Democrats are positioned for gains in governors' races in November and could capture governorships in many big battleground states, giving the party an early edge in the 2008 fight for the White House.But sign up here to support the DGA's "Won't Wait for 08" Pledge...
Republicans must defend 22 of the 36 governors' offices on the ballot in November, including eight states where the incumbent retired or is barred from running again. Democrats defend 14 governorships but only one in which the incumbent is not running.
The lopsided political map, along with a tough national election climate for Republicans, put Democrats in a strong position to pick up at least the four governorships needed for a national majority. Republicans hold 28 governorships to 22 for Democrats.
A good start...as described at Christianitytoday.com:
Environmentally concerned evangelicals, including megachurch pastors, Christian college presidents, and theologians, announced their support February 8 for a major effort to combat global warming.
During a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington organized by the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), a new coalition called the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) released a statement signed by more than 85 evangelical leaders.
The statement, Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action, says "human-induced climate change is real," and calls on the U.S. government to pass legislation establishing limits on carbon dioxide emissions—widely believed to be the primary cause of human-induced global warming.
"Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors," the statement reads. "Christians must care about climate change, because we love God the Creator and Jesus our Lord, through whom and for whom the creation was made. This is God's world, and any damage that we do to God's world is an offense against God himself."
Organizer Jim Ball, executive director of EEN, the group known for its 2002 "What Would Jesus Drive?" campaign, stressed the importance of the statement's theological message.
"This is not a political statement being made," Ball told CT. "We are trying to be faithful to the lordship of Christ. It's my commitment to Christ that's driving me. He's said: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart' and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Global warming is going to affect millions in this century, and we feel we just can't stand by. We have to do something about it."
Among the signatories: bestselling Purpose-Driven Life author and pastor Rick Warren, World Vision president Rich Stearns, Salvation Army national commander Todd Bassett, Christianity Today editor David Neff and executive editor Timothy George, Wheaton College president Duane Litfin, and former National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) president Leith Anderson.
Litfin told CT that some evangelicals have "probably had some bind spots" in responding to environmental issues such as global warming. He said he hoped his involvement would "raise the profile of this issue within the evangelical world."
"I just want to see us more carefully trying to think through: What are the Christian's responsibilities to God's creation? I'm not sure we've fulfilled that stewardship very well, as a nation or as individuals. We can do a better job."
The effort involves a "close to half a million-dollar" ad and publicity campaign beginning with full-page ads in Roll Call and The New York Times on February 9, Ball said. The campaign will follow with a tv spot on Fox News, radio spots on Salem Radio Network, and an ad in Christianity Today.
Ball said the group is also planning tv ads on local channels "targeting some specific, traditional states" such as Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Dakota—"areas where we know there is good evangelical interest and concern," in order to further boost support for global warming legislation.
Funding for the ad campaign comes from a $500,000 grant the group recently received from the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Ball told CT. During the press conference Ball said charitable groups such as the Hewlett Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Pew Charitable Trusts have also contributed...
While not endorsing a specific bill, the statement calls for federal legislation that would establish emission limits and require "sufficient economy-wide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through cost effective, market-based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade program." Ball said he was encouraged by a nonbinding resolution that passed the Senate last year affirming this approach, but "the House is a different situation" and "a good place for evangelicals to make a difference."Surprising Support
An October 2005 poll conducted by Ellison Research and paid for by EEN revealed that about 750 of 1,000 surveyed born-again or evangelical Protestant Christians support hallmark environmental issues like reducing global warming or protecting wilderness areas from development. About 250 say they support these issues strongly. A slight majority of evangelicals, 54 percent, said they believe Christian faith should generally encourage people to support environmental issues.
"A year ago, with Republican victories in the 2004 elections still fresh and with President Bush's job-approval ratings still above 50 percent, Democrats' chances of capturing the House looked fairly slim. Today, however, with Bush's approval ratings hovering around 42 percent, the possibility of a Democratic takeover -- although less than 50-50 -- is very real.
Even though House Democrats need a net gain of only 15 seats this November, that task is fairly daunting because the playing field is so small: Few House Republicans are retiring, and few of the Republican incumbents who ought to be vulnerable are in districts that actually are competitive.
Nevertheless, the Democrats do have a real shot at ending the GOP's control of the House. A simple statistical model that Cook Political Report Senior Editor Amy Walter and I developed several years ago suggests that the 2006 House election will be very close."
"Forty-five percent (45%) of voters say they will vote for a Democratic candidate in their Congressional race this year while 37% plan to vote for a Republican. Democrats have a 12-point advantage among women and a 3-point edge among men.
Two weeks ago, a Rasmussen Reports survey of national adults found Democrats with an 11-point advantage on the generic Congressional Ballot.
Today, 34% believe the country is heading in the right direction. Sixty percent (60%) believe we have gotten off on the wrong track"
From Think Progress: Bush Made Up His Mind On Iraq Two Months Before Invasion.
"A memo of a two-hour meeting between the two leaders at the White House on January 31 2003 - nearly two months before the invasion - reveals that Mr Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons programme...read on
"I believe that there is a plan and a purpose for each person's life and that there are forces working in the universe to bring about good and to create a community of love and brotherhood. Those who can attune themselves to these forces - to God's purpose - can become special instruments of his will."
- Coretta Scott King, in her 1969 autobiography My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr.