SSP Daily Digest: 11/5

FL-Sen: It looks like the Club for Growth has decided to weigh in on the Florida Senate primary, and they’re doing so with a vengeance, with a TV spot going after Charlie Crist’s embrace of the Obama stimulus package. Crist himself has been trying for the last few days to walk back his stimulus support — despite statements on the record from February saying that if he’d been in the Senate, he’d have voted for it. Crist now says he wasn’t “endorsing” it and just playing along so Florida would get a good share of the bennies. (I’m sorry, but my 5-year-old comes up with more convincing excuses than that.)

NY-Sen-B: Former Gov. George Pataki is reportedly telling friends he’s not that interested in becoming Senator at age 64, and has his eye set a little higher: a presidential race in 2012. The idea of the wooden, moderate Pataki going up against Huckabee and Palin seems a little far-fetched, but a clue in support of that idea is that Pataki joined the Romneys and T-Paws of the world in calling new Manchester, New Hampshire mayor Ted Gatsas to congratulate him. (In case you aren’t connecting the dots, Manchester’s mayor has an outsized influence on NH’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary.)

AZ-Gov: Appointed incumbent Republican Governor Jan Brewer says she’ll run for a full term in 2010. She already faces several minor primary opponents, and may face off against state Treasurer Dean Martin. Her likely Democratic opponent, AG Terry Goddard, who has had a significant lead over Brewer in recent polls, has to be feeling good about this.

CA-Gov: Capitol Weekly, via Probolsky Research, takes another look at the primaries in the California gubernatorial race, and find free-spending ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman opening up a lead on her opponents. Whitman leads with 37, against ex-Rep. Tom Cambell at 15 and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner at 6. (Their previous poll, in June, gave a small lead to Campbell at 13, with 10 for Whitman and 8 for Poizner.) On the Dem side, ex-Gov. Jerry Brown led SF Mayor Gavin Newsom 46-19; the sample was completed shortly before Newsom’s dropout last Friday.

MD-Gov: A poll of the Maryland governor’s race from Clarus Research has a mixed bag for incumbent Dem Martin O’Malley. He defeats ex-Gov. Bob Ehrlich without too much trouble in a head-to-head, 47-40, and he has decent approvals at 48/40. Still, on the re-elect question, 39% want to see him re-elected and 48% would like someone new. That would potentially present an opportunity for the Maryland GOP — if they had someone better than Ehrlich to offer, but he’s really the best they have. (By contrast, Barb Mikulski, who’s also up in 2010, has a 53/36 re-elect.)

OR-Gov: Moderate Republican state Sen. Frank Morse — who, without Rep. Greg Walden or state Sen. Jason Atkinson in the race, might actually have been the GOP’s best bet — said no thanks to a gubernatorial race despite some previous interest; he’ll run for re-election in 2010. Former Portland Trail Blazers center Chris Dudley has formed an exploratory committee to run in the Republican field, though.

PA-Gov: Here’s an interesting development in the GOP primary field in Pennsylvania: a very conservative state Rep., Sam Rohrer, is scoping out the race and has formed an exploratory committee. Rohrer isn’t well-known outside of conservative activist circles and his Berks County base, but against the moderate Rep. Jim Gerlach and the generally-conservative but ill-defined AG Tom Corbett, he seems like he could peel off a decent chunk of votes on the far right.

VT-Gov: Add two more Democratic names to the lengthening list in the governor’s race in Vermont. Former state Senator Matt Dunne officially got in the race, and another state Senator, Peter Shumlin, is planning to announce his bid in several weeks. Dunne lost the Lt. Governor’s race in 2006 to current Republican LG Brian Dubie, who is the only declared Republican candidate to replace retiring Gov. Jim Douglas.

WI-Gov: Rumors keep flying of the Obama administration leaning on ex-Rep. and Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett to run for Wisconsin governor. WH political director Tom Patrick Gaspard met with Barrett. With Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton having recently and surprisingly dropped her bid, Barrett has a free shot if he wants it.

AZ-03: Dems seem close to pinning down a candidate to run against Rep. John Shadegg in the Phoenix-based 3rd. Lawyer, businessman, would-be-novelist, and former Gary Hart staffer Jon Hulburd is prepping for the race.

FL-05: The blood is already flowing down Republican streets in the wake of the NY-23 debacle, even a thousand miles away. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, hardly the first name that comes to mind when you think of moderate Republicans (although she is a Main Street member), is now being challenged by a political newcomer in the GOP primary, Jason Sager. One of Sager’s key talking points is Brown-Waite’s support of Dede Scozzafava, on whose behalf Brown-Waite campaigned last week. And more generally, RNC chair Michael Steele (who one week ago was supporting Scozzafava) is flexing his muscles, telling moderates to “walk a little bit carefully” on health care or “we’ll come after you.”

FL-08: The NRCC has found a couple willing patsies to go up against Rep. Alan Grayson, whom they’ve been interviewing this week. The two contenders are businessman Bruce O’Donoghue (who owns a traffic-signal business… odd, but I guess somebody has to make them) and first-term state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle. (Carpetbagging real estate developer Armando Gutierrez Jr., radio talk show host Todd Long, who nearly beat then-Rep. Ric Keller in last year’s GOP primary, and three anonymous teabaggers are all in the race, but clearly not striking the NRCC’s fancy.) Attorney Will McBride (whose name you might remember from 2006, when he ran in the GOP primary against Katherine Harris) also talked with the NRCC this week, but just pulled his name from contention today.

MN-01: Another potential challenger to Rep. Tim Walz popped up: former state Rep. Allen Quist. Quist, who ran in gubernatorial primaries twice in the 1990s, is from the state party’s right wing and is a key Michele Bachmann ally (his wife used to Bachmann’s district director). Republican Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau has also been interested in the race.

MS-01: After all that work to clear the path for state Sen. Alan Nunnelee in the GOP primary in the 1st, the Republicans may still see a contested primary. Former Eupora mayor Henry Ross is seriously considering the race, and making preparations. This may not result in a pitched rural vs. suburbs battle like the previous primary, though; Eupora (pop. 2,400) is near the district’s southern end, near Columbus. Nunnelee is from the Tupelo area, which is also Democratic Rep. Travis Childers’ base.

NH-02: Katrina Swett has been slow to get into the field in the Democratic primary for the open seat in the 2nd, letting Anne McLane Kuster raise more than $200K unimpeded and secure the EMILY’s List endorsement. Swett may be ready to make a move, though, as she’s been touting a GQR internal poll giving her a 20-point lead in the primary over Kuster. (The actual polling memo hasn’t been released, though, as far as I know.)

NY-23: Doug Hoffman already has a key House leadership backer for a 2010 race: Indiana’s Mike Pence endorsed Hoffman.

PA-06: Looks like we have a real race in the Dem primary in the 6th. State Sen. Andy Dinniman, one of the biggest fish in the district and someone who had considered running himself, endorsed physician Manan Trivedi instead of presumed frontrunner Doug Pike. One advantage that Dinniman sees is that Trivedi hails from Reading in Berks County, the part of the district where Dems have traditionally been the weakest.

Turnout: If you’re wondering what the crux of what happened on Tuesday is, it boils down to terrible turnout. (And it’s pretty clear that higher turnout benefits Democrats, as younger and/or non-white voters who tend to be less likely voters are more likely to vote Democratic.) In Virginia (where the outcome seemed clear long ago), turnout was the lowest in 40 years, including a 10% falloff in key black precincts. And in New Jersey, turnout was also a record low for the state, even though the race was a tossup — indicating a lack of enthusiasm for either candidate. If you want to dig into exit polls for a post-mortem, the New York Times has them available for New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.

2010: The White House (or at least David Axelrod) wants to nationalize the 2010 elections, as a means of fixing the Dems’ turnout problems from this week. Expect to see Obama front and center in the run-up to next year’s elections.

Illinois Filings: With Illinois’s first-in-the-nation filing deadline for 2010 having passed, as usual, our filings guru Benawu is on the scene with a recap in the diaries; check it out.

106 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 11/5”

  1. Thanks for a great roundup again, Crisitunity!

    It’s of course exactly the right thing for the President to attempt to nationalize the 2010 Congressional elections, but I think his efforts are not too likely to have really great effects, except in fundraising. Ronald Reagan campaigned for all the Republican incumbents in the Senate in 1982, and it didn’t prevent the more motivated Democratic (that is, opposition) voters from being the ones to come out disproportionately and vote several of them out.

    One difference now is the amount of contact information Obama/Organizing For America has about likely supporters. Cell phones, email, and websites didn’t exist in 1982. But I would be cautious about expecting personal campaigning by the President to have great effects.

    The best way the Congress and President can improve prospects for Democratic incumbents and challengers is to get things done. Get the economy in gear, especially by increasing employment. Get a decent guaranteed health care insurance bill through Congress and signed, and make sure important provisions take effect and are palpable before the 2010 elections. Do something to deal seriously with the housing crisis, foreclosures, and homelessness. Get popular gay rights legislation (especially an end to DODT) done. Withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, or at least prevent a calamity.

    And the most important, short of a massive terror attack, God forbid, is the economy. If the voters’ wallets are fatter and their outlook is more secure, they are likely to reward incumbents – especially Democrats – and vote for Democrats for open seats. If the economy is in the toilet, the foreclosure crisis worsens, and no decent health care bill has been passed, don’t be surprised if Democratic voters stay home in disgust and the Republicans retake control of both Houses of Congress. Yes, even if a majority of people still think the Republican Party sucks.

  2. Let’s hear it!

    How close would Rubio have to get to Crist before Crist begins reaching out to Dems.  When is the primary.  And would the situation among Democrats ever be favorable enough for Crist to make the leap?

    Florida Democrats are on the ropes; it strikes me that a great many of them would be happy to have a competent, popular, and reasonable governor deliver them a Senate seat.  Crist has been a stand-up guy on a couple of issues: I recall him intervening to block a purge of voter rolls that clearly would have helped the GOP ahead of the Nov 08 elections, for no reason more obvious than it being the right thing to do (or rather, that his politics consists of appearing to be doing the right thing to do).  He has been a Republican, sure.  But it doesn’t strike me that he’s burned too many bridges with Democrats in his last three years.

    The big obstacle is that Kendrick Meek isn’t just some Democrat; he’s a black Democrat who has worked really hard to get where he is — viable in a statewide race in an important Southern state.  There will be sentiment that he shouldn’t be walked over.  But he loses even to Rubio in significantly many polls.  Do you decline a sure-bet victory with Crist because it’s Meek’s turn?  Or would Crist even have a sure path through the general, presuming he were escorted (giggle) through the primary?

    And how many people in Florida and Washington are thinking through these angles right now?  I bet a couple.  The GOP primary is looking worse and worse for Crist right now.  (Are GOP primaries closed, semi-closed, or open?)

    And finally: Obama has the power of appointment; what would he have to give Meek to get him out of the race?

  3. Still, I suspect there’s plenty of room for a DeVore-esque right-winger to come in and cause a stir. I don’t think Campbell (washed-up, probably too liberal to win in a GOP Primary) or Poizner (well-funded, but moderate and low-profile and just not very exciting). I suspect we’ll either see both Whitman and Fiorina wind up the nominees, or both wind up missing out; it depends on if “pro-business Republicans” can trump the teabaggers in CA.

  4. strengthen the phenomenon that I see, that is pro-Democratic outside the South, very very anti-Democratic in the South.  

  5. He needs to Campaign for house candidates as well as senatorial candidates.  Being here in Orange County, It is very possible that if Obama comes to southern California he could flip CA-44, CA-48, CA-45 and CA-50.

  6. State Treasurer Dean Martin could be a formidable opponent if he gets Frankie, Sammy and the boys to help with his campaign.

  7. How many times will NY-23 appear consecutively on daily open threads?

    And how many times will it be about Hoffman?

  8. running for Senate is no option if he has even the slightest national interest, and unlike Rudy, his chances are very very good, since the mainstream Republicans will need someone to flock to as other candidates try to out teabag each other.

  9. Just want to point out that Quist is a former state rep, not a current one.

    And that Walz is totally safe.  He is perfect for that district and even votes way mre liberally than the district would allow.

  10. There has to be a moderate candidate in there somewhere, and, if there’s enough splitting, he conceivably could win, though he’d be utterly DOA in the general election for the same reasons McCain was (and he’s considerably to the left of McCain).

  11. Just saw Rick Perry talking about the massive murder at Fort Hood.  He didn’t even know how many people were dead and KBH broke the news on why the shooter actually did it.  Rick Perry is a horrible governor and really hope this makes people see KBH in a new light and confirms how much I hate Perry.  He said I and me and my so many times.  He’s so narcasistic.

  12. Ohh…could we get a teabagger vs. NRCC candidate scenario here, too? I’m sure Nunnelee has voted for something they wouldn’t like. But whatever, it’s not like it matters: Travis Childers and his awesome, awesome mustache are unstoppable.  :)

  13. Yeah Mike. I’m sure Olympia Snowe and Joe Cao are shaking in their boots.

    Well, Cao probably is, but not because of anything having to do with his own party.  

  14. Bill Owens, the newly elected representative of the 23rd Congressional District, suggested today that he’s ready to support the House health care reform bill under consideration Saturday – provided he’s legally allowed to do so.

    It looks like Bill will get his wish, as he’ll get sworn in tomorrow afternoon.

  15. We really should go hard after the remaining Arizona Republicans, because they are so extremely far-right.

  16. Charlie Crist is still pro-life, pro-gun, pro-drug war and anti-gay. If I’m not mistaken, he’s really only “liberal” in some right-wingers’ eyes b/c of his stimulus support. That’s it. Oh, and he supported McCain instead of Huckabee or Romney. Whoop-dee-doo.

    Meek would trounce Crist in a Primary.

  17. … and wants to address the issue.  That coupled with support of the stimulus is more than enough to taint him in the eyes of FL Palinistas.

    Florida’s primary is closed to Democrats.  I’m not sure about independents.

  18. …since we know very well and good that Crist is not jumping ship.  But candidates who switch always move in the general direction of the party they switch to.  Ben Nighthorse Campbell was a pretty mainstream Democrat before he switched to the Republicans and shifted very much to the right.

    If he switched to the Democrats chances are he’ll shift on a wide variety of things.

    That said Crist has a lot better relationship with the establishment of his State Party than Nighthorse-Campbell and is a sitting Governor.  And isn’t as nearly off the conservative reservation as Dede was.  It is HIGHLY unlikely he’d switch.

  19. which is what he has to do to win.

    In a three way moderate race he’s not going to spend what Whitman is, and isn’t as policy respected as Campbell is, so what does he have to do to win?  Move way to the right, even though it isn’t his natural inclination.

    Whitman’s support is as thin as support can be.  If Poizner wraps himself in a neo-con flag, he could win.

  20. Back during the presidential primaries the McCain camp was able to gain huge momentum because Florida was his first victory without help from independents.

  21. the one that many suggest that he’s in,

    I suspect that most Ds would immediately welcome him into our party, let him have the D senate nomination, and find some way to placate Kendrick.

  22. how about moving the CA-10 line at least a mere few hundred feet so that Garamendi’s house falls within the new CA-10 boundaries?

    And thus eliminate altogether the silly carpetbagging charge for his future re-elections.

  23. Though I don’t know where in Sacramento Garamendi’s house is. I am working on a Garamendi district that includes all of Solano and part of Sacramento, to put Solano in one district.

  24. The formal process of being sworn in on the House floor requires a certain amount of scheduling and agenda-shifting that interrupts regular congressional business.

  25. I’m guessing, overwhelm doubts based on his positions. As a D, I”m guessing that Crist’s votes wouldn’t be much different from Bob Casey (PA).

    No doubt that many of us as activists would be skeptical. But he could very easily be near the mainstream in a central-north Florida context.  

  26. if his approvals stay healthy among Democrats and drop precipitously among Republicans, and if a string of polls shows him losing to Marco Rubio. I certainly won’t rule it out, but I don’t think that Crist will be in the same boat as Specter.

  27. Coburn. Sure, Kyl is conservative too, but he is leadership. I could have easily seen Coburn endorsing Devore. Glad to see I am not the only Conservative who recognizes that Chuck Devore WILL NOT WIN

  28. Al Gore had the charisma of dried toad.

    Mainstream republicans want a reasonable, fiscally responsible conservative to support.  If he has charisma, all the better, but if he doesn’t, so what?

    Pataki would destroy Palin in Orange County, or downstate Illinois, or the “alabama” part of Pennsylvania.  Wingnuts have driven mocerates into the arms of Team Blue, but lots of those folks would prefer Nixon/Ford/Rockefeller/Reagan/Dole leadership.

  29. But if any of the Democratic candidates win, it sure won’t be just because the president came to make an appearance. He’d say so, too. You’re right: He’s all about motivating people to act on their own initiative, and act together for the benefit of the community.

    But to take CA-44, in particular, Hedrick almost won without the support of any higher organizations.

  30. CA-44 has never been competitive in the general, and I really don’t see Hedrick winning at this point if his fundraising stays at its current point.

    I would say that if Obama made an appearance in Riverside or even Orange county it would get people excited to vote.

  31. He makes a half-hearted effort in Iowa, keeping his eye mostly focused upon New Hampshire. He figures he needs Huckabee or Palin (or any non-moderate who can’t win NH) to take Iowa, which would be seen as a blow to Romney (who’ll certain make a strong, well-funded, and probably-unsuccessful effort there). Assuming Romney leads in NH polling up ’til then, Pataki hopes the IA loss puts a dent into Romney’s #’s over there, and that he can run up a score with moderate Independents who were impressed with Pataki’s record as Governor.

    Still, I continue to suspect the nod is basically Romney’s to lose.  

  32. Granted, I don’t think Fiorina’s odds of unseating Boxer are all that hot either, but against DeVore, I absolutely believe Boxer can get 65% of the vote. Fiorina, if she’s lucky, can maybe pull Boxer/Fong numbers. I do think ’10 will be a pretty decent year for the GOP, but unless Fiorina runs a flawless campaign AND Boxer runs her first bad campaign ever, I think CA-Sen is likely-to-solid Dem.

  33. He is quite logically seen as a hypocrite who changes his stripes purely in an attempt to gain votes, and Mormonism is controversial among enough Evangelicals to be a problem in the Republican primaries.

  34. but Specter thought that he had an out because Democrats didn’t seem to hate him. It turns out that even Democrats have become dissatisfied with him, but he may still pull it out because enough of them still support him.

    If Rubio cuts Crist down to size where he’s leading him in the polls, my guess is that Democrats will sour on him as he moves right to try to offset Rubio’s advance. Switching parties is a delicate dance…even Arlen Specter may not emerge victorious, and Crist could have a difficult time of it unless Democrats stay patient with him longer than Republicans.

  35. by the idiotic statements Specter made shortly after changing parties, which clearly showed disloyalty to his new/old party. I doubt most party-switchers would behave so arrogantly and stupidly; in fact, I can’t remember anyone else who did.

  36. If he thinks Rubio is likely to climb ahead of him by 8/31/10, then he’s not going to spend the next ten months running right, he’s going to wait until Christmas or so and switch parties and start running left.  Eight months is a long time in which to dribble out your issue-conversions, find a new rhetorical and political center of gravity, and then run a primary.

    The big wrinkle is probably choice.  Most other issues are fuzzy enough to be finessed a little bit (guns, economics, complex policy issues like health care and climate change), but choice is pretty binary, and it’s supposed to stem from deeply held convictions.  That’s the difficult issue to flip on, and Specter, importantly, was already pro-choice in name if not in deed (Alito).  Crist would probably have to flip on choice if he wanted to immediately run in a Democratic primary.  And he would have to do all his ideological shifting in rhetoric only, since he doesn’t get to point to votes in Congress like Specter will.  That actually makes it more difficult, since he’ll have to be really clear and pointed in his rhetoric to close the deal with Dem primary voters, and that kind of strong rhetoric will make him seem even more of a changeling than he already would otherwise.

    There are definitely obstacles.  The question is, how much greater are they than the obstacles involved in beating Marco Rubio?  The right wing is PISSED right now, and McCain barely won Florida’s primary last year.  Winning a GOP primary in Florida in ten months is a pretty risky bet right now for Charlie.

  37. I very much doubt she will run a bad campaign. She stings like a queen bee, like we saw in her 1998 run when she turned a 5 point deficit into a 10 point win. It’s too early to tell what kind of campaign Fiorina will run, though the early signs don’t look too promising (for her, anyway).

  38. after being sworn in at noon. This, of course, is because he might become a Blue Dog and the President only likes Blue Dogs, as is obvious because the President didn’t meet with Garamendi.  

  39. That was the key zinger of Fiorina’s otherwise drab announcement… but that is pretty good zinger, not even necessarily at Boxer but lardass senate.

  40. anyone who’s remembered anything from government class knows that it isn’t easy to get a bill to the floor for a vote.  

  41. so knocking him out would be a tough order.  And I’ll be damned if the first out Senator gets to be him……  Obviously he wont be coming out of the closet any time soon but down the road, ugh, what a fucking disgrace to the GLBT community.  Have fun with your hag, I mean wife, Crist!

  42. I eagerly await a primary challenge on the basis of Cao’s obvious betraying of his district’s conservative electorate. heh.  

  43. In THIS district? Where 7% of the voters are Republicans? There are 4 prominent Republican’s in the district. One of them could be a primary challenger. She is Suzanne Terrel. She is done with elected office I think. Cao is the other Republican. The other 2, Rob Couhig, is running for mayor, and Jay Batt, a former city-councilor, is running again. The Republican’s here are very moderate, and they are the one’s who put Nagin over the top in 2006. Not gonna primary Cao out for being too moderate.  

  44. The runner-up from last time, always gets the nod the next time.  Huck and Palin split the wingnuts, and the sane GOPers go to Romney.  That’s how he could win it.


  45. and have little if any knowledge of how bills get passed.

    I was talking to the attendant in my local laundromat yesterday, and she is furious at President Obama, because he still hasn’t gotten health insurance for her.

  46. One bill every six years is bad, but more than that, it is pitiful sounding to the average person, who surely never took whatever mythical government class you took.

    99% of the population will find that statistic significant.

    (On the other hand, most Californians don’t want Fiorina authoring any bills in the Senate ever.)

  47. Even people on political sites, like Daily Kos, where you might hope they’d know better, come up with gems like this:

    the opportunity for massive pubilc works programs have passed…that shipped sailed when the President decided to water down his first big initiative [emphasis added]

    My reply:

    Let me remind you: It wasn’t the president who “decided to water down” his first big initiative; it was three Republican senators and a few right-wing Democratic friends of theirs. And furthermore, it’s because of those senators that any stimulus plan was passed at all.

    What percentage of the American voting public do you think knows or cares about the content I posted in my reply? 1%?

  48. Sane GOPers will not go to Romney over Pataki.  No way.  Romney has no constiuency, and can’t win the wingnuts no matter what.

    Assuming Pataki (or anyone of similar stature like Ensign was before his dalliances) runs, Romney has no niche at all.  He probably won’t even make it to New Hampshire.

  49. He’s a dull politician and he’s far to the left of the current extremist center of gravity in the Republican Party. I thought he sucked as Governor, but that was because he cut taxes for the wealthiest in order to decrease funding for things like education in New York City. But he’s pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and has a good environmental record. Since when has someone like that gotten through Republican Presidential primaries, and why do you think it’ll start now?

  50. With everybody crawling all over themselves to go right, the center of the party is for the taking, and just like with McCain, the Rep nomination will be determined by who wins the BLUE states in the R primaries.  

    It’s a weird phenomenon not talked about a lot, but carrying California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York in the primaries offers an absurdly disproportionate amount of delegates relative to the chances of carrying those states in the general election.

    Pataki could win the nomination by following the Obama map, which means he has to do well in New Hampshire.

  51. After Rudy imploded, McCain was the left alternative for Rep voters.  of course that isn’t saying much, but to say he ran as a hard right winger in the primaries is just hyperbole.

    As for pro-choice, who cares?  That’s the point, he isn’t competing for the litmus-test winger vote.  He’s looking for the voters who voted for Christie, or for Obama and McConnell.  This is not a majority of Republicans, but in a fractured front-loaded primary, it’s a major niche.

    He’s a better candidate for this niche than Rudy, and he is easily the most dangerous Republican out there at this point (but true, that is not saying much).

  52. And pro-choice isn’t a big deal to you, but it is to Republican primary voters. I repeat, can you tell me the last time a pro-choice Republican was nominated? Was Jerry Ford pro-choice? If so, he was the last one. And that won’t change in 2012, with the extremist makeup of today’s Republican Party.

  53. It looks like a partisan consolidation election.  It’ll be repolarizing, if such a thing can meaningfully be said to be possible.

    I do hope we end up with 230-240 Democrats left in the House and 60 to 62 in the Senate.  Not that I think I will greatly miss Bobby Bright or Blanche Lincoln.

  54. To suggest Mccain was to the right of Huckabee, or Romney in the primaries is just fanciful.  His positions were mildly left of mainstream Republican.

    And as for pro-choice, read what I wrote.  It doesn’t freaking matter what his views are, or what history is.  If there are 10 candidates falling over themself to out-right each other, there is a major opening for a candidate who will do well in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and other states where there are large numbers of non-wingnut Republicans.  These people are still a majority of the Republican party, and republican-prefering independants.  These people have no litmus test on choice, and in fact many are pro-choice.

    The way the primary system is made up, and the 2012 field is shaking out, a sensible, non-wingnut, sane republican stands a good chance of being the nominee (as long as not more than one runs) by dominating blue state primaries.

  55. within the Republican Party, though he did try his best to run to the right of his voting record, and kept running further right in the general election. You’re right about that. But he has never advocated a pro-choice position, and I disagree with you that “it doesn’t freaking matter.” I actually hope it IS likely for a sane Republican to win their presidential nomination, but as things stand, I doubt it.

  56. although for redistricting purposes I hope he does.  

    Lincoln, not so much.  The Dems are still a couple elections from losing control in Arkansas, although I think the GOP will be the dominant party in Arkansas a decade from now.

  57. Obama was never going to win AR, period.  They are too much like the Deep South and not enough of a black population to have pulled that off.

    And the ONLY other piece of evidence showing AR is truly slipping from us is Lincoln’s re-elects.

    We lost three state house seats at the same time Obama lost the state by 20%, still giving us 72/100 of them.

    AR will probably eventually slip but there is a real lack of evidence showing anything concrete.  Tradition dies hard and when you live in a state where everyone has been voting straight D for two centuries, it’ll take a good long awhile for that to come to fruition, at least in the down ballot.

  58. but there was no indication that he was going to lose by 20% either.  Kerry lost it by 8%.  Most people thought Obama would lose it by about 8-10%.

    Arkansas is shifting to the GOP rapidly, like other white Southern rural areas.  But it is so Democratic at the local level, much more so than the rest of the South, that it will take time.  

    The GOP will make large strides in Arkansas in 2010 like they will in the rest of the Deep South, but it probably won’t show up in the Congressional races.  The only one that they are really challenging, Vic Snyder, has a sane base in Little Rock.  You will see it a little, I think in the state house/Senate seats, but again, it will probably be mostly in the margins getting smaller than actual flips.

  59. Let’s see how a Democratic Presidential candidate who’s a good campaigner and also white does in AR before drawing too many conclusions.

  60. but that’s part of the political landscape in the South now.  You can’t say, well a white Democratic President would have done much better, because we do not have a white Democratic President right now.

    This is the final leg of the realignment of the country, that the white rural South becomes the GOP base.  Democrats will occasionally win races there, just like the GOP will occasionally win races in New England, but not often.

    Republicans will tie every Democrat to Obama in the white rural South.  And Obama is about as popular as swine flu among white rural Democrats.  And that is not going to change even if the economy comes roaring back, health care is passed, solve the nuclear issue with Iran, and win the war in Afghanistan, etc.  Obama could be uber popular outside the white rural South in 2012, and he will still get no more than 15-25% among white rural Southerners.

    The rural Texas representative who switched parties gave an honest reason for why he did so, he wanted to remain in office.  He wasn’t going to be able to as a Democrat as long as Obama is President.  

    Look at the R2000 polls, and see Obama’s strength in the South vs rest of the country, and see the GOP’s strength in the South vs the rest of the country.  It is literally two different planets.

  61. That’s true. And I’m not saying that. I’m saying that we don’t know whether a good white Democratic candidate might not win Arkansas, whereas we know that a good black Democratic candidate lost heavily.

    The rest of your post might well be right, though.

  62. You can’t say, well a white Democratic President would have done much better, because we do not have a white Democratic President right now.

    And why the hell cant anyone say that because I’ll say it right now.  A white Democratic candidate would’ve done much better than Obama did in Arkansas, point blank period.  There is absolutely zero reason for a Democrat, who improved the margin from the previous Democrat in every single state save for one group of states , southern states which lack a large enough black population to off-set the shift of white rural Southerners away from the black Democrat and instead to the white Republican.  

    Your logic for why one can’t say that is essentially, it’s predicting something we can’t prove as you cant do-over elections to see how other candidates would fair.  However, its quite hypocritical to say that one cant speculate and guess how other candidates couldve done when you speculate election results for an election an entire year from now and where many of the races dont even have candidates yet.   Especially considering your predictions never have an ounce of factual information accompanying them.

    And I rarely even disagree with your statements, you just don’t back a single thing up ever so I decide to be an ass and attack everything you say, simply because it’ll make you have to argue how you came to a conclusion.

  63. which he lost by 5 points.

    Arkansas has a lower percentage of black voters than those three states, I believe.

    I think Georgia could be winnable for President Obama, depending on who runs against him in 2012 and what state the country is in. MS and SC could be won only in a tremendous landslide. Maybe.

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