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Posts published in “Day: July 16, 2008”

Forest history

We'll be getting much more into wildfire-related posts later on, but beforehand a little review of where we are and how we got here - the real-world as opposed to the political versions - would be in order.

With that in mind, some recommended reading: A new post by Idaho Statesman reporter Rocky Barker, which provides one of the most useful short-form sumups we've seen anywhere recently. A good baseline for the discussion ahead.


Not to drop in on every poll that comes along, but this one feels a little notable. Could be an outlier (the possibility that warns us against too many poll notices), but - given some other recent trends - could also realistically be a marker of something new.

This is a Rasmussen poll of the Oregon Senate race, and what's new here is that it shows Democratic challenger Jeff Merkley leading Republican incumbent Gordon Smith - the first poll to do so. It's a marginal thing, since it gives Merkley 43% and Smith 41%, and if soft supporters are added in, they tie at 46%. But every poll up to this point has given Smith a fairly clear lead (last month's Rasmussen put Smith ahead 47%-38%), so this is something new.

Now we watch to see if it's the first of more like it, or not. If it indicates a change, that together with Merkley's newly-displayed fundraising prowess could change the dynamic of the race.