Poll: Klobuchar maintains lead over Kennedy

The Strib has just posted the latest Minnesota Poll on the Senate race. According to the poll, the lead is 21-percent… hardly budging since last month.

The Strib quotes Kennedy’s spokeswoman thusly:

“No one believes these numbers,” said Heidi Frederickson, a Kennedy campaign spokeswoman. “This is a single-digit race. We know it, the Democrats know it and Minnesotans know it.”

That may be true. But I’ll say it for the umpteenth time: if you think this poll is wrong, show me the one you think is right.

Klobuchar’s camp is also, by the way, downplaying the poll. The biggest threat to Klobuchar right now, is overconfidence by her less die-hard base, to the point they stay home.

The interesting thing over the next few weeks — to me — is what will happen to the I.P. vote. When polls showed a close race in the governor’s battle 4 years ago, people started jumping off the Tim Penny bandwagon.

Robert Fitzgerald, in the Senate race, has just 3-percent of the vote. With the appearance of a big lead, maybe some people decide Klobuchar doesn’t need the vote, and go with the Independent. Maybe not.

As the article notes, the longer we go in this campaign season, the more it’s obvious this election is — whether you like it or not — a referendum on Iraq, which — incidentally — the election of two years ago was as well.

One other indicator that the results may be more indicative of reality than others may think.

Consider this:

Take a look, though, at the poll results from yesterday and the day before, compiled at Real Clear Politics. It’s a sea of blue, with the Democratic candidate leading in just about every race for every office, nationwide. The polls can’t all be screwy, and if this batch are anywhere near right, they foretell a rout of astonishing proportions. Maybe that’s what the voters want; the Republicans have three weeks remaining to focus Americans on the serious issues at stake in the election.

That’s from John Hinderaker, at Powerline.

So let’s just play what-if, for a second. I’m not likely to be writing Polinaut after Election Day; my role in creating this beast was an election year blog, so I’m not going to play-by-play politicians until the ’08 elections.

So let’s get it out of the way now, then. Let’s say the Democrats do run off the big win, and even take control of one or more houses. A Republican is still in the White House.

The election is about Iraq. And if people say they want change. So a new crew goes off to Washington and given the practicalities — and the realities — of the breakdown of the House and Senate, and the party occupying the White House, what can one realistically expect to change in the Iraq War? The only thing Congress can do, is cut off funding to force a withdrawl of troops. Is that possible? Is it likely? And if the answer is “no,” what can the Democrats do two years from now to portray themselves as the party of change in the ’08 elections.

Those are not rhetorical questions. On Wednesday November 6th, this is the new reality under the scenario above: someone’s actually got to do something. Given the way Washington works, what will it be?

Stay tuned.

Might as well think about ’em now.