.  My second prediction comes from the following interesting quote from a subscription-only newsletter by Robert Novak, designated Bush Admin leaker, that I copied from DailyKos (10/4 post):

        “The fact is, Foley was reluctant to run for re-election because of pressure over his homosexuality. He was reportedly considering two private-sector jobs already, after the White House had panned him as a Florida Senate candidate, reasoning that he could not win statewide. But National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.) talked a reluctant Foley into staying. Naturally, Reynolds, as the campaign chairman, wants all incumbents to stay in the House and to minimize open seats. Foley filed as a candidate in Florida on May 8 of this year, after Reynolds and other Republican leaders had been made aware of the e-mails by the page’s congressional sponsor, Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), in April. It would have been a good time to ease Foley out, because his district is solidly Republican enough that another candidate could have carried it easily.”

        Based on this comment I conclude that Reynolds also will step down as head of NRCC “to focus on his own competitive House re-election.”  He will be replaced by a solid religious conservative.

        3.  Boehnert I think will stay.  He has insisted from the beginning that he was “out of the loop,” suggesting that he is being protected.

        4.  Upon these actions, the mainstream conservative religious leaders (Dobson etc) will issue a joint statement praising Republican leaders for taking responsibility and calling the faithful to the battlements to defend the nation against the infidel Democrats.

        Although the Republicans have taken a heavy blow, do not imagine that this thing is anywhere near over.  In the end this election is going to come down to money and turnout.

        1. Very creative scenario, Dawg.

          The best science fiction is credible.  Your scenario, as good as it is, isn’t credible.  You see, your scenario requires actual Republicans to take actual personal responsibility for something that actually happened.

          Little green men from the Pleiades would be more likely to take personal responsibility for anything.

          1. “Your scenario requires actual Republicans to take actual personal responsibility for something that actually happened.”

            Not really. Those stated reasons (don’t distract the investigation, focus on campaigns) are slick and don’t require them to admit any wrongdoing.

            1. The key paradox is explaining why dependable Republican sources are dropping dirt on Republican leadership.  The simple explanation is chaotic implosion, but the alternative is selective scapegoating for damage control (like using a back-fire to head off a forest fire).  Any bunch that could turn a national tragedy into an excuse for an unprovoked war should not be underestimated, in my opinion.

        2. Way to flesh out my little nugget.

          GOTV is still the Republican’s secret weapon, and the only thing that gives them any hope this election. So yeah, I think you’re right about them doing everything to hang on to their base. The corollary – expect huge smear jobs from the Republicans as they try to turn off voters in the middle. Might be a little late in the game for that, though.

          Money, on the other hand, is pretty good for the Democrats. A sign that wealthy interests know they’re going to have to play ball with Democrats for the forseeable future.

          But maybe I’m crazy.

  3. If this comes to be, this is huge.  The GOP is self-destructing, right before absentee ballots go out.  Maybe it’ll be enough to give Paccione the edge over Muskrat.

    1. I am concerned when we had them down-the elephant rises from the ground and up from the loss she rebounds with a mighty charge.

      Here it is with one month to go, and we gave them everything that we owe, and they will repent and they will come up large.

      So what will we do with the middle of America- when the map is blue only on the coasts? They’re in charge in the center of America and our corners turned up blue, and the center is still red, and the corners are all blue and so it goes. 

        1. The pipe is the way to get us past our Alzheimers- or at least create delay.

          But all I can tell you is that paging boys don’t pay!

          I thought they only did that in LA- oh Lord- I thought they only did that in LA…

  4. Today’s news dump from ABC is that three more pages have come forward with information on Foley’s interest in pages.  The pages, who have already been interviewed by the FBI, indicate that Foley:

    * wanted photos of the page’s genitalia
    * solicited oral sex over the Internet
    * wanted to know about their fellow page’s genitalia

    On the bright side for Foley, the one page who apparently did get together with Foley for a liason reports that Foley waited until the page was 18 before actually getting down to it…

    The pages were in Congress in 1998, 2000, and 2001.  No word on whether they told anyone or were warned in advance that no-one would listen (as another page reported…)

  5. As long as this perception holds true (keep in mind there’s no smoking gun – yet) he’s dragging down the GOP and he’ll realize it soon enough (or just be told to fall on his sword).

    Actually, with Bush’s propensity for sticking by his guy no matter what (remember the Reagan years, when cabinet officials and other appointees seemed to resign every month?) this might not happen until way too late.

  6. Time reports 2/3 of poll respondents feel the Republicans misled the public.  The generic Democrat-Republican Congressional ballot went up to a 15% spread in favor of Democrats (they last polled in July and it was 5%); in 1994 the spread was only 9% in favor of Republicans.

    If the GOP doesn’t get positive control over this by Friday, I think they can count on losing at least those 20 seats.

    1. How high does it go? It appears to stop with Hastert, but that does not even make sense. It is obvious that he KNEW. Would it stop with him? Not a chance. This almost certainly went up to at least the republican chairman. But it would seem likely that it would go up to maybe even W.

    2. What morals and shame do these neo-cons have?
      They are running up deficits like there is no tomorrow (or like one of W’s company). They are covering up how bad Iraq/Afghanastan are doing. They fired a good man, hefley over his trying to censore  Delay, and then offered nothing on how to keep Delay’s/Abrahamoffs from occuring (though as a Libertarian, I also note that neither did the democrats), and now, they are covering up how much they knew and how high. It strikes me that the FBI should be raiding the offices of Hastert and maybe even higher (similar to the lousiana congressman), but they apparently do not care. And about the only apologise that I hear are insenscere and are sounding sorry that they got caught. Worse, the neo-con radio are blaming everybody BUT foley, Hastert, or any republican. Drudge, Limbaugh, FOTF, etc. have to be the worse. They show that if you run under their banners you are welcome to do anything that you want.
  7. And believe me, with ties to Scientology, cast fetishes, circular firing squads, republican destruction, it is all good. But here is the thing…The Pew center is going to release a poll showing that this scandal is not having as much impact as I would like it to have. The pew Center is the one poll that I trust implicitly and when they say something I take it as fact. Here is a link to NPR, another source I completely trust: http://www.npr.org/t

    I want this to be bad, if only to shame not just republicans, but also Foley apologists like Coulter who is, surprise, blaming the dems for this and Drudge, who is blaimng the victims.

    1. I heard a political scientist on talk radio today who wrote her disertation on political scandals.

      She found that voters are more forgiving for Democrats on sex scandals and Republicans on money scandals.

      Voters expect the Dems to protect the poor so when they’re caught with their hand in the till = voter outrage.

      Likewise with Republicans, expected to hold the moral torch for America and when they don’t = voter outrage.

      It will be intersting how the media influences events (they need to cover their butts since various news outlets didn’t break the story before), how the Dems play it (stand up for the minors and continue to hassle Hastert) and how the voters react (primarily Republicans staying home).

      1. I never really looked at it that way. Do you remember where you heard this? I wonder if a study was done and if there is any information available online about this.

  8. LOL!!!

      You guys all think the Dems think are going to take the 4th, 5th, and 6th c.d.’s too.

    Don’t salivate too soon,this political game may come back to bite the Dem’s good and hard right on their big ‘ol bee-hinds!!!

    1. The 4th is getting uncomfortabilly close for the Rs.  Most polls I’ve seen recently show the race tied or close to it.  With the recent Foley follies, and Musgrave’s deafining silence about the homosexual pedophile in their midst, this may just be the tipping point that gives Piccione this seat.  Remember as we get closer to the election, that undecided voters historically break towards the challenger and away from the incumbant.

      CD 5 is tougher, but with the Rs forming a circular firing line, Fawcett could pull a major upset here.  Granted, it will be a major upset if it does happen, and the fact that this is one of the most conservative districts in the country doesn’t help Fawcett’s chances.  Still, FotF has been almost as deafening as Musgrave has been with their silence over the whole Foley affair.

      With Tancredo turning out to be a louzy person (one Republican I knew even called him Tan”creap”o back in 1998), the fact that Winter can’t gain any traction is disturbing, but we could be facing a scenerio where Tancredo and Allard are the only Rs in the Colorado congressional delegation, which would give Rove all kinds of heartburn given the stunt he tried to pull in 2003 with the midnight gerrymander.

      By the way, MSNBC during Countdown mentioned that there are R strategists who think that Speaker Hatert staying on could cost them up to 50 seats.  If that does happen, CD 4 would certainly turn blue, and even CD 5 could do the same.  Supposedly, the RNC is abandoning CD 7 with many polls now showing Pearlmutter opening up a double digit lead.

      1. any Republican about CD-5 is that there is another debate. Doug Lamborn and the Republican Party were very lucky this was in Canon City last night. When people can quote Doug looking like a petulant kid (think GW’s “It’s hard work” debate except worse was the way it was described) who is ducking questions it makes this even tougher. The sense I see over on the D side is they believe the more side by side they get of Fawcett and Lamborn, the better their chances get. And the more this looks like a bad year for Republicans the more Republican candidates will have to take these risks. When the El Paso County Dem candidates can walk away from debates and the Rep candidates have to accept them, it’s not a good sign.

  9. Let’s see if I have this right.  Foley sends explicit text messages (despicable predator)and resigns and brings calls for Hastert’s resignation.  Barney Frank has SEX and runs prostitution ring out of his apartment and nothing happens.  Seems fair to me.

    1. Those were Wednesday’s talking points!  Didn’t Ailes send you the memo?  The line for today is this:

      “Republicans are really good guys because, look, they’re giving away some of the money Mark Foley’s PAC sent them.”

      And today’s FNC crawl will be:
      “Are Democrats Fueling the Foley Flap?”

      Please try to stay on point.  Carry on, soldier.

    2. Mark Foley had been contacting, coercing and manipulating underage, I repeat *underage* pages using explicit terms, alcohol and promises of career futherance to get sexual favors or at least fantasies, when he was the head of a caucus thats sole purpose was to prevent that sort of thing. Not only that, but the republican leadership knew about this and actively covered it up for at least three years.

      Barney Frank has sex? God forbid a man should engage in such a thing! He never ran a prostitution ring out of his house and the last time I checked he was still a sitting member of congress. If he has to answer to anyone for his conduct it is his constituents and apparently they dont care. So, nice try, but you have to wake up pretty early in the morning to be able to pull something over on me. Mainly because I dont sleep.

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