SSP Daily Digest: 4/11


CT-Sen: William Tong, a state rep we mentioned once before, is supposedly gearing up to enter the Democratic primary. He was recently in DC “making the rounds,” and is reportedly trying to hire staff. I don’t really see how he has a chance, given that two big names are already in the race, but maybe he’s hoping for a good enough showing to improve his name rec with the political classes for a future run. (Tong’s only in his late 30s.)

NE-Sen: State Sen. Deb Fischer, a sorta dark-horse candidate given that two statewide officials are already running in the GOP primary, is getting encouragement from a one-time statewide office-holder: former Gov. Kay Orr, the first Republican woman to be elected governor in the United States. Interestingly, the man who stopped Orr in her bid for re-election in 1990 is the guy Fischer would take on: Ben Nelson.

OH-Sen: As promised early last week, Josh Mandel filed paperwork with the FEC to form a Senate campaign committee, but his mouthpiece insists that it’s not a formal statement of candidacy, just “a step.”

WI-Sen: GOP ex-Rep. Mark Neumann, on a two-race losing streak, is hoping that the third time’s the charm. After offering some recent hints, Neumann’s now explicitly saying he’s considering a run against Herb Kohl. He hasn’t offered any kind of timetable, except to suggest he’s kinda-sorta waiting on Rep. Paul Ryan, the guy who inherited his seat in the House. (I seriously doubt Ryan will run, given his prominence in the House GOP leadership.) Neumann was last seen losing the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary to none other than Scott Walker. Before that, he’d been out of politics for a long time, narrowly losing the 1998 Senate race to Russ Feingold. Neumann has some personal wealth he could throw into the race, though of course Kohl has a ton of money (and a history of self-funding).


NY-26: The cries of “splitters!” from the Judean People’s Front/People’s Front of Judea battle raging in upstate New York have just grown louder. The leaders of one teabagger group, TEA New York, issued an endorsement to Republican Jane Corwin, furious as they are over Crazy Jack Davis appropriating their good name and branding his ballot line the “Tea Party.” Meanwhile, another teabagger org, the Tea Party Coalition, gave their seal of approval to Davis, who denounced TEA NY as a tool of the GOP. Oh, it also helps that the leaders of the TPC are on the Davis payroll. But for the full flavor, I strongly encourage you to read Alan Bedenko’s hilarious summation of all this mishugas.

TX-26: Dianne Costa, a former GOP mayor of Highland Village (pop. 17K) has filed paperwork to run in the 26th CD, currently held by backbencher Michael Burgess. Odds are this is a Schrödinger’s Seat situation. (H/t FEC Kenobi)

Other Races:

Las Vegas Mayor: I’m borderline uncomfortable reporting polls from Strategic National, because their chief, John Yob, established himself as an untrustworthy partisan hack almost right out the gate. But in any event, Jon Ralston obtained a copy (warning: Word file) of a poll they just took in this race, showing Carolyn Goodman ahead of Chris Giunchigliani by a 48-34 spread. It’s not clear who if anyone the poll was taken for, but oddly enough, it tests some negative messages against both candidates – not something you usually see in a poll that gets released into the wild. It also features percentages that go into the thousandths, which means you know it’s extra-accurate.

Wisconsin Sup. Ct.: It’s sort of redundant to begin a bullet linking to 538 by saying “Nate Silver crunches the numbers,” because of course that’s what he’s just done. Anyhow, click the link for his look at whether the Wackiness in Waukesha points to incompetence or fraud (conclusion: “[I]f you want to allege that there’s a conspiracy afoot, the statistical evidence tends to work against you.) Craig Gilbert of the Journal Sentinel also thinks the new numbers are plausible. And for a more amusing tidbit that definitely tilts in favor of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus being a boob, check out this entertaining story from Michigan Liberal.

Meanwhile, despite now facing very challenging odds (or perhaps because of it), JoAnne Kloppenburg has hired Marc Elias, the attorney who led Al Franken’s legal efforts in his recount battle. David Prosser is tapping Ben Ginsburg, who, in addition to representing Norm Coleman, played a big role in the Bush Florida recount team.


Voter Suppression: Huh – why is Jon Husted, Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State, trying to sound reasonable on the issue of voter ID? In the fact of pending legislation which would require voters to bring a government-issued photo ID with them to the polls, Husted instead is in favor of allowing people to use other forms of identification, like a utility bill or government-issued check. Given how deep VOTER FRAUD!!!!!!!1111 runs in the teabagger bloodstream, this is one issue (like immigration) on which any sensible Republican with higher ambitions would be wise to avoid, yet here Husted is sticking his neck out on it. What gives?

Redistricting Roundup:

Colorado: Colorado’s new congressional map is now not expected until April 21st, instead of April 14th, as originally planned. Republicans are whining about the delay, which is partly due to the fact that 2010 precinct-level data is still being churned out by the Secretary of State’s office. (The SoS claims they usually don’t get it out until June 30th… why should it take eight months to do this?) Anyhow, I don’t really understand why Republicans would be better off if Dems don’t use the 2010 data, unless they think Democrats are dumb enough to redistrict solely based on 2008 numbers. (They aren’t.) It doesn’t matter, though, since the GOP isn’t going to get their way here.

Connecticut: The redistricting process is (slowly) starting here in CT.

Florida: This is fiendish: Republicans in the legislature are pushing a constitutional amendment which would split Florida’s seven-judge Supreme Court into separate five-member civil and criminal divisions, and which would also shunt the three most senior members into the criminal section. That would give Rick Scott three new appointments, and whaddya know! the four most junior justices are all Charlie Crist appointees, while the longest-serving three were all elevated by Dem Gov. Lawton Chiles. This is appearing in the redistricting roundup because Dems are (rightly) accusing the GOP of trying to pack the court in advance of the inevitable legal battles over redistricting. In order for this measure to appear on the ballot before Nov. 2012, though, it’ll require the support of some Dems in the House. Let’s hope they aren’t stupid enough to fall for this.

Anyhow, the legislature is starting work on redistricting, but it sounds like they are in no hurry to get the job done (the above story might be part of the reason): House Speaker Dean Cannon told members who want to be on the redistricting committee to expect to work hard into next year. Of course, we do things quite a bit fast around here, so if you want to play around with the latest redistricting toy, check out this new online tool for remapping Florida.

Iowa: Today is the deadline for members of Iowa’s advisory commission to issue its recommendations on the state’s new set of maps, after which the lege has to give them an up-or-down vote. All signs point to passage, which would make Iowa the first state in the nation to complete its redistricting process.

Louisiana: Well, after a quick start with a flurry of plans getting subject to scrutiny, things have definitely gone off the rails in Louisiana. Five of the state’s six Republican congressmen sent a letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal asking the legislature to delay federal redistricting until next year – and Jindal apparently agrees with the idea. Daily Kingfish describes this as a big setback for Jindal, given that his party controls the entire lege. It is a little surprising to me that one man, Rep. Charles Boustany, apparently has the power (and the allies in the state Senate) to mess with Jindal like this, but perhaps the governor simply thinks he can steamroll Boustany after the November elections, assuming Republicans gain more seats.

New Jersey: The fallout continues: Three NJ legislators have announced they will move into new districts so that they can run again this fall, and apparently all of them are being welcomed to do so by their own parties. Of course, it’s still early, and some people will definitely get squeezed out by the end.

Ohio: This is actually the same link at the voter suppression story above, but it contains a throw-away line at the end in which SoS Jon Husted says congressional districts need to be re-drawn by Sept. 1st in order for Ohio to hold its primary by March 2012. (Otherwise it would have to get moved – to May, according to the article, but if the process really drags on, who knows how late things could get shifted.)

Sacramento: You can redistrict the city of Sacramento, California in this online game.

Virginia: Played for fools – that’s what Virginia House Democrats are. GOP Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is praising the Republican gerrymander of the state House, which passed with near-total Dem support in that body, despite representing a deliberate plan to fuck over Democrats, as having “strong bipartisan support.” At the same time, he’s slamming the Dem state Senate map, which GOPers had the good sense to vote against en masse, as some kind of unholy gerrymander. Duh! Bolling is trying to goad the lege into adopting maps produced by Gov. Bob McDonnell’s commission (not gonna happen), but he’s also suggesting that McDonnell could “substitute” the commission’s maps for whatever the legislature passes. I admit I’m not entirely clear on how that would work – a particularly egregious use of the line item veto, or something along those lines? Seems risky.

Of course, all of this is predicated on bipartisan incumbent-protection agreement which includes the federal map as well. But is this deal unraveling? Dem state Sen. Janet Howell, who created the senate map, says she “doubts” her body’s congressional map will match the House’s, which was released just last week (the Janis plan). I’m surprised to hear this, because I thought a clear understanding had been worked out between the two houses, but I suppose there is still some negotiation left to be done over the federal map.

291 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/11”

  1. Husted knows that the plan supported by the Ohio legislature won’t survive a court challenge, but there’s more to that here.  The state of Ohio has a consent decree with the League of Women voters after the Ken Blackwell debacle that prevents Ohio from doing a lot of the stuff that the GOP wants.  He is forced to remain not extreme on this issue, because the state is forced to remain non-extreme on this issue.

    Plus, it helps maintain some bogus “moderate” credibility.

        1. Koster faces re-election in 2012, and I read this from his Wikipedia:

          Koster narrowly defeated State Representative Margaret Donnelly in the Democratic primary for the nomination for Missouri Attorney General. His campaign was not easily won because he had to overcome the label of “opportunist” as a result of switching parties during the ’08 election


          Donnelly is now Director of Health and Senior Services in Nixon’s cabinet, but I don’t know if there’s any other better candidates. Also, about Koster, bare in mind that the only other Dem AG to file suit on healthcare was Buddy Caldwell, and he switched parties soon after.

  2. The Governor can make amendments to a bill and send it back to the legislature, which can either accept or reject the amendments. The idea is that McDonnell leaves the House plan intact but makes changes to the Senate plan to screw over the Democrats, while making whatever concessions are necessary to get two Dem Senators to vote for it. And as usual, the Democrats are more interested in fighting with each other than defending themselves from the Republicans.

    1. young voters sitting out or the electorate just being much more conservative than it normally is? I was under the impression it was the latter.  

  3. Though it is definitely a small town, it is probably one of the more important towns in the Fort Worth area, so don’t be surprised when Costa actually does well in Republican primary.

    As for it being a case of Schrodinger’s seat, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. Most expect that a new seat will emerge somewhere around that area. Unfortunately (or fortunately? Costa is Hispanic) the seat will probably be Hispanic majority.  

  4. I know nothing about Tong, so maybe he’s nothing more than a name on the ballot, I like Murphy’s chances better if it’s just him on the ballot vs Susie B rather than a three-way race.

    1. but it’s not so Republican that it doesn’t elect Democrats. It’s not like a contrast between Maryland and Mississippi–that was my point.

      I’m sorry if this is a stupid question, but what color is 06 on this new map? The picture linked to above doesn’t say, or at least it doesn’t make it clear enough for me to see. I’m assuming it’s the blander of the two greens. If that’s the case, then it doesn’t look that bad. Not great, obviously, but not that bad. A quick glance, if I am looking at the right counties, shows me a bunch that gave Obama about 45 percent.

      If this is in fact the map that is put in place, perhaps I will feel differently when I look at things more specifically. But right now, I still feel the same way. There are some areas that will just never vote for one party, but most aren’t like that. Most are more open than we let on, and if we are going to contest a state on one level, we should contest it on all levels, if we have the resources.  

  5. Needless to say, the maps will probably be not good for Democrats, although Mitch Daniels and House Speaker Brian Bosma have both seemed hostile to the idea of ‘aggressive’ gerrymandering.  

    1. didn’t he go to Alaska to film an ad, only to get attacked by insects or something?

      Speaking of which, can anyone link me to that SSP 2008 timeline of the Republican collapse? I want to relive the good ol’ days.

  6. They are still so pissed about the passage of Props 5 and 6 because it means they will never have a supermajority in either house.

    1. I think some Independents might well vote a Romney/Casey ticket. Obama should perform roughly ’08 numbers among Democrats, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Indies vote-split against him.

        1. haven’t kicked in when you haven’t spent that much money to begin with. I’m not advocating dropping millions into each district with the hope that something sticks. I’m talking about party building, for both the short and long term.

          As far as coordination goes, the same applies. If there wasn’t much coordination to begin with, then actually having some would probably help a lot. I’ve heard mixed things about coordination and the Obama campaign, by the way.

          But back to the money. Let’s assume that, in addition to what the DCCC and state parties might spend and what a candidate himself might spend, Obama decided to spend $1 million on 30 different congressional districts specifically for those districts in different states. Considering he’s bound to raise at least as much as he did last time but won’t have a primary opponent and considering that he already spent a lot of money building an infrastructure in these states last time, does it really seem like too much? And that’s just if he raises what he raised last time. If he’s going to be closer to $1 billion, then it’ll be a drop in the bucket.

          Yes, I want him to spend money in a state like Texas, but remember that this strategy is built around being in states that he would be contesting anyway, and the extra spending would benefit him at the same time. So we’re talking about spending perhaps $5 or $10 million in Florida, or maybe $3 million more in Wisconsin, we are already spending $50 million there, or $15 million in Wisconsin. And again, I cannot emphasize this enough: it’s going to benefit the Obama campaign, because it will likely raise turnout for him, too. If his fund raising is strong enough, he’ll probably have a lot of extra money to burn, and I see little reason not to spend it in states where he will already be for the purpose of giving him a large congressional base.  

    2. With the impending shutdown looming going on during the calls, Obama certainly dropped a few percentage points as a result.

      If the current CNN poll is accurate, it might be a temporary blip.  Also, PPP can have an outlier here or there, too…

  7. The republican state legislature is unveiling their redistricted maps later today. I’ll post a link once it’s up.

    1. clear what the hell will happen. I try not to guess what these people will do since they seem to change their views at the drop of a hat.  

    1. Back when he signed the tax cut extension, it seemed like he was betting he could piss off the base while trying to warm up to those outside of it, which if what I saw and heard was any indication wasn’t a bad move at all. Regardless of what you or I thought about it, we were likely to vote for him in the end, but others weren’t. It made sense to suck up to them. But when does it stop?

      If he’s willing to take a harder stand in future budget negotiations after signing the deal, fine. He probably has more credibility with those outside of the base, so he can now try to get back in the good graces of those inside it. But if he’s going to propose something truly ridiculous, then I am not sure what the hell to think.

      I’m actually curious to see how he reacts to the debt ceiling fight. I kind of want him to call their bluff and have Jamie Dimon and other Wall Street types start screaming at the Republicans. It’d be a symbolic victory more than anything–even Boehner’s not dumb enough to play too many games with this–but it’d be a nice signal he’s not a push over.

      What leaks suggest he’s going to push back against Ryan, by the way?  

  8. One of the downfalls of Twitter is that we get to panic about tweets like this from P.P.P.:

    PA poll results interesting mix- bad for both Obama and Corbett, pretty good for Casey. Releases start with Obama tmrw!/ppppolls

    A temporary dip wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but if he’s at 40 percent approval and has Romney beating him by six, I’d be a little startled.  


    I don’t see how this kind of thing helps Missouri Democrats at all. It gives Republican arguments credibility and bipartisan support. Plus, it directly goes against the vote of Claire McCaskill, your vulnerable incumbent in the Senate..

    Dumb move by the Attorney General.  

  10. Meanwhile, the IndyStar reports that Richard Mourdock, Lugar's primary challenger, will report raising around $135,000 since announcing his campaign in late February.

    I said over the weekend that I'm increasingly convinced Lugar will lose, and I stand by that, but one has to admit that's quite a disparity. With Mourdock's support among the activist base against Lugar's three million dollar warchest, we're looking at one hell of a fight here. 

    As an aside, I heartily approve of the Star's choice in images for that article. Lugar looks like someone's just told him he's raised “ONE MILLON DOLLARS” and he's raising his arms in glee.

  11. But if Mazie Hirono or Colleen Hanabusa were elected to the Senate, they would be the first Buddhists to serve in that body, no (lest I be accused of hating Christians/Jews/Wiccans/etc. by asking this question)?  

  12. Louisiana state senate ignored Gov Jindal and passed another redistricting plan.

    This bill creates a minority-influence district that runs from Monroe, to Shreveport, and then to Beauregard Parish. African-Americans make up 36% of the registration in that district, while the majority Af-Am LA-2 is maintained at a 65% minority registration.

  13. I believe it was mentioned in the Schilling thread that Jessica King will run again against Hopper. Now she has made it official: http://bluecheddar.wordpress.c

    I do not know much about her, but if she came within 200 votes of unseating Hopper means that she definitely has a good chance and is a pretty strong opponent.  Also,  I do not believe she has the personal problems Gordon Hintz has.  

  14. Photobucket

    Dark Blue = Democratic Incumbent

    Light Blue = Democrat retiring

    Light Yellow = Republican retiring

    Dark Red = Republican incumbent


    The Donald as a 3rd Party candidate…..

    Donald Trump will “probably” run as an independent candidate for U.S. President in 2012 if he does not receive the Republican party’s nomination, he told the Wall Street Journal in a video interview on Monday.

    If it actually happens, I say “invest in Texas!”

  16. I would be completely disgusted if that happened.  Why the hell can’t Democrats stick together?

  17. The House of Delegates seems to have a rump left consisting mostly of people in safe seats who frankly, don’t seem to be the sharpest knives in the drawer.  

    The Senate has plenty of swing seat members, who know the meaning of a majority and know their own and their colleagues seats will be at risk.

  18. And end up with the whole thing going to court, which will de-gerrymander all maps, which the GOP will not like one bit.

  19. Rs would be complete fools if that plan went anywhere. I live in VA-10 so I hope the House plan isn’t the final result, but I don’t see how it goes above 43-45 Deeds at this rate

  20. Maybe this is one of those times.  I don’t care why he is moderating on the issue, only that he is.  

    If it gives him credibility with moderates, so be it, I just don’t know that he has anywhere to mvoe up in the near future.  I see a Strickland Guv comeback in 2014 and I doubt he challenges Portman in 2016.

  21. But I mean think of the NY Senate the past few years.  Dems were flipping every which way for power and such.  Would someone flip to get a safe seat, of course they would.

  22. If the Senate agrees to the amendments, then the Democrats are screwed, and if they don’t agree to the amendments, the maps as they stand currently will be adopted.

  23. And it’s refreshing to see a celebrity candidate who seems to be interested enough in the political and governing process to start at the local level, rather than jumping into a higher profile race only on their celebrity.

  24. It sucks that she won’t run against a GOP incumbent, so I guess I’m against her run.  I’m not sure how much of an improvement she’ll be and if one is really needed.  

    I’m not the biggest fan of those who run from the spouse’s seat but its not always a bad thing (HRC, Jean Carnahan, heck even Mary Bono-Mack gets re-elected each year).  i just wish it was an open seat race.

  25. Vilsack should be a mensch and run IA-04.  (If women can be dudes they can be mensches too, right?)  The district is significantly more liberal than the old IA-05 and a strong Dem candidate would be even money if Steve King wins the primary.

  26. Name: Dianne Salvagno Costa

    Occupation: Co-owner, Sharp Focus Centers

    Origin: San Antonio

    The four guests at my fantasy dinner party would be: King Solomon, Ronald Reagan, Sean Connery and my husband.

    If I won the lottery, here’s what I’d do just for me: Build a vacation home for me and my family in my paternal grandfathers’ hometown of Lago di Garda, Italy.

    So she isn’t Hispanic, but Italian…

  27. Apparently the new maps leave only IN-1 and IN-7 as reliably Democratic districts (not a surprise), with Donnelly’s IN-2 losing Kokomo and most of LaPorte County, which are replaced with heavily Republican Kosciusko and Elkhart Counties.

    IN-9 is being narrowed and turned into a more north-south district, with several counties on its eastern and western current borders being shuffled into IN-6 and IN-8. The new IN-9 then stretches all the way north into Johnson and Morgan counties, which are part of the set of strongly Republican counties that ring Indianapolis itself. Monroe County remains part of IN-9, but the additions to the north will likely counter its strong Dem lean.

    Not sure what the other districts look like yet, but apparently Todd Rokita’s house has been put into the new version of IN-7, so they’ve at least played around with the borders of Carson’s district.  

  28. Congressional map is here. First thought: what's the point in taking that tiny part of Crawford and putting it into IN-8?

  29. and friends are quietly taking the steps necessary to allow her to jump in when she wants to without explicitly using the tragedy as a stepping stone. It shows how shrewd they are. There’s obviously no guarantee she will be able to make the race, but it looks like she will be ready to try if she wants to. Also, this:

    “Let’s say that she’s 90 percent [recovered],” says Mike McNulty, Giffords’ last campaign chairman. “Well, we’ve had congressmen in Arizona who didn’t even have a brain. So, it’s not like you have to be as talented as she is to be good at it.”

  30. Unfortunately they’ll be able to sell a map to the public really easily as it looks really pretty… which is all that matters to most people…  

  31. 1 — It could have been worse.  They could have been even more partisan in what they did with IN-02.

    2 — The big winner with this map are the Indy suburbs.  Now, there will be a district with it’s population anchor (or at least a strong inlfuence that will grow by 2020) in the E, W, N, and S suburbs for different districts.

  32. Donnelly will have to become a dyed in the wool blue dog Democrat to have a good chance in 2012.

    IN-08 is nice.

    All in all, not egregious except for IN-09.

  33. More notably, look how far Palin has fallen – she’s garnering 5 percent in the Florida GOP primary, behind Pawlenty! As far as the numbers MD is using, it looks like the voter model is probably plausible. In the cross-tabs, Obama’s bleeding Democrats and losing among Independents. I think Florida will actually be one of the first states to flip for the GOP – probably third after Indiana and North Carolina.

  34. I’m not sure he’d ever poll close to Brown, whereas Mandel might at times poll close enough so as to force us to spend some money there.  

  35. … but the district got a lot harder.  I’m actually suprised it wasn’t made even more Republican.

  36. IN-2 is more Republican than it used to be. Maybe Donnelly could hold it in a good year. IndianaProgressive is right; they could have been more aggressive and ensured Donnelly’s loss, but he still has a (weak) chance here.

    IN-9… it’s not good. Leave it at that.

    I think IN-8 is actually going to be our best hope for a pickup in the next couple cycles here. The three counties it picks up in the east on this map are winnable for a Dem, and I don’t think it loses any Dem areas it had previously, although I could be wrong about that.  

  37. Unfortunately, there’s no precinct-level data out there for counties that are splits.

    Here’s what I figured out:

    Without LaPorte and Kosciusko, the new IN-02 went 49.7 – 48.9 Obama. I don’t know the partisan leanings of the part of LaPorte that was left in, but Kosciusko is heavily Republican, so it probably flips to a McCain district, although barely..

    IN-08 actually got improved slightly, it’s now 50.5 – 48.0 McCain, where before it was 51-47 McCain.

    IN-09, on the other hand, is strengthened for the Republicans. Without the parts of Morgan and Scott, it’s 51.8 – 46.8 McCain, and with those two it probably ups the Republican performance by a percent or so.

  38. The “Bloody 8th” will continue to be potentially competitive, given the right Dem / political climate.

  39. In another 2010 it’s gone for sure, and maybe against a strong opponent (probably someone more mainstream than Wacky Jackie) in a neutral year. But if Donnelly had run in 2008 under these lines I’m sure he would have still crushed Puckett.

  40. Not to beat a dead horse here, but one of the reasons I obsess about this state so much is that it puzzles me. It’s center-right, sure, and maybe a little more than that, but it’s not Utah or even Kansas. It is, as others have said, more like Ohio. And I always ask, what would a Democrat from Massachusetts be so much more accepted in Ohio than in Indiana? Is it because we never ask for their votes? In large part, I think it is. I get that Ohio is bigger and has a different set of areas which might be more open to voting for a Democrat, but there aren’t any Chicagos, New Yorks, or San Fransiscos in the state. But we always contest Ohio, even more so in the last few cycles, whereas we never contested Indiana, unless Clinton or Dukakis did without it being well known.

    What does this have to do with redistricting? Well, if Obama contests Indiana, which I suspect is the plan right now (it could certainly change depending on a variety of factors), I’d like to see them contest every congressional seat in the state. Well, maybe not whatever district Burton ends up in, unless it’s somehow made less Republican. Perhaps 2008 was a fluke, and perhaps for a variety of factors, 2012 will be that much harder. But it’s not at all clear, to me at least, it’s an insurmountable challenge. As I’ve said many times, the fact that Mike Pence’s district gave Obama 46 percent of the vote leads to me think they are much more open to voting for a Democrat than we assume. If we run good candidates and devote the resources necessary, with a presidential campaign backing us up, perhaps we can flip a marginal seat or two.

    I’m not sure this will happen, but if something like it does, and we succeed, I’d be willing to bet that barring some unusual circumstances (a Republican candidate imploding, for instance) it blows down the idea that some areas are just off limits. If that happens, perhaps it will encourage some aggressive efforts on the part of congressional Democrats.  

  41. The current IN2 went 54-45 Obama, so it’s probably about 4 points more red now. I’d give Donnelly about 60-40 to hold it in 2012, but he would be lucky to hold it in 2014 when young voters will likely sit out again.  

  42. I was only made aware of it a few weeks ago reading the Plunderbund blog (and excellent blog abouot Ohio politics), but I know few details.  What I do know is the Husted’s hands are somewhat tied by this decree.

  43. what to expect from his big speech Wednesday. For both political reasons and for personal reasons, I’m hoping he draws a line in the sand about budget cuts, entitlement reform (perhaps, you know, mentioning how the P.P.A.C.A. passed and will help if we just follow the law), and tax changes. He doesn’t have to go full on Dirty Fucking Hippy Commie from San Fran to make people like me, and a lot of others, happy, I think. Instead, he just has to…well, do something different than what he’s doing now.

    I’m not sure I’d say he looks weak. I think I’d say he looks…well, not timid, but not gutsy or bold or audacious. He’s got an everlasting credibility with a large portion of this country. He should use it to his advantage.  

  44. Is predicted on selling himself as “not as bad as the GOP” and hoping it works. It could. Such a strategy worked for George Bush, but he was far more popular with his own base than Obama is.

    Everyone here cites Reagan, pointing to the similarity with Obama’s current numbers and arguing that as the economy improves they should go up. I think there is some truth to this, but not as much as people suggest. Obama’s problem in my view is not the economy per se, but his perceived indifference or lack of action towards it. People would forgive unemployment and hard times if they were sold as being part of a long-term -plan as Reagan and FDR seemed to have. Obam by contrast seems to give the indication of giving no plan other than waiting for the buisiness cycle to improve.

    This is dangerous because someone else whose numbers resemble those Obama has now was Jimmy Carter, who still did very well in polling match-ups versus the likely Republicans at this point despite his numbers sitting in the low 40s. He also bet on a strategy of being better than the alternative only to see it blow up in his face. My impression is that Obama is giving much more of a Carter vibe than a Reagan one right now.

  45. Nearly six in ten Americans approve of the eleventh hour budget deal struck between Congress and the White House to avert a government shutdown, according to a CNN poll released on Monday. And what’s more, a plurality give Democrats the most credit for making it happen.

  46. I am very worried about the future Medicare.  I think he’s honestly wiling to bargain that away if necessary.  That would be scary.  I certainly hope he’s not that politically stupid, but no one ever knows where Obama really stands when he comes to governing.

  47. I just don’t know what to expect and think. Sometimes, I feel like I am operating in a different galaxy. I keep hearing people around me bash Obama, as if he’s somehow supposed to magically move past the Republicans their refusal to operate in good faith. And while I think he’s got a much better handle on the situation that people give him credit for, I am not sure what the end point is.  

  48. Ohio has the three Cs, Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland. These are pretty big cities. Indiana has Marion County (Indianapolis), which has lately become quite D but didn’t always used to be that way (Kerry won it by the skin of his teeth). Other than that, the only Democratic bases in the state are the Chicago suburbs, Monroe County (Bloomington), and to a lesser extent, St. Joseph County (South Bend) and Tippecanoe County (West Lafayette).

    Pence’s old district may have voted 46% for Obama, but this new map puts Madison and Delaware counties in separate districts, essentially making the 6th unwinnable. If by “contest” you mean pour money into a race we have .001% chance of winning when there are better opportunities, I disagree.

  49. That sounds like the intro to a mind-blowing bar joke; “So, King Solomon, Ronald Reagan and Sean Connery walk into a bar…”

    What a weird list, what a weird woman.  

  50. King Solomon was well-known for his massive deficit spending and increasing the size of government. His son’s refusal to entertain the idea of a tax cut actually split the kingdom.  I’ll bet she has no clue as to that fact.

  51. The GOP gets to gerrymander the House, the Dems do the same to the Senate, and the Congressional map is incumbent protection.

    Why do you think this could happen?  Bolling could just be breathing hot air.  He’s a position separately elected from the Governor and thus does not have his ear on everything.

  52. I thought Goode was the one that was attacked by insects. I couldn’t keep them straight… at least Mike Sodrel was memorable.  

  53. He didn’t even try to make the case that the GOP cuts would cost tons of jobs.  It’s OK to fight and still lose.  He doesn’t believe that, though.

  54. …especially since Trump has “announced” a run, whereas Palin has not.  So, he’s automatically more viable in a poll respondent’s eyes, simply because he is “in”.

  55. His strength in the state comes from non-whites. According to the exit polls, there wasn’t really a change in the support from whites from 2004 to 2008, so I’m not sure why there’d be a huge change from 2008 to 2012.  

  56. Bush had his issues too with his base because he favored humane immigration reform while the base was yelling for Draconian, iron curtain-style methods.

  57. The GOP knows their field sucks badly, so at some point, some dark horse candidate is likely to step in, and that person may end up being the unlikely superstar that they need.

    Of course, the election isn’t this year, and if you are going to beat up on your base, best to do it now than later, but what are you going to sell later?

  58. He is either Carter or Reagan. At least in the end game.As you say, I think the economy will decide that. But he seems to have a better idea about how Washington works than Carter ever did.

  59. Obama’s numbers go up and down, but they aren’t going up and down between 35 percent and 55 percent. They are going up and down between 43, or 44, and 50 percent. As much as I worry about a small dip in the ratings and celebrate a positive poll result, I realize as much as anybody they aren’t that relevant to where these guys will be a year from now.

    There’s also the fact that none of these guys appear to be a Reagan-type. Perhaps I don’t have an appreciation for how he was viewed at the time, but I have a hard time believing slashing income tax rates and railing against welfare programs was viewed with the same suspicion as questioning the president’s birth certificate. In other words, these people are so far off the deep end that they make a true outsider to presidential politics, like Kucinich or Perot, look normal and mainstream. And while it’s possible that someone like Daniels or Huntsman gets the nomination, it doesn’t seem likely. We are much closer to getting a nut job like Bachmann, whose negative traits aren’t even remotely on the radar of the electorate. I suspect that if the nominee is as bad as it seems it could be for the Republicans, he could not do much of anything and still receive 350-plus Electoral votes.

    I also suspect that if we get continued positive job growth of at least 200,000 per month, he will see a much steadier approval rating that will be at or above 50 percent. If it’s closer to 300,000, it’ll go even higher. In other words, while not all of it is the economy, a lot of it is.  

  60. SSP is a young community, in contrast I’m actually old enough to remember Carter.  I was still a kid, but the events of his last year or two were so traumatizing for the country that there was no missing it even as a child.

    There is nothing that’s happened in the Obama years that even remotely compares.

    So comparing Carter’s polling to Obama’s is just nonsense.

    We had the Iran hostage crisis, by a wide margin the most traumatizing foreign policy experience America has suffered in my living memory.  Vietnam certainly was at least as bad, but that was before I was old enough to be aware of politics.  The hostage crisis frankly was far more traumatizing than 9/11, because it went on forever and Americans felt powerless and helpless the whole time; in contrast, 9/11 was one Godawful day followed by an immediate pivot toward avenging it.  You simply cannot imagine the national trauma the hostage crisis caused if you didn’t live through it, it was in our face every day for a very long time.

    And then on top of that, we had 20% inflation at the same time as 20% interest rates.  For anyone reading this, reading these numbers on a computer screen doesn’t come close to absorbing what they meant for people’s everyday lives.  It was horrific financially for everyone but the super-rich, it basically neutered your paycheck so that you felt practically as if you were unemployed.  Again, this fostered a deep trauma and feeling of powerlessness and helplessness that I cannot describe.

    Carter’s last year was the worst national morale has been in my lifetime for the largest number of people.  I say that even compared to the mid/late-60s when there was Vietnam and civil rights and so much else, because those were things that a lot middle-income white folks, who dominated the population and electorate far more than today, could insulate themselves from.  But the traumas of Carter’s last year or so were in everyone’s face, there was no hiding from them.

    None of this is to blame or absolve Carter in those messes.  It’s just to point out that whether any of it was his fault or not, things happened that Obama is not dealing with, and likely won’t have to deal with.

    Obama’s trajectory is nothing like Carter’s, not remotely close.

    And none of this considers that the Republicans had heavyweight candidates back then; Reagan and George H.W. Bush were heavyweights, as was Dole who was the ’76 VP nominee.  So there were a lot of big names out there for Team Red.  Nothing like that today.

  61. Was he thinking it’s fine to give in now and then refuse to give in so easily on future negotiations just to give an indication to voters and investors he’s serious about deficit reduction? If so, I get it.

    We keep hearing he’s going to talk about cutting entitlement spending on Wednesday. That could mean any number of things, so I refuse to react until I see what he’s saying. He’s also going to renew his call for higher tax rates on the rich, if news reports can be believed, but what else?  

  62. It’s OK to fight and still lose.

    No, it definitely is not.

    I remember when that bullshit came about over tax cuts. He spent months fighting for them only to have Pelosi punt. I remember even you going to OpenLeft and saying “here’s Obama fighting, lets have his back” only to get a “meh” reaction there. “This is what he’s supposed to do, he’s not hero.”

    Then he lost and compromised.

    And even YOU called it a sell out.

    There’s no such thing as fighting and losing.  

  63. It’s one thing to propose a small change here and a small change there to Medicare. Despite the reforms in the health care bill, there’s probably more that could be wrung out of the program while still not gutting it. But there’s virtually no reason, at all, to buy into Ryan’s plan. Even Alice Rivlin came out and described how bad his version, as opposed to their joint proposal, was. And if he does propose some cuts, he has to counteract them with strong language to go against Ryan so that it doesn’t sound like he is agreeing with him.

  64. The fact he has to deal with a Republican House means everything. He looked plenty strong by refusing to sign another CR without a long term deal.  

  65. In every debate, you always find 60%-70% of Democrats saying “compromise”

    Democrats aren’t a “line in the sand” party.  

  66. It’s just that, well, they’re lines made of sand. They’re easy to move. I think Obama knew he could get things like START and DADT done if he gave Republicans the tax cuts. And he sure as hell drew a line in the sand on Iraq and Afghanistan. 100K troops gone from Iraq since he was sworn in, and we’re gonna start leaving Afghanistan in 2014 unless Obama loses. He’ll try to frame it as us “winning” the war, but really it’ll be a stalemate. He doesn’t want us there though, no matter what short of al-qaeda or someone else overthrowing Karzai or something.

  67. It’s clear that the Obama administration hasn’t been able to play even political checkers since he got into office.  The man has extraordinary political skill–why he refuses to use it is beyond me.

    We can only hope this is a rope-a-dope of some sort.  Everyone is on edge about the Wednesday thing.  Considering the president’s history, there’s a good reason why.  There are some leaks suggesting that Obama will push back hard against Ryan.  We have to hope he does, for all of us, but especially himself!

  68. In 2004 he was extremly popular among Republicans. You had books like Fred Barnes’ Rebel in Chief coming out left and right. It was a triumphal campaign, in which Bush sounded like he was running with a 70% approval rating despite his numbers being much lower. And he maintained that impression by basically ignoring Kerry and the Democrats, and forcing Kerry to basically run against shadowy third pary groups while Bush remained above the fray.

  69. I live amongst Republicans, they didn’t even think he was a conservative. They thought he punted on taxes, on entitlements and only gave lip service to social issues.

    They just wanted to see liberals cry.  

  70. Lazio might have had a chance if he ran in 2010 (and pls note I said MIGHT as in he MIGHT have a chance of winning of hitting a royal straight).

    Ed Cox must be pulling out whats left of his hair over this. He tried over and over again to get Lazio to run for Senate last year. Instead Lazio horrid campaign created a path for Carl Palidino to win the GOP primary.

    If you ask me its 2 years too late for Lazio.

  71. There are some rumors flying around that Rick Lazio may run for Suffolk County Executive. It all sounds pretty non-committal from Lazio, but given Steve Levy’s recent implosion I wouldn’t be surprised if he went for it.

  72. There aren’t any Paladino-calibur Tea Partiers on the horizon to defeat Lazio here. The other possible candidates are David Malpass, Betsy McCaughey, Dan Senor and maybe Joe DioGuardi again, and they all kinda suck.

  73. He didn’t want taxes to go up. The GOP would happily have allowed that. Hence the compromise.


    I feel like we’ve seen a lot of this stuff lately. However dumb the budget cuts might be, they don’t look like that bad of a body blow. I think we are, in other words, headed for stronger employment growth, or at least I hope we are. No, 200,000 or even 300,000 additional jobs per month still isn’t enough, but if it’s sustained until election day, he’s got to be a shoe-in. The trajectory matters more than anything else, and despite a few possible stumbles, like the budget deal, we seem to be okay.  

  75. They badly suck.

    When your potential candidates are a Bear Sterns investment banker, a Republican turned Democrat turned who the hell knows and a proven liar, the spokesman for the misadventure in Iraq, and a congressman nobody really cares about from many years past, you really have nobody. The Democats in Texas seem to have a strong bench than the Republicans in New York. So yes, it seems, Lazio could win the nomination.

    Of course, knowing the Tea Party types, perhaps Palladino will be drafted. If that happens, the question then becomes, does Gillibrand break 70 percent?  

  76. I think Gillibrand could seriously garner upwards of a fourth to a third of Republicans vs. Paladino. There’s loads of resentment against Paladino among the GOP rank-and-file.

  77. I think the real question is how much Gillibrand will have to spend on her own race and how much she’ll be able to spread around to other people who need it. She knows how to shake the money tree as well as anyone.

  78. if what I saw was any indication, the base wanted what the administration originally wanted: the top marginal rates to increase with the rest staying the same. The deal was obviously different, with all of the Bush tax changes staying in place, plus the payroll tax cu, and the base wasn’t happy.

    I don’t think the Republicans wanted taxes to go up at all. Perhaps it was political posturing, but I remember reading an article where Boehner said he was so worried about tax increases on everyone (which would have happened had they all expired as was the case had the original law been followed and nothing else changed), he would have agreed to a compromise that kept them in place for the majority of people even as they were raised on the rich.  

  79. This is very clearly a Daily Kos-esque thread tangent where the writers opinion is sold as absolute fact.  President Obama is a weak Jimmy Carter unwilling to ever fight and he constantly beats up his “base”, and by “base” I mean internet messageboard self-declared progressives.    

  80. Especially the bit which says people approve of Obama’s handling of the debate by a positive 54-45 margin. Congressional Democrats and Republicans are both net negative. Interestingly, Republicans think their party gave up too much by a 50-44 margin, while Democrats think their party did not give up too much, 63-31. Makes me wonder why they peg the president’s overall job approval at 48-50.

  81. I was raised in that mentality, even among Democrats in my family, that hippies need to be punched, because they’re weak, naive and unpatriotic.

    Republicans don’t have a real agenda, they don’t want to help people, they want to make liberals cry, whether by beating them in an election or dismantling their precious victories.

    That’s why Planned Parenthood was so important. Me, personally, I would have thrown PP under the bus in a second to save a few million dollars in the budget.  

  82. or let them expire happened in December, after the Republicans had won back the House. It could have spilled over into the new session. In fact, there was talk that the Democrats should let them all expire, and then force the Republicans to choose between having no tax cuts at all or having tax cuts only for those who aren’t rich. I was fairly open to such an idea myself at the time.  

  83. the problem was the House would write the tax bills and Boehner said then that he would keep sending one extending them all to the President to veto.

    And the President CANNOT veto a tax cut

  84. It would have given the GOP a double whammy – the Democrats let the tax cuts expire in their final days in control, the Republicans put them back when they took over.

  85. It used to have the Democratic-leaning city of Anderson, but with that cut out it’s even more Republican than it was before.

    if we have the resources.

    That’s the thing, though. the DCCC isn’t made out of money, and there are plenty of other better opportunities instead. If a self-funder comes out of nowhere great, but it’s not worth an investment from outside sources.

  86. He hired workers from Tyre to help out (in modern speak, he contracted out some of the labor).  Does that count as outsourcing?

  87. According to Open Secrets, she raised only $13,418,545 in 2010, and if I am reading the report correctly, she had little left from her 2008 House race. Schumer raised and spent more, $19,519,748, although what differences they had in spending their money isn’t clear. I saw a few ads for Schumer–which were awesome, by the way–but can’t remember seeing any for Gillibrand.

    Whatever. I can’t imagine she’s frightened at all. Like you said, the question becomes how she spends her money. Based on the New York City turnout alone, she could probably spend less, as a percentage of what she raised, than she did last time. But I wonder, does she try to raise money and then spread it around, does she try to help others raise their own money, or does she do both? Is there some limit on how much money can be transferred?

    In a broader sense, this is why I am less worried about holding the senate than others. We’ve got a number of candidates–off the top of my head, there’s Gillibrand, Casey, Cardin, Cantwell, Carper, Klobuchar, and Whitehouse, as well as the candidate that replaces Lieberman–that have nothing to worry about. (Sanders is just as safe, but he’s not technically a Democrat.) Kohl’s in that group, too, if he runs, and Menendez is very, very close if he’s not. People like Bill Nelson and Sherrod Brown are looking pretty damn good, and Stabenow is probably just below them. The toughest races are those in North Dakota and Nebraska, and the tossups are the rest, with West Virginia below that.

    We are, in other words, talking about a handful of races, and if we have someone like Gillibrand that can drop some serious cash to help McCaskill or Tester, or even help a few Democrats running for House seats in New York, we are looking at a much stronger base than a lot of people realize.  

  88. it won’t gain him Republican voters, it’ll just cost him votes among the Democratic base.

  89. But as I’ve said a bunch of times, this sort of strategy isn’t based on asking them to just support themselves. They will need to try to raise money on their own, but they won’t be asked to do it alone. They would get help from the presidential campaign, either indirectly or directly (I am not sure what the law allows here), and the senate campaign, if there is one.

    Think of it this way. In 2008, Obama spent about $16.5 million on ads in Indiana. Let’s assume he spent another $5 million on mobilization and everything else besides advertising. (Maybe that’s too much, maybe it’s too little, but I’d prefer to overestimate here than underestimate.) Obviously, someone like Andre Carson was safe, and even if he was struggling, he’d benefit only because the Obama campaign would try to pump up the turnout in his district. We’ll leave him out. We’ll also leave out Visclosky, Donnelly, and Hill, for now.

    Let’s focus on the candidates that ran against Souder, Buyer, Burton, and Pence. Burton’s a question mark, since his district is so damn red, but we’ll include him for now. The candidates that against these guys–Montagano, Ackerson, Ruley, and Welsh, respectively–raised and spent less than $2 million between the four of them. Montagano and Ackerson raised a lot, actually, which is probably why each one of them received 40 percent, but the other two were clearly lacking.

    Now, imagine it’s 2010, and we are faced with a year that isn’t particularly great but isn’t awful. Obama decides to contest the state and is even more flush with cash then he was in 2008, since he’s both raising more and since he has no primary opponent. Assuming it’s not violating any sort of laws, imagine his campaign decided to spend $1 million specifically in each of these districts, bringing out every last Democratic voter and tying the candidates to himself. Wouldn’t this add to their totals? It would have to. They’d of course have to close the deal themselves, but we could give them a boost.

    Remember that we are talking about only four districts. We could narrow that to three, since Burton’s is very, very hard to crack (and that is as it now stands; I realize these things changed and it has gotten harder, but go with it for this example), or we could expand that to give some additional support to someone like that was running that was like Baron Hill. Let’s just settle on a sum of $5 million. Does that seem so outrageous? I don’t think so.

    Granted, we shouldn’t do this in every district, but there are probably a decent number of districts that are in states where the Obama campaign is going to play hard and where the Democratic candidate would, under normal circumstances, not receive much support. Maybe it is as high as 20, or maybe it’s as low as five. I haven’t looked at every state to create a firm list of longer shot targets. But considering we are likely to have a candidate that is rolling in money, something we might not have again any time soon, is it really so bizarre to suggest we spread the wealth and coordinate campaigns a little better so we can hopefully drag some people into office? We’re going to be in those states regardless.  

  90. Not sure if you’re joking or not, but the person who made the comparison to Carter was a self-described “Right-leaning Euro-Conservative” (whatever that means).

  91. It always annoys me when people say that so and so isn’t the base without identifying who that “base” is?

    I’m looking at Obama’s 2008 coalition of voters, and while diverse, it has a lot in common.  One thing that the coalition has in common is that almost everyone in that group go whacked hard in the budget deal without much of a fight from the president.

    So, who do you think the “base” is, and how do you think that the “base” has been served well recently?

  92. my first and foremost would be to keep as may people employed as I can. I don’t know how far I would go to do that

  93. do anything to help create jobs. The only thing it would do is harm at risk low income women and children.

  94. Obama wanted the middle class cuts to remain and the top bracket to expire. 53 Senate Dems agreed which was not enought to override a Republican filibuster hence the need for Plan B. This was the deal they reached.

  95. is from Democrats who aren’t happy with him for any number of reasons but will end up voting for him in the end? He has a very good 87 percent, but if something like 93 percent will vote for him, isn’t that worth a point or two more, had they expressed approval? On the same note, I have a hard time believing that while only 35 percent of Independents are happy with him at the moment, so few of them will vote for him. I think these people are suffering from a lack of a good comparison. Once someone extreme is the face of the Republican party, he will probably see a rise if only because he looks like the sane one.  

  96. Geez… that planned parenthood snow job really worked, then.  I’m not sure those voters are aware how badly they got whacked yet.  I guess they’ll find out this fall, when it will hit them in the pocketbook hard.  That could turn ugly.

  97. And when faced with the possibility of no cuts at all versus cuts for everyone but the rich, I have a feeling that number, Democrats and Republicans, would have increased.  

  98. but if that’s deal I have to make to keep another $15-$20 billion in the budget, I mean what do I do?

    It’s not like I’m gonna get credit for defending Title X, Obama didn’t. He’s getting creamed by the left.

    If I making two decisions that’s gonna piss off the same segment of the population, I’m making the one that keeps most people in their jobs and homes.

    Like I said, there are enough rich pro-choice liberals to keep PP funded.

    I don’t like it, but that’s why I can’t be President…and will never win elective office in this country

  99. As I said, the GOP were quite happy for everything to expire so they could cugel Democrats over the head with a tax rise.

  100. I have a feeling that the tax issue is overrated and that the reason people feel so threatened by it is that there’s not as much hope on the horizon as there was the last time we had broader tax increases. There were a few in the health care bill, but the issue there wasn’t the tax increases, it was more the mandate.

    If and when Obama is reelected, and if we take back the House, I’d hope he’d hammer out some deal that holds the line on spending and raises taxes and/or reduces deductions right away. Assume the economy is strong enough to handle it, that is. He should let the Republicans scream, let the press imply he is a Communist, and let his approval drop. Unless these tax increases were so massive that they brought about a depression, all of that would pass, and if he did it sooner rather than later, almost certainly in time for the 2014 elections.  

  101. The GOP couldn’t care less if all bush tax cuts expired. Their messaging machine would have framed it as Obama doesn’t care about poor people OR rich people.

  102. Okay, I guess it’s alright not to keep tabs on Betsey McCaughey ever few minutes. :) But she went right back to doing what she does best a couple of years ago: lying about Democratic healthcare plans. She didn’t achieve the same prominence she did with her infamous lie-filled hit-job in TNR oh so many years ago, but she’s been working the wingnut welfare circuit pretty good since 2009.

  103. In 1997, Pataki removed her from the GOP ticket, so she retaliated by switching parties and running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Pataki. Beyond a few exceptions, though (like NYC Public Advocate Mark Green and a few Assemblymen/State Senators), most of the Dem establishment coalesced around NYC Councilman Peter Vallone, who eventually beat McCaughey 2 to 1 in the primary. By that point, though, McCaughey had already garnered the Liberal Party line, so it created the illusion that she was suddenly bolting third-party. She got 2% of the vote on that line.

  104. Women, minorities, union members, educated whites and liberals. The blogosphere is a small part of that.

  105. their main supporters consist of conflicting groups of people in different parts of the country.

    New York Democrats wouldn’t be caught dead in a room with Kentucky Democrats, who would want to check the papers of a New Mexico Democrat.

  106. But, you have to agree that almost every group you listed got whacked by the budget deal.  Women made out better than the others, but not by much.

    I’d also argue that the blogosphere is pretty representative of the coalition, only that we are more politically active and aware of what’s going on than the typical Dem voter.

  107. Probably because the blogosphere is mostly highly educated white liberals. It is particularly unrepresentative of minorities.

  108. Why is the left blogosphere always up in arms with the latest outrage of the moment and then poll numbers come out and President Obama is over 85% with Democrats?  

    You claim every group got “whacked” by the budget deal but seem to fail to realize how much worse every group would have come out with a government shutdown.  It’s all political games, it’s not about real people.  I don’t think you realize how many people live paycheck to paycheck, even federal employees.  You can’t tax your way out of the financial mess, just like Republicans can’t cut the whole way out.  Cuts have to be made, taxes have to be raised.

    You seem to fail to realize that the House and Senate couldn’t pass the FY2011 budget last year when the Dems had both majorities, and don’t seem to understand that there is a split congress now (thanks to the red wave in 2010 mid terms) and Republicans have a say in budget matters.  

    None of what I say here has anything to do with this site was – a horse race site, not about slamming the President for imaginary reasons, selling the latest hair-on-fire left attack of the moment.      

  109. And they will stonewall McDonnell if he tries to pull any monkey business in violation of the agreement, sending the whole process to court, which is what the GOP doesn’t want as it will de-gerrymander the House, Senate, and Congressional seats.

  110. the last $5 million doesn’t have the same impact as the first $5 million. The more you spend, the less each dollar is worth. That’s because after you pick off the low-hanging fruit, you have your work cut out for you.

    Besides, even if Obama has more money this time around, it won’t necessarily go to Indiana. After all, there are more “worthy” states, like Florida or Ohio. Or he might try to spend in new states like Georgia or Arizona. Hell, haven’t you been hoping he’ll spend in Texas?

    Btw, the coordination between OFA and congressional campaigns isn’t that great. When I was in Indiana, they only included the congressman on our walk sheets once (Pete Visclosky) and that was kind of an afterthought. Most of the times I canvassed for him, there was no mention of the congressional candidate, or gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson (better known by the people I talked to as “Jill WHO?”).

    Oh, and IN-07 isn’t actually that safe. Julia Carson had some lackluster showings, even in 2006. Andre is doing better so far, but he only got elected 54-43 the first time around.

  111. Just better negotiating.  The GOP started with $100 billion.  We should have started with $0.  You don’t start with what the GOP initially offered.  

    It doesn’t matter.  The president is about to basically incorporate the GOP platform as his own on Wednesday.  It will be ugly and congressional dems will be stuck.

  112. Everything that was cut were Democratic programs.  Maybe people weren’t aware of that, but they will be when they try to access these programs.

  113. We should have started with $0.

    We actually started with +$26 billion, not $0, but you won’t hear that on DailyNader.

    First was the budget request from the White House, which – although the White House tried to bill it as a budget cut – actually represented about a $26 billion increase over 2010 spending levels,

  114. “The president is about to basically incorporate the GOP platform as his own on Wednesday.”

    Wow. Shark well and truly jumped there my friend.

  115. chances are she’s a BINO and doesn’t even know what sect of Buddhism her family belongs to unless there’s a funeral in the family. But I don’t know about the religious habits of Japanese-Americans (or, more importantly, Hirono as an individual), so I can’t say for sure.

  116. Hirono is a non-practicing Jodo Shinshu Buddhist. That is the primary sect of Buddhism for Japanese and Japanese-American Buddhists.

    I remember reading a study that suggested Hawaii was the most “spiritual” state: it has the highest percentage of non-practicing “believers.” So Hirono probably fits the state pretty well from a religion standpoint.

  117. “the state senate passed this map today 23-12.  The house passed an amendment to modify its earlier map by 63-19.

    Here is it

    CD2- loses about 1800R votes as Yell county is peeled off. That’s less then a 1% move for it.

    CD1-keeps Baxter, Cleburne and Lonoke counties.  Great news for Crawford –it gains about 1500 D net votes or about 1/2 %.  Little difference

    CD4-  I think it becomes about 8K more republican and that should not bother Ross too much.  I might add if he runs for governor that will open that seat.

    This map is a boon to the GOP IMO. Democratic legislators basically do not hurt the GOP incumbents and make the only D seat more republican.”

  118. There’s no way the so-called “minority-influence” district is anything but a Republican district. The region it covers is some of the most racially polarized in the nation. A black candidate (and probably even a white Democrat) would be hard-pressed to win 40% of the vote there.

    Meanwhile, the former New Orleans district looks to be a contorted mess–and to pack Democrats.

    There’s a second Democratic district to be had in this state (if the VRA is incanted the right way).

  119. AA “influence” distirct.  Bah, if you want to be sincere, it should be over 40% AA VAP.

  120. …with the fact the Louisiana is going to end up with a 5-1 R map. The only bright spot is that that is better than the current 6-1 map.

  121. The man has done more good for the Obama WH in terms of messaging than Anita Dunn did during her entire tenure as communications director. I believe in Plouffe’s ability to get us some really good news cycles. Already you saw Obama out there shaking hands with tourists this weekend and citing “win the future” in almost every speech he gives to some non-profit or whatever. The Obama WH lost all message discipline when Plouffe left, but I think they’ve got it now finally.

  122. Don’t get me wrong, from a policy standpoint I think Ds got screwed. But no cuts have been specified yet, right? Please show me the $78.5B in cuts if I’m wrong.

  123. No, a boon would be what the Senate passed last week for some reason.

    Also, local politics in Arkansas usually trump Obama/McCain statistics, similar to Kentucky.  What this map says to me is that they still want to compete and win in AR-01 and AR-02.

  124. Recruitment will be key, but there is a good bench to draw from, so hopefully the right candidates will be nominated.

  125. It’s quite hilarious in a sad way.

    The 1st House map got a D- in Democratic incumbent protection.

    The 1st Senate map got an F+ in Democratic incumbent protection.

    The 2nd Senate map gets and F- in Democratic incumbent protection.

    Let me ask a couple questions…

    1) Why are the Little Rock suburbs (particularly Garland and Hot Spring County still in AR-04!?!)

    2) Why is Lonoke County not in AR-02? (The intent of this map, it appears, is to make Crawford more vulnerable. You’d solve a lot of problems by removing this county from AR-01)

    3) Why was AR-04 moved into NW Arkansas to take in areas that are 70-30 Republican?

    4) And why hasn’t a solid 2-2 map been proposed?

  126. How the heck is this map any worse than the one they passed last week?  It looks better to me.

    Also, they’ve held most of the seats for a decade, why shouldn’t they be able to win at least one of the seats they lost with the right recruitment and the right climate?

    Drawing out of contention is not the right words as this map makes AR-01 an AR-02 slightly better for them.

  127. into the NW to take up some GOP areas.

    They want him to stay in the House and not be tempted to run for Governor, so they can run McDaniels instead.

  128. And all four seats are moving away from us. Any Democrat in AR-01 is going to need to outperform Obama by 15 points…and that just isn’t practical anymore. Crawford’s very cozy with the district’s agricultural needs.

    Tim Griffin is a lousy representative, but that district is controlled by the Little Rock Democratic Party, which has no idea what works well in the rurals. (See AR-02 Democratic Primary, 2010)

    Mike Ross will probably hold whatever is thrown at him, unless he loses Pine Bluff. It seems like they are playing with fire here by giving him the Little Rock suburbs and expanding him into 70-30 McCain area in the NW.

    And improving a district by 1-2% points based on the 2008 numbers will likely give us a false impression of what Obama’s numbers will be in 2012. Unless Obama runs a campaign in Arkansas, or they suddenly start liking him, Obama will probably do worse in AR-01, AR-02, and AR-04 in 2012. There’s a gradual move leftward in AR-03, but nothing to get too excited about for a while.

    Earlier this decade, Arkansas Democrats were popular. That statement is quickly going down the drain.

  129. But we would have to work hard to make sure a Joyce Elliott liberal doesn’t win the primary.

    Mark Pryor (even though his priorities weren’t really accomplished in redistricting) is apparently going to work very hard to get rid of Griffin and a possible 2014 opponent. Why Griffin? Pryor needs to run up the total in inner city Little Rock in 2014 and a Republican representing that area in the House and running against him in the Senate could bring his margins down.

  130. Any Republican leaning year in the future (with Ross not being able to count on Southern Arkansas with population loss, less Democrats) will likely lead to the demise of him.

  131. The map that people have seen behind closed doors of the Arkansas State Senate is extremely gerrymandered (for the Democrats). That’s all I’ve heard.

  132. code for white Democrats only, quit unfortunate. She may have been a rather liberal individual, but lets face it she was African American and that still doesn’t go over very well in many parts of the south.

  133. But there’s a difference between compromising on something like a tax cut and dealing away Social Security or Medicare. In the end, I’m not that angry over the tax cut deal. The economic reasoning behind it was probably pretty sound, and while politically it was both frustrating for me and possibly damaging for our long-term negotiating interests, it wasn’t really a violation of our key values. Gutting the social safety net for no particular reason would be.

  134. As for foreign policy, Mr. Trump said he is “only interested in Libya if we take the oil,” and that if he were President, “I would not leave Iraq and let Iran take over the oil.”

    Is serious about running for president. What is this, 1884?

  135. If he managed to make it into the debates and someone like Bachmann were the Republican nominee, I’m fairly sure Obama could come high as a kite and still manage to win.

    What’s really insane is that Trump appears to have no ideology or plans. He’s simply running to…well, it’s not clear why.  

  136. He’s got enough money to get Perot-like numbers… If he does as well with evangelicals as has been reported, then he might even win an electoral vote or two.  

    I was fantasizing about this earlier today…  I had a feeling that he might do that… of course, we still have to wait and see if he really pulls the trigger.  It would certainly fit his goals of massive publicity and ego stroking, that’s for sure…

    What about “sore loser” states, though… where if you lose the primary, you can’t run for the office as an indy… or does that only apply to congress/senate?  Anyone know?

  137. But, I read the article and I actually agree with Trump’s trade policy.

    The trade protectionism advocated by Trump is the exact same stuff that Perot was saying back in the 1990’s and could give the GOP massive fits if he were to run as an indy, just like Perot did.  It could pull a bunch of Reagan Dems over to his camp just like Perot did.

    Trump can’t win, but he can potentially draw double digits, which would be a big problem for the GOP, since a lot of birthers and Reagan Dems would be pulled out of the pool from them.

    As for congress, it may end up being a mixed bag, depending on how the DCCC would play it…

    Oh, I’m getting too excited for something that probably won’t happen.  But, still… wow!

  138. Baker, if you don’t remember, challenged John Boozman last year in the Republican primary.  

  139. “President Obama, what would you do about the emerging conflict in the Sudan?”

    “Dude!  My hands… they’re HUGE!!!  Whoa!!!  My hands are so big!  Have you ever looked at your hands, really closely… like, they are so…. whoa!”

  140. of first running in the R primaries, before going indie.

    If memory serves, he had to withdraw by about the 4th primary state during the ’80 R nomination race to have time to file in each of the 50 states. Sometimes it was by petition as a pure indie, sometimes it was by some temporary 3rd party mechanism.

    I don’t know what rules have changed since then.

    When Anderson decided to run 3rd party, the polls suggested that an electoral vote majority was conceivable — at least that’s what I wanted to believe, being my 1st campaign. (I think polls had him up in the 20s in a 3-way.)

    I’d guess that a Trump max would be about Perot-’96 numbers, with Anderson numbers more likely. Nevertheless, that would be enough to make President Obama competitive in places like TX.  

  141. From CBN (warning: Pat Robertson affiliated site):

    And there are no shortages of Bible’s in Trump’s possession.

    “Well, I get sent Bibles by a lot of people,” he said, adding that he keeps them all in a special place.

    “There’s no way I would ever throw anything to do anything negative to a Bible, so what we do is we keep all of the Bibles,” he explained. “I would have a fear of doing something other than very positive.”

    That’s the kind of talk that will get the attention of evangelical voters.

    I fear for my people.

  142. I suspect he’ll end up deciding not to run at all.  The idea of running excites him, and I think he’s sincere in contemplating this, but the work and legal requirements will turn him off.

    And no way does he lose a primary and then run as an indy.  He just won’t choose to do that.

    He has proved himself a racist beyond what anyone ever could have imagined.  It’s truly Godawful, and what’s just as awful is that today’s media refuses to explicitly call him out on it; they feel compelled to be polite no matter what, even though this is a situation where it’s not warranted.

    Beyond all that, this does ultimately help Obama and downballot Democrats in a small way.  The only reason it’s “small” is that we’re so far from the 2012 election.  But it does help because it continues the down-the-toilet branding disaster of the Republican Party.  It just really makes them look bad, exacerbated by the fact Trump’s racism is actually helping his poll numbers.

    I’m just astounded at how extreme Republicans have become, and how weak they are in Presidential politics.

  143. “”I’m all for free trade, but it’s got to be fair trade,” he said. “China has taken advantage of this country for a long time.” Regarding the $300 billion he said China stands to make from trade with the U.S. this year, Mr. Trump said, “What’s protectionism? …I want to be protected if that’s the case.” As for pending trade deals with Colombia, Korea and other countries, he said he would only sign them if they were the right deals for the U.S. “If it’s a bad deal, I wouldn’t sign it,” he said.”

    Sounds like the tack the Democratic party SHOULD be taking, but abandoned a long time ago…

  144. so I think in theory, she is supposed to say “Namu amida butsu” on her deathbed. Not sure though. Japanese Religions class was naptime for me :)

  145. Trump could wait it out a bit longer, although he probably won’t go very far in the GOP primaries, but who knows!!

    With his cash and hucksterism, he might be able to get Perot 1992 numbers…

  146. better if the Democrats attacked trade from a Dean Baker-style stance, which is that the deals we end up with usually protect the upper classes (doctors and lawyers, and those who make use of patents and copyrights and so on) while putting everyone else up to competition. As Baker says, there’s nothing in the trade theory that says a professional should be protected from competition while a dishwasher shouldn’t be. At least that’s what I’d like, on some days.

    Part of me thinks that if we had a better safety net for job loss, people would be more open to trade deals. We’re getting there, I think, when it comes to health care, with the passage of the health care reform bill. Now, we just need something like wage insurance, which of all people John McCain mentioned last time in at least one debate.

    Or perhaps the answer is to just–or to also have, as wage insurance wouldn’t last forever–have some heavy handed redistribution by instituting a sharply progressive consumption tax or decreasing the tax burden of those at the bottom and matching contributions to savings and investment accounts.

    Not to get too heavy into policy, which I probably already have done, but I think policies like this–policies don’t try to limit the efficiency of markets but correct for their inequities–are the best. They seem like the sort that could have the factory worker in the Midwest, the financial professional in the Northeast, the Internet types in Silicon Valley, and those working service jobs in the Southwest. It’d be both good policy, but also good politics.

    Anyway, as far as Trump, I think he’s in for a world of hurt if he runs. I think his ceiling is lower than others do. There’s a very effective case to be made against a lot of businessmen, which is that running a government and running a business aren’t the same thing. Business and economics might intersect, but the goal of a government is to maximize overall economic performance, while the goal of a business is to make profits. You can find competence in business leaders, but you can also that in lots of leaders. Plus, Trump’s business dealings don’t exactly scream prestige or vision. They give an aura of cheap Vegas glitz. Besides that, it looks as if he has more and more layers of an asshole personality that has yet to be revealed.  

  147. Plouffe said over the weekend that Obama will look at “all corners of government.” He also said the president will renew his call for tax increases on the rich to pay for it.  

  148. Though I suspect his poll numbers have gone up partly because he had the media to himself lately it wouldn’t be a stretch to see other candidates go full Birther too in response. Why not when it seems to work with the base? Can’t see Romney going there mind.

  149. Though I suspect his poll numbers have gone up partly because he had the media to himself lately it wouldn’t be a stretch to see other candidates go full Birther too in response. Why not when it seems to work with the base? Can’t see Romney going there mind.

  150. Though I suspect his poll numbers have gone up partly because he had the media to himself lately it wouldn’t be a stretch to see other candidates go full Birther too in response. Why not when it seems to work with the base? Can’t see Romney going there mind.

  151. You must be a poli-sci or economics focus, lol. I’m more of a cultural studies guy, (though my regional focus is on Europe, not East Asia).  

  152. Having the media to yourself doesn’t help if you’re not saying anything people agree with.

    If Al Sharpton ran and had the media to himself (in a situation like the GOP’s now where the nomination is open and contested), you still swouldn’t see his poll numbers climbing with Democrats.

    There’s just no equivalence on our side.  You have to be sane to help your poll numbers with Democratic primary voters, no matter how much you dominate the airwaves.

    But on Team Red, racism and conspiracy theories sell.

  153. But if they were all talking about it at once I doubt he would be getting traction. Instead, he is reaping the benefits of getting out ahead.

  154. in a political campaign?

    I understand the idea “they wouldn’t question Obama’s nationality if he were white”, and how that correlates with the 46% of R demographic that opposes interracial marriage in the recent Mississppi poll.

    But I don’t think the use of the word “racism” sells to moderates — or to the midwestern Reagan Ds who voted for President Obama in ’08.

  155. I would like the media to call it out as racism, but they’re too afraid to do so.

    I call it out as such because it’s true, and if people like me don’t do it, no one will.

    But no, Obama cannot go there, nor can any other Democrat running for office except in very narrow circumstances.  An electorate that is still close to three-quarters white will not countenance such rhetoric from a Democratic candidate.  I’m well-aware of that continuing political reality, as it’s been reality for my entire life.

    Indeed, Republican Presidential candidates my entire life have made a pilgramage to white supremacist and religiously bigoted Bob Jones University, seeking out the audience’s approval, without the media ever calling them out on it.  And white voters just shrug and think it’s OK.  But God forbid Obama attended Jeremiah Wright’s church!

    This is the double-standard America always has had, a vaguery of our democracy.  Such is life, every democracy has its vagaries.  Muslim women in France are criminals for wearing veils now!  And Australia refused until fairly recently for a generations-long government policy of kidnapping aboriginal children.  And of course these are some of the most liberal and open-minded countries one will find, forget most of the world’s nations.

    So I’m well-aware that humanity has its flaws that require political appeals to be adjusted to navigate them.  And those adjustments include that obvious racism in America cannot be called out as such by a political campaign.

    But at least individuals with a forum can call it out somehow, somewhere.  And yes, that’s productive, to at least get the noise machine pointing it out.

  156. I suspect a number of readers here will be strategists, and even campaign chairs for House and Senate candidates — or even Presidential candidates in a few years.

    The lessons learned here will remain in the minds of these users for years, perhaps for decades to come.

    I don’t want future D campaign managers to write off whole segments of the electorate, because of the “lessons” they’ve taken into their gut, from the discussion on this site.

    I suggest that slightly more experienced posters like us — need to impart the lessons, the “vagaries” of making appeals to the electorate as it exists.

  157. Instead, the problem is that no white Democrat–and yes, it’s probably important that it be a white Democrat–is calling the Republicans out for this. I get why a Democrat from Florida or Ohio might not do it, but why not someone safe, someone like Kirsten Gillibrand or Bob Casey?

    And to be honest, I’m not sure I’d expect Hillary Clinton to get down and dirty with this stuff, were she president and were this nonsense to appear in some other form. When you are in a position like that, you can’t pick every fight, especially ones where there’s no clear victory. A victory, such as it is, is not as powerful as a loss, and a loss elevates your opponents to your level. I’m not at all surprised or even angry that Obama didn’t get directly involved in the union struggles in Wisconsin, for instance.

  158. why Democrats don’t stick to a statement like this: “Most Americans aren’t racist. That includes people of all political leanings. But there are a few that use racist appeals for their own personal gain, seeking to divide us and make working together and governing more difficult than it needs to be. I won’t tolerate it, and I expect the Republicans to join me in working together to stomp out this problem, small as it is.” Or something like that. I’m not a wordsmith right now, as you can see. But it shouldn’t be that hard to make it clear that the vast, vast majority of this country isn’t bigoted AND place the onus on the Republicans to call out their fellow members from using such appeals. Why they haven’t been doing it, I don’t know.  

  159. Anyone here who wants to be a political professional simply should realize that there are things that are true that you can’t say out loud as a political professional, whether that’s as a candidate or a campaign manager or a media consultant or whatnot.

    But I don’t think my above statement is anything the sophisticated SSP community doesn’t already know.

    And regarding “writing off large segments of the electorate,” any smart Democratic strategist does write off that large segment who call themselves “Republicans.”  You get the standard 5-15% crossover who come over no matter what, and that’s it, and your ability to get 15 rather than 5 depends entirely on the identity of the candidates, there’s little you can do to game it toward the higher end of the range.  You do better than 15 or so only when the Republican is unacceptable even to a huge number of Republicans (like Baucus’ opponent in 2008).

    I’m seeing some political reporters try to say that Trump is suddenly polling well only because he’s gotten a recent spate of media coverage unlike everyone else.  But that’s just more dissembling in their desperate fear of conservatives screaming “liberal bias!”  The reality is he’s suddenly polling well because he is explicitly peddling racism.  If a Democrat in mid-2003 had suddenly gone off on a stupid 9/11 “truther” message, you wouldn’t have seen him shoot up in polling.  But birtherism sells on Team Red because so many of them are racists, and as I’ve said here already it’s proven worse than I would have guessed.

    No, no Democratic campaign can get into this.  There’s nothing for them to gain by doing so.  It’s off-message, and hurts by way of the opportunity cost inherent in it (i.e., you’re not talking about other things swing voters consciously spend time caring and thinking about).

    But it helps for the non-campaign noise machine to point out these things.  It helps when the noise machine points it out because that keeps swing voters sensitized that this isn’t OK, and it’s not just a crazy-but-harmless conspiracy theory but rather a manifestation of bigotry.

    Different political actors have different roles in campaigns and elections.  There are roles in being a small cog in the “noise machine” that don’t involve directly working on a campaign.

  160. He had a kid two days after the election. He’s made his millions for some financial security, he’s gotten to spend some time with his family, and he’s not gonna be in Chicago.

    And yeah, Anita Dunn left awhile ago. But whomever replaced her wasn’t good either.

  161. to think of how little or how much that could mean. If he takes the good ideas (gas tax increase, for instance) but not the bad ones (overall spending limit as a percentage of GDP) and mixes in a few of his own with a defense of good government and the safety net, I’ll be fine. I remember how much I overreacted to the whisper campaign he would support massive Social Security cuts in the State of the Union speech, but that turned out to be nothing, so I am trying not to panic. Of course, it’s not going well…

  162. Ezra Klein says the White House is telling him that “will not primarily be an endorsement of Simpson-Bowles, and ‘this will make more sense tomorrow.'”

  163. I’m actually more linguistically inclined. I was originally a double major with polisci, but dropped it pretty quickly.

  164. two tough love items that anyone serious about solving the debt problem need to seriously consider

  165. Supposedly, he’s invited Simpson (and Bowles?) to the even tomorrow. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that he will call for higher Social Security taxes and defense cuts, among other things.

    At this point, I can’t obsess about this any more. (That’ll have to wait until later in the day, I guess.) I’ll need to see the speech tomorrow to be sure of what I think, but if there’s one conclusion I’ve come to, it’s that Obama seems to have to do little more than pick different spending to cut than the Republicans while actually suggesting tax increases and to forcefully reject Ryan’s plan. Basically, pay a lot of lip service to our side. IS THAT SO HARD, MR. President? We aren’t asking that much.  

  166. I joked on Twitter before that in order to bring the conversation back to the center, he’d have to propose nationalizing large parts of the economy. Reasonable spending cuts and reasonable tax increases is the name of the game, and if he proposes something along those lines, with some subtle slams directed at the Republicans and a vigorous defense of the social safety net, he should be fine.

    Here’s to hoping.  

  167. I grant your point on different roles — I believe what you suggest is a role appropriate to the main DK site. I don’t think name calling, even when true, is consistent with the “bloodless” analysis I believe this site is about.

    As for the sophistication of people here, remember the age range here — I know I had difficulty as a late teen/early 20 type filtering what I thought v. what I said politically.

    As for writing off segments of the electorate, that’s the reason for my comment title. When Rs don’t even bother to attend NAACP conferences, moderates buy into the idea that Rs don’t even care about African-Americans.

    Conversely, when Ds don’t even bother to dialogue with Rs, moderates buy into the idea that Ds are elitists.

  168. What does “dialogue” mean?  There is no comparing Rs writing off the NAACP with Dems writing off Republicans.  Of course we write off Republicans!  The only proper comparison to our writing off Republicans, is Republicans writing off Democrats.  Repbulicans by definition are against us, just as Democrats by definition are against Republicans.  It goes without saying that you don’t waste time on voters who by definition are against you.  Yes there are crossovers, but those are small fractions that require little or no persuasion, they are self-motivated for personal reasons to cross over.

    Black voters are not by definition against Republicans.  They’re against who and what Republicans have become over the past 80 years.  It says everything about the Republican Party that an entire race of Americans have gone from overwhelmingly supporting the party to almost unanimously opposing it…that’s hard to do!  Kate Hudson couldn’t alienate her man so well in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

    Regarding “name-calling,” Donald Trump is racist, that’s not ad hominem, it’s a fair and accurate characterization of him.  For me to say that is not inconsistent with “bloodless analysis,” on the contrary it’s an accurate analysis.  If you disagree, it can be only based on a belief that he personally doesn’t believe anything he’s been saying, that he’s making up lies about his own beliefs simply to draw attention to himself.  I don’t think there’s any basis to believe that about him, but if that’s what you or some others think, well OK.  And for me to say that about a large bloc of Republican voters, with plenty of data to back it up, also is not “name-calling” or anything else distinct from bloodless analysis.

    Indeed, what the GOP has become, right down to the rank-and-file, is terrifying to me as a man of color with small children who have to live with whatever this country becomes in the coming decades.  I can only hope it’s the dying last roar of hard right Republicanism, before the national electorate starts to mirror today’s California.

  169. They made a significant difference in the suburbs in ’08, for example. If we wrote off Rs, then we would not compete in so many suburbs. If we wrote off Rs, we would never have competed in rural areas like NY-23 (Owens/Hoffman) either.

    Once the word “racist” is used, like it or not, real discussion stops. People stop listening. Yelling begins. That is not consistent with “bloodless analysis”.

    IMO. bloodless analysis is more causal, e.g. would Trump even question President Obama’s birth if he were white, didn’t have a “aaay raaab” middle name, etc. Given the instinctive reactions today, I think bloodless analysis is more effective.

    I have never heard President Obama use the word “racist,” especially in relation to a political opponent. While there are flaws, what he is doing is working.  

  170. I already agreed that Obama and other political leaders cannot safely acknowledge the obvious about racism.  So it’s neither here nor there to me that Obama doesn’t call out racists as racists.

    That’s fine, I have no objection to that.

    I’m not a political leader.  I’m an activist who gives money and knocks on doors and phonebanks and chips in my 2 cents of opinion and advice to a local campaign here and there from time to time, and, for education and entertainment, I participate in this and other online political communities.

    I have no problem with flatly saying Donald Trump is racist, because he is.  His birtherism, the totality of what he’s said (btw his latest is that Obama’s parents put in the birth announcements in Honolulu newspapers to qualify for welfare!) proves my point.  I don’t care if that turns off some people.  The truth is the truth.  Saying it outright plants the seed, and nothing ever gets better without planting the seed.

    And I certainly don’t have a problem with pointing out the same about the GOP rank-and-file for the same in this community.  Not doing so is what makes people think whatever they say is OK, no holds barred, they can never get away with it.  I don’t mind putting up a hard pushback.  Someone has to do it.  It’s all related to this site’s reason for being, to discuss campaigns and elections.  That’s the context in which I’m raising all this.  It’s an explanation of the electorate, more specifically one side of it.

    As far as appealing to Republicans is concerned, it isn’t lost on me that quite a few houses on my block and across my neighborhood are never on my walk lists–even for Obama ’08, when the net was cast very wide.  There’s a reason for that.  I live in a purple neighborhood, and I’ve gotten to know a fair amount about the politics of my neighbors, especially on my own block, and I know exactly why certain people are skipped altogether, every time.

  171. that you are a political leader, an articulate opinion maker on a collective blog that is read and quoted by opinion makers around the country.

    As I’ve stated in the past, I think SSP is the logical successor to the old Campaigns and Elections mag, widely read and reflected upon throughout US politicopia.

    I would not be shocked if say a dozen or so of the people here become campaign managers or even congressmen in the next 10 or 20 years. Maybe even Senator adleft, running in 2030, succeeding Shelley Berkley?

    Your role as an opinion maker here in this group also comes with responsibility.

    Perhaps I’m overstating the importance of SSP. But I think it’s justified by the callouts from all sorts of media, along with the participation of prominent leaders from Meek to Cook, supplemented by the range of leaders who delurked in the weekend thread.

  172. Let my opinion get circulated, if it really matters to people who matter more than I.

    Frankly I don’t think I’m an outlier by any stretch of the imagination.  I somehow doubt the things I’ve pointed out are lost on Charlie Cook and others, who look themselves at polling that shows Trump spiking in polling as the result of talking up birtherism.  That’s just one example, there are plenty of others I’ve pointed out in this subthread.  That racism is prevalent in the Republican Party is not something they’re unaware of, even if they choose for their own professional reasons not to say it outright.

    All that being the case, I’m skeptical I’m saying anything those folks don’t already realize.

    Regarding my responsibility to SSPers who might go on to professional political careers, I’ve already said, yes a  lot more Republicans than I imagined are racists, and no a campaign can’t say that out loud in earshot of anyone who might put your words into a public forum.  I think they read that earlier.  :-)

  173. and can see where the next few moves of this chess game would go. To go further, I’d mostly just be repeating myself.

    One last thought, the folks at RRH have talked about the tenor of your messages a few times (not specifying your username). It has tinted their opinion of SSP. (To their credit, I gather they’ve banned a birther and a secessionist so far, and given a severe warning for one bout of homophobic rhetoric.)

  174. Your thinking is shaped by RRH.  That’s fine.

    The thing is, assuming the crowd has adhered to the standards you suggest, they are outliers within their own party.  Touting birtherism and secession and expressions of homophobia are not at all unwelcome among the rank-and-file GOP base.

    Again, I’ll point to a focus group Frank Luntz assembled and aired on national TV on Fox in Iowa.  It was a random assemblement of GOP caucusgoers.  A couple of them spread the “Obama is Muslim” and loyal to Muslims meme, and Luntz asked the crowd to raise their hands if they believed Obama is Muslim.  He warned them, asked them rhetorically if they realized what this meant, what people watching would think about their reaction, but a clear majority raised their hands affirming they think Obama is a Muslim.

    And polling all over backs up the focus group as a reflection of who Republicans are.

    RRH is a bunch of people who in a primary would never vote for Christine O’Donnell or Sharron Angle or Joe Miller.  But most Republicans chose those very individuals over more rational alternatives.

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