Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 7, 2006

A PACE THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP UP....I won't delve into every individual campaign result from yesterday, but the one race on everyone's radar deserves a closer look.

A former Republican congressman narrowly beat his Democratic rival early Wednesday for the right to fill the House seat once held by imprisoned Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a race closely watched as a possible early barometer of next fall's vote.

Republican Brian Bilbray emerged victorious after a costly and contentious race against Democrat Francine Busby, a local school board member who ran against Cunningham in 2004.

With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Bilbray had 56,016 votes or 49.5 percent. Busby trailed with 51,202 votes or 45 percent.

Obviously, Democrats had hoped to pull an upset yesterday by winning in a solidly-Republican district. They fell a little short in the end. But for Republicans this morning, it's hard to spin the results as an encouraging sign of things to come.

It's very much reminiscent of Jean Schmidt narrowly defeating Paul Hackett is Ohio's 2nd last year -- a race that the GOP was supposed to win easily went down to the wire, and ended up costing Republicans a fortune. Put it this way: if the GOP has to work this hard just to keep ordinarily-safe Republican districts in November, they better raise more money than they've ever raised before.

As Stuart Rothenberg noted yesterday, before results were available, "The National Republican Congressional Committee is pouring resources into this race at an astonishing rate in hopes of saving the seat. But the NRCC will not be able to put $5 million into every contest this fall, so a Bilbray victory, if it happens, should not mislead observers into thinking that Democratic prospects in the fall have been exaggerated."

Ultimately, coming close isn't good enough, and it's Bilbray who's going to take the oath of office. But if this race was a bellwether election, Republicans can't be at all pleased with how this year is shaping up.

Steve Benen 8:15 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (68)

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As I understand it, Democratic turnout in California was pretty low. Hey California Dems - its hard to beat Republicans unless you get off your dead ass.

Posted by: Brenda Helverson on June 7, 2006 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

AND, perhaps Busby couldn't have pulled it off anyway...BUT, any Democrat that is so stupid or foolish to provide the Repugs with the PERFECT sound byte right before the election, as she did...doesn't deserve to win. In the political world we now inhabit...one must be more careful to discern how their words will be interpreted and used.

Posted by: Dancer on June 7, 2006 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

Good post--you're doing a fine job, Steve, by the way.

I've been a bit fed up by all the references to this district as a "bellwether," "national measure," "yardstick" and so forth, which seems to imply, at least in some reporters' thinking, a sort of "As Missouri goes, so goes the nation" attitude. This is in no way an average district; it's a hugely conservative one, so Bilbray's coming within spitting distance of losing it is a big deal. As you say, it's not that this district is in any way typical; it's that if the GOP is having this much trouble holding even the safest seats, it doesn't look good for them in November.

Posted by: shortstop on June 7, 2006 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

I love how the Democrats are so pathetic that losing by only a lolie constitutes a victory. I can only imaginize the Kos Kidz giving themselves high fives about how losng by fiving percentage points really shows how powerful the fringe-left netroots are.

Kos is now...... what? Oh for fifteen hen backing candidates up against a republican? At what point while the fringe left stop throwing money at the candidates he endorses? For that matter, how much would a candidate have to pay to not be endorsed by Kos? It could be the best money ever spent.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 7, 2006 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

I see Ayatollah Chuckles's latest boy- er- girlfriend ditched him - not everyone appreciates cameras in the bedroom - and he's back here trolling for attention again.

Posted by: Dustbin Of Hist on June 7, 2006 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Following up to above:I think Kos is now oh for eighteen.

There's this, from the huge Democrat defeat of 2004: http://www.redstate.com/story/2004/11/3/52646/0368

That's 15 right there, 16 if you count Kerry.

Then Hackett, Ciro, and of course Busby. That's eighteen or nineteen.

Kos apparently is claiming victory because his preferred candidate won a democrat prmary. I guess the thnk about democrat primaries is that SOMEBODY has to win, so kos has at least some chance of squeaking it out.

Anybody want to take a proposition wager with me on whether or not his candidate wins the general? I'll give you odds.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 7, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

So losing is actually winning? Who knew? This must be Howard Deans new strategy. He couldn't defeat Nagin in NO with his rich white candidate, and coming on the heels of one the worst congressional financial scandals in recent years, the Dems still can't win the seat. But they came close....yeeeeeee haaaawwwwww!!!!

Posted by: Jay on June 7, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

OK, here's my suggestion. Democrats can have the moral victories, and the Republicans can have the actual victories.

You want to take the deal, Dems?

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on June 7, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Be realistic, Kevin. The trend is looking good for the Dems. Busby used to be more than 20% behind, now she lost woth only 4.5% difference. That's very respectable and a sure sign that other elecetions who are closer to call will have an even more positive result. And don't forget, Bilbray's term is a very short one, in the regular elections this fall Busby has another chance. Less than half a year in office won't help Bilbray much to get incumbent status, but there will be more rethuglican scandals who will pave the way for democrat candidates. All's well that ends well.

Posted by: Gray on June 7, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Chuckles, Jay, Chickenhawk, and Kenny? If you're all going to whistle past me, can you at least do it in tune?

Posted by: The Graveyard on June 7, 2006 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Hawk, after the next elections you will have to rename to American Fried Chicken! :P

Posted by: Gray on June 7, 2006 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

"Kos apparently is claiming victory because his preferred candidate won a democrat prmary. I guess the thnk about democrat primaries is that SOMEBODY has to win, so kos has at least some chance of squeaking it out."

Tester was the consensus choice in MT after Morrison's adultery problem. I would've voted Tester if I lived in MT.

Normally, Kos's record in primaries is as bad as his record in generals.

Posted by: Petey on June 7, 2006 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, are you ever going to respond to comments - mine or anyone else's - good or bad?

I'm a little pressed for time, Dick, but I've responded to quite a few comments over the last couple of days.

As for the '95 speech, that's an excellent catch that a Google search of the WH site didn't turn up. But I think my underlying point is the same: you found that Bush mentioned it once in a year and a half, after over a hundred references from 2004. Whether it's one mention or zero, the president still manipulated the base for short-term gain.

Posted by: Steve Benen on June 7, 2006 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Load your rifle with Dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah ammunition and you'll feel better, Cheney! :)

Posted by: Gray on June 7, 2006 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

K, sry, so my comment is addressed to Steve (but this sure sounded just like ole Kevin!). Btw, I hope our respected host is having a great time, finding some distant relatives in Germany. The weather is lousy, so it won't distract him from research :)

Posted by: Gray on June 7, 2006 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Why should we care about yet another Republicant governor flushing CA down the toilet? This boneyard's too busy staying home enjoying the Ohio Christianists and moderate GOPers torpedoing each other.

Posted by: The Graveyard on June 7, 2006 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Haven't watched that race too closely and don't know the polls, but I'm confident Angelides (did I spell it right and did he really win primary?) will make it. But, k, I'm prejudiced against Austrians, so this might be wishful thinking...

Posted by: Gray on June 7, 2006 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

oops, sry, I thought Cheney inviented a new nichname for me. Sry G.Y., I like your name! :)

Posted by: Gray on June 7, 2006 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Hell if other Republicans were like Arnold, I might vote for them: pro-education funding, pro-infrastructure building, pro-transit, pro-same-gender civil marriage, pro-choice. (BTW when I was a Californian, I did vote for Arnold.)

Posted by: DC1974 on June 7, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Did the Republicans win this one cleanly or did they steal another one? I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter.

Posted by: Indiana Joe on June 7, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Indiana Joe: Did the Republicans win this one cleanly or did they steal another one? I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter.

The REAL problem is that not enough illegals got the message that "you don't need papers for voting". Busby probably should have pounded that message early, rather than waiting for the last minute.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 7, 2006 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Are you posting from the Far East and/or do you need some Viagra too?

Hey, I'm not one of those far east germans! Most of them don't know any english at all. And if I would need Viagra, I would check my spam mail bin for offers, thank you. But YOU shouldn't even think about viagra, Dick! K, it might help you to get a more potent shot, but it will affect your eyesight.
On the other hand, there are still too many republican lawyers, so go ahead!

P.S.: Be honest, Dick, you don't need Viagra to f*** the american public, right?

Posted by: Gray on June 7, 2006 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney: Steve, are you ever going to respond to comments - mine or anyone else's - good or bad?

Now be honest - What neocon/conservative/rightwing blog is as open as this one and even allows comments ... And even if they did allow comments if anyone dared be as devisive as you Cheney they would have been blacked balled a long time ago...

Appreciate the freedom and latitude you are given while it lasts....I don't think Steve owes you an answer as does anyone else here...

Posted by: Tank Man on June 7, 2006 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

pro-same-gender civil marriage,




Arnold may have said that during the election campaign, but he vetoed California's gay marriage bill, passed by the legislature.

Posted by: Brittain33 on June 7, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting that there is not one comment about the role of illegal immigration in this election. Bilbray was out of touch having been a lobbyist the past several years. McCain cancelled an appearance because of Bilbray's stand on illegals. The Republicans who supported the Senate bill were saying that a loss by Bilbray would put to rest the significance of the illegal immigrant issue. The WSJ even had a piece yesterday saying that. I predict that both parties (as illustrated here, by the way) will keep mum about the fact that illegal immigration was the elephant in the corner in this election.

Posted by: Mike K on June 7, 2006 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

A Republican seat narrowly remains Republican. Did GWB's gay marriage call effectively turn out the Republican base or did Busby shoot herself with her error exhorting illegal aliens to vote for her?

I wonder how votes were cast? This pattern of narrow Republican victories in tight races is very consistent. Is it the conservative base turning out or is it election fraud? To pull off election fraud, all the Republicans need is a plausible explanation (Busby's stupid comment or Bush's gay marriage appeal turns out the base), a narrow victory and control of the ballots.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast: The odds of the Democrats regaining either the Senate or the House in November is very slight, but it is our only hope. We are looking straight at election fraud in Ohio in 2004 and averting our eyes. We are watching the rise of fascism in America and afraid to confront it. They control everything--the courts, the Congress, the WH, the voting machines, the military, they are ignoring the law, they are listening in on our conversations, they are endorsing the extradiction of people they regard as threats. If the democratic process can't rid us of this plague of conservatives in an orderly, Constitutional fashion--then what?

On the other hand, the Democrats are still putting up so-so candidates because they are female and/or minority. Was Busby the strongest candidate available or was she the best female candidate available? Here in Minnesota, eg, the DFL is working its way through the male heirs of former DFL party giants and is now starting to vet women. It's as if no males need apply. And they wonder why the state is trending Republican.

So you are a moderate Republican or independent and you are uncomfortable with where the country is headed. Your alternatives are to vote for a right-wing fascist who is taking the country places you don't want to go, a same-old, same-old Democrat--who exemplifies the reason you became Republican in the first place--or sit out the election. Which are you going to choose?

Posted by: PTate in MN on June 7, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

But for Republicans this morning, it's hard to spin the results as an encouraging sign of things to come.

You kidding? They've proven they can win an unwinnable race. They've proven they can be liars, crooks, get convicted and still get one of their own elected. They are VERY encouraged by this because it means they have carte blanche. They can do whatever the hell they please and a little gay bashing and immigrant hating is all it takes to win an election. Jumpin' Jesus on a pogo stick!

Posted by: e. nonee moose on June 7, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Billbray has to re-win the seat in November, against Busby AGAIN, when turnout will be radically higher- California is electing a Governor then.

CA-50 is not a normal bellweather that follows nationwide trends. It is a heavily GOP district. The equivalent on the Dem side would be if Charles Rangel or Barney Frank resigned in scandal, then the conservative Republican candidate won 45% of the vote, held the replacement Dem under 50%, and the DNC had to spend 10 to 20 times the normal cash to hold the seat.

The RNC had to spend five million dollars to hold a seat that is usually a lock. They haven't even begun spending for the seat for November! Busby beat her previous performance in the district by fifteen points, despite being outspent more than 2-1 and being at a 20 point party registration disadvantage.

"Ha ha ha former congressman Joe Democrat won Jerry Nadler's seat" is not a signifier of Democratic dominance. "A Republican won by 5 points in one of the most GOP districts in the nation" is not something to brag about. CA-50 is not a district that the Dems are counting on for their magic 15. It's gravy. It would have been a really nice P.R. victory, but a hard seat to hold.

Billbray won 49% of the vote in a district where 45% of voters are registered as Republican. That's atrocious.

Posted by: Alderaan on June 7, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, I've never seen a Political Animal thread trolled so heavily. Steve touch a nerve, douchebags?

Posted by: Viserys on June 7, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

"Wow, I've never seen a Political Animal thread trolled so heavily."
??? Hmm, you don't come here very often, right? :)

Posted by: Gray on June 7, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

OK, here's my suggestion. Democrats can have the moral victories, and the Republicans can have the actual victories.

Because we know "moral" and "Republican" have no business being anywhere near each other.

Posted by: wilder on June 7, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

The attempt to dismiss the significance continues. Bush won with 55% in 2004. That's a win but not "heavily". The fall election will be very important but Angelides, the left candidate, won the Dem primary. Westly might have given Arnold a run for it. Angelides will play the role that Kos's candidate will play in Montana. Burns is safe. Thanks, Kos.

Posted by: Mike K on June 7, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

I saw someone urging that Dems get out the illegal immigrant vote. This is very easy to do in the State of Washington, as no picture I.D. or proof of citizenship is required.
Having said that, we have a very large number of legal immigrants in our state who are not yet citizens. Many of these are social conservatives from nations where their religion was actively persecuted. Others are from failed socialist states and don't believe those lies anymore.

I already sense that these legal immigrants are very concerned that they are going to be leapfrogged to citizenship by the militant Latinos. If it looks like non-citizen Latinos will vote in the November election, other non-citizens will pile in too. It is only a matter of them waking up and smelling the coffee.

Posted by: Mike Cook on June 7, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

The sheeple in the 50th district elected someone who can't even tell the truth about where he lives.

Posted by: Charlie on June 7, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

A lot of trash talk from GOP hacks in the thread. You're all proud because you made potty instead of filling your diaper. And now you want to run around and yell in your face?

You guys are in worse shape than I thought.

Posted by: Nemesis on June 7, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Enough with the speculations. I'd like to see recounts in every election between the Dems vs. Repubs. Democrats keep thinking that these elctions are counted fair and square. They're still so naive, thinking that Repubs. play by the rules. Fair? That's so last millenium. Get a clue.

Posted by: Johnnybgood on June 7, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Enough with the speculations. I'd like to see recounts in every election between the Dems vs. Repubs. Democrats keep thinking that these elctions are counted fair and square. They're still so naive, thinking that Repubs. play by the rules. Fair? That's so last millenium. Get a clue.

Posted by: Johnnybgood on June 7, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Ultimately, coming close isn't good enough, and it's Bilbray who's going to take the oath of office. But if this race was a bellwether election, Republicans can't be at all pleased with how this year is shaping up.

Busby got the same electoral support that she always gets, a little over 45%. Bilbray overcame a 12 point polling deficit in the last weeks. Busby's ads specifically (and truthfully) targeted the corruption in Congress, and Bilbray's strong association with big business (and his short career as a lobbyist for the power companies.) Bilbray won because he fits the district better, in their opinion. Bilbray wasn't even an incumbent. If that's the best the Democrats can do, or even typical, then the Republicans will hold their majorities.

Posted by: republicrat on June 7, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Gray: Busby used to be more than 20% behind, now she lost woth only 4.5% difference.

I posted on this race a few weeks ago. At the time Busby held a 45%-32% lead in the polls over Bilbray. Her 45% support was solid and unchanging.

Both campaigns suffered late-minute gaffes: the Republicans when McCain cancelled an appearance for Bilbray, and the Democrats with Busby's comments about "not needing documentation" to help with her campaign. Neither mattered much.

Posted by: republicrat on June 7, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

When the f*#@ are we Democrats gonna figure out that the bellwether issue is illegal immigration? At least in California. If Busby comes out strong against illegal immigration, she's headed to Washington - period. That was the signal issue in this issue and she whiffed on it. How effin' hard is it to figure out?

Posted by: gab on June 7, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Didn't take long for the "The Republicans must have cheated" crowd to start in here.

Posted by: rnc on June 7, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Fuck the voters in San Diego. They ought to have the blood of Haditha smeared on their faces. So does every Democratic politician who voted to give Bush war powers.

Posted by: Hostile on June 7, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Another note: $5M is about $5-$10 per potential voter. That's a sustainable effort in close races nation-wide. I am not suggesting that Republicans should be complacent, but the incumbents will win if they put in a strong effort.

Posted by: republicrat on June 7, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

The whole Schmidt/Hacket thing needs to STOP being touted as some sort of paradigm shift for Ohio or the country as a whole. A democrat may have done very well in a very conservative district, but he was also a charismatic war vet running against a wierdo dunse. After factoring looks and gender I think there is very little left to hold onto.

Posted by: Ross on June 7, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat:

CA-50 is not a close race, it is not supposed to be a close race. Pumping $5MM into a safe district when the race will be identically re-run in 5 months is a sign of panic. The GOP simply could not afford the P.R. defeat, no matter what. They were recruting volunteers nationwide to go pitch in. This is a safe seat.

So, yes, $5-$10 per voter is sustainable for a handful of key close races. It's not sustainable at all to defend safe seats -and- attack close races. I agree with your take on Busby's 45%- this seems to be her upper limit, and unless the demographics of the district change, I'm not sure what else she can do, beyond a big increase in turnout from Dems and Independents.

Posted by: Alderaan on June 7, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK
The fall election will be very important but Angelides, the left candidate, won the Dem primary. Westly might have given Arnold a run for it.

Westly's entire campaign was centered around running on Arnold's campaign from the recall election ("I won't raise taxes", "I'm fantabulously wealthy and, therefore, won't be swayed by special interests", "I'll magically balance the budget by clever and unspecified rearrangement of existing programs and efficiency measures that won't require taxes or substantial program cuts that will matter to anyone".)

Westly couldn't have given Arnold a run for his money. Anyone willing to buy what he had to sell would buy it from the original seller, the incumbent governor.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk

Anybody want to take a proposition wager with me on whether or not his candidate wins the general? I'll give you odds.

Since your comment is referring to Kos' support for Tester, I'd like to hear your odds that Burns defeats Tester in November.

Posted by: Edo on June 7, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

MC:
Didn't take long for the "The Republicans must have cheated" crowd to start in here.

Who has accused the Republicans of cheating?

Posted by: Indiana Joe on June 7, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK
As I understand it, Democratic turnout in California was pretty low. Hey California Dems - its hard to beat Republicans unless you get off your dead ass.

For the vast majority of Californians, beating Republicans wasn't even a possible outcome, as this was a primary election.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Westly couldn't have given Arnold a run for his money. Anyone willing to buy what he had to sell would buy it from the original seller, the incumbent governor.

You overlook Westley's attacks on Angelides' environmental record. Angelides got the strong backing of the same Democratic machine that backed Gov. Davis unsuccessfully in the recall election.

Note also that the teacher-backed Props 81 and 82 were defeated by about the same margins as the Schwarzenegger-backed propositions were last fall. In all, those were two strong votes in favor of the status quo. I think it's likely that Schwarzenegger will do well among the Democrats who voted for Westley. The Dems in the Assembly blocked legislation that many Dems actually want (Kevin Drum wrote about this), just so Schwarzenegger would be denied the credit; the Assembly ranks lower in the polls than Schwarzenegger, and his poll numbers have been rising over the past months.

Taken all together, I think the signs point to Schwarzenegger being re-elected, with substantial numbers of pro-environment Democrats deserting Angelides.

Posted by: republicrat on June 7, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

it seems to me that it is a dicey proposition to try use a special election as goose entrails for november.

speaking of november, does anyone around here know what the dems have planned for ca-50 then? i know it's a tad early, but i just thoght i'd ask.

Posted by: Brian on June 7, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK
You overlook Westley's attacks on Angelides' environmental record.

Which, aside from being a pack of distortions, is irrelevant to the campaign against Arnold. Everything he ran on as far as why he should be governor (not why Angelides shouldn't, which admittedly he spent a lot more time and money promoting) was exactly what Arnold ran on in the recall (which, IIRC, though it won him more votes than any other recall candidate, won him less votes than the no votes on the recall, meaning that Davis unsuccessful campaign convinced more people than Arnold's successful campaign).

Angelides got the strong backing of the same Democratic machine that backed Gov. Davis unsuccessfully in the recall election.

That's not really true; a lot of those in the Party who were quiet on the recall backed Angelides, a lot of those who were against the recall backed Westly.

Note also that the teacher-backed Props 81 and 82 were defeated by about the same margins as the Schwarzenegger-backed propositions were last fall. . In all, those were two strong votes in favor of the status quo.

I don't really think that that's accurate.

I think it's likely that Schwarzenegger will do well among the Democrats who voted for Westley.

His recent rise in the polls suggest that its possible he won't do badly among Republicans in the general election, which was looking to be a real possibility, but it doesn't mean he's going to do well among any kind of Democrats, even those that supported Westly.

The Dems in the Assembly blocked legislation that many Dems actually want (Kevin Drum wrote about this), just so Schwarzenegger would be denied the credit;

The Dems in the Assembly aren't running for Governor.

the Assembly ranks lower in the polls than Schwarzenegger,

The Assembly as a whole is also not running for Governor.

and his poll numbers have been rising over the past months.

From abysmal to merely bad; a rise in the polls is typical of an incumbent without a serious primary challenge during a divisive primary on the other side, but if it doesn't get them over 50% approval, they are usually in serious risk, since the public usually has a pretty set of view of the incumbent.

Taken all together, I think the signs point to Schwarzenegger being re-elected, with substantial numbers of pro-environment Democrats deserting Angelides.

Well, as I disagree with your interpretation of essentially every specific point, it shouldn't surprise you that I also disagree with your conclusion.


Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:
Which, aside from being a pack of distortions, is irrelevant to the campaign against Arnold.

My first point was that you omitted the environmentalist theme, which was important to me, a swing voter. As to irrelevance, Arnold has a strong pro-environment theme, and I think that a lot of Democrat voters who voted for Westley will (as you hint) find themselves closer to Arnold than to Phil.

Well, as I disagree with your interpretation of essentially every specific point, it shouldn't surprise you that I also disagree with your conclusion.

Does this mean that you are predicting that Angelides will defeat Schwarzenegger? Or merely that you think there is insufficient evidence to predict for Schwarzenegger?

Posted by: republicrat on June 7, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

PTate in MN, why is the state trending republican? Is it because in the last election the democrats made a lot of gains in supposedly republican districts?

What male heirs? The Mondales? The Daytons?

Hatch is either tied or slightly a head of Pawlenty, and Pawlenty has done his best to avoid having to use ugly right-wing issues. Now that's he signed the stadium bill, all the whining babies who wanted a roofless wonder will vote for him, but how angry will the rest of us be? Those of who wanted a roof, who wanted the Twins to pay 50%+1 of the cost? Who wanted the legislature to take up more important issues.

C'mon I'm sure we live in very different parts of the state but how is MN trending Republican?

Posted by: MNPundit on June 7, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Have you ever noticed that the overarching GOP strategy for threatened Dem victories over the last 15 years always seems to involve the generation of a last minute "crisis", with or without the co operation of the opposing candidate, (i.e. Busby's remark over voting without papers, Kerry's refusal to contest the Swiftboat charges) followed by the rapid deployment of "polls" claiming cliffhanger, followed by the inevitable GOP win? One could conclude that GOP last ditch strategy depends on generating opinion polls that let them steal elections without attracting too much attention. Too bad the leadership which selected, advised and funded Busby (and Kerry) all belong to the DLC, which derives most of it's funding from the same folks who bring you the Heritage Foundation. I understand that Hillary Clinton is a leader, as was Bill, and our favorite traitor, Joementum. This is the same leadership which refuses to take a stand on anything. They're like farmers who harvest apples by just standing under the apple tree with their hands extended, waiting for one to fall into their hands, not bothering to take two steps to pick up the apples on the ground around them. After seeing this behavior for so many years, you got to wonder who's paying the note on the farm.

Posted by: not fooled again on June 7, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Brian:

It's not too early at all - the same Dem candidate who lost yesterday after encouraging illegal aliens to vote for her, won the Dem nomination for that seat in November - it will be an exact re-match with even WORSE results for Ms. Busby.

Posted by: Don P. on June 7, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

"it will be an exact re-match with even WORSE results for Ms. Busby"

Take a look out of your bubble - Busby gained 16% of the votes since the last election. So, do the math, it's more likely that she'll win with 53% vs. 41% for Bilbray next time.

Posted by: Gray on June 7, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK
As to irrelevance, Arnold has a strong pro-environment theme, and I think that a lot of Democrat voters who voted for Westley will (as you hint) find themselves closer to Arnold than to Phil.

Westly's smears notwithstanding, I don't think Phil is going to be any weaker against Arnold on that ground -- or any other -- than Steve would have been; my main objection was to the idea that Westly -- who was running as a clone of Arnold -- stood a substantially better chance in the general against Arnold than Angelides stands.

Does this mean that you are predicting that Angelides will defeat Schwarzenegger? Or merely that you think there is insufficient evidence to predict for Schwarzenegger?

Well, were I forced to make a prediction, I'd predict an Angelides win, though mostly my points were (1) I see insufficient evidence to predict a loss, and even moreso (2) I think the speculation that Westly would be in a better position to take on Schwarzenegger is badly misguided.


Posted by: cmdicely on June 7, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely, among other evidence, remember that in the recall election, the votes for Schwarzenegger and McClintock combined outnumbered the votes for Bustamante by about 2:1. Not many of those McClintock voters will go for Angelides this time around. Angelides might be a stronger candidate than Bustamante, or he might not be, but he isn't that much stronger.

you wrote this: Westly couldn't have given Arnold a run for his money. Anyone willing to buy what he had to sell would buy it from the original seller, the incumbent governor. If that is true, then the Westly voters from the primary, those who did "buy what he had to sell" will split heavily for "the original, the incumbent governor" in the general election. Angelides can only defeat "the original" if your analysis is mistaken.

Posted by: republicrat on June 7, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

How often are Democratic "near-misses" going to get spun as "moral victories"?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on June 8, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Hopefully forever, SocraticGadfly : )

P.S. Brian - did you ever return to this thread?

P.P.S. republicrat - you might as well give up now on cmdicely - he's a law student, Catholic moron.

Posted by: Don P. on June 8, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

There were some complaints floating around about voting machine oddities (Diebold?) - Any more about that?

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