Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 3, 2008
By: dday

WAVE ELECTION... Democracy Corps released their latest poll of Republican-held areas, and the news is very good for Democrats:

Analysis: Democrats Improve Advantage in 45 Republican-Held Districts

Even as we modified our sample design to include more hard-to-reach Republican-held districts, Democrats have significantly expanded their lead in this totally Republican battleground that Bush won by 12 points in 2004 and Republican members won by the same margin in 2006. You have to remind yourself that this is not a national poll but a poll in Republican-held seats where Democrats have moved to a 7-point lead (50 to 43 percent). Further, Republican incumbents have a very weak standing to be reelected while Democratic challengers enjoy a larger pool of winnable voters to approach in this election, win the issue debates and prove to be resilient to the most vicious Republican attacks. The underlying dynamics of the race show that the battleground could expand even further into Republican territory as more voters are open to vote Democratic in November.

Inside the numbers, we see that the strength for Democrats is in suburban and exurban districts, which is a real change from 2004, when George Bush took almost all of the fastest-growing districts in the country. The incumbent job approval in these 45 districts is down to 38%, which is significant because usually the situation is that people hate Congress but like their own representative. The analysis is pretty amazing.

The general election is going to be a mish-mash of identity politics and dishonest smears and 527 ads and the time-honored questioning of patriotism. At the district level, it's more typically a battle of party identification. And nobody wants anything to do with Republicans anymore.

dday 7:28 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (40)

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Comments

Basically correct, about Party strength overall. Now look at the Presidential election. Barack Obama has clinched the nomination. It's very historic, and he still has lots of support and interest despite recent turbulence. But lots of Hillary supporters are still bitter (?) and McCain seems to be a strong candidate. Obama's big question, and for all of us: should he pick Hillary for the VP, and pick up all that support, or not go there (for whatever reason)? I can see it either way, but what good would trying be (other than making the history, important as it is) if he doesn't win?

Posted by: Neil B on June 3, 2008 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

Where does all the money go when running for a public office?
Lets see now, I'll donate a dollar on my federal tax return for a person to use to run for president. I'm I reading that correctly? Is the money people get actually go to the owners of any type of media, print, telephone or television. Where is it really going? If all the reporting is basically the same with a little spin on the story why doesn't the government provide each voter with paper resumes of all running for office? And with that paperwork a week off from work paid for by the government to all of us to review and decide for ourselves! Individule votes not electorial college methods that have proven to be a waste of time and money for the general public.

Jean Andre Vallery
2453.net

Posted by: Jean Vallery on June 3, 2008 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

I'm starting to think typical GOP smears-- swiftboating, etc-- won't work this time. It's their signature maneuver and it is disgust with Republican politicians that is discrediting this most disgusting set of tactics. These craptacular politicians are giving slime a bad name!

Posted by: dennisS on June 3, 2008 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Which means that McCain can't dissociate himself from Bush, no matter how hard he tries in the general, and Bush's ratings, like the man himself, are for dogshit. I love THAT!

Posted by: Gonads on June 3, 2008 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

McCain has been hanging out with some very right-wing and extremist company over the last twenty years (i.e. the Republican Party). This will come out to haunt him and the down ticket folks. His voting record makes Barry Goldwater look like a moderate and this won't help anybody either. So things are looking pretty damned grim for the Republicans when they finally shed some light on McCain's record and past associates. I love it!

Posted by: Thin Wwhite Guy on June 3, 2008 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Barack Obama picking BILLARY Clinton as vice president will be like me picking a spitting Cobra as a room mate!

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor on June 4, 2008 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

And nobody wants anything to do with Republicans anymore.

That's because they're poopyheads.

Posted by: craigie on June 4, 2008 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, craigie, they're Crapstacks now. None of them come to the poopyhead meetings anymore.

Posted by: DonkeyOdie on June 4, 2008 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Campaigning, it's all about the message.

I really don't have a dog in this race, but from early on you could see that Obama was newer, more exciting, the breath of fresh air people -- particularly younger voters -- were looking for. Clinton seemed unable to maintain one persona and has at turns been smoothly assertive and poised, nervous, pressured, overaggressive, even frantic, as the potential to reach for the crown slipped out of reach, especially as regards the perceived bias against her without a nod towards the prejudice her opponent so obviously also faced. Lately, she has turned downright disengenuous, not to say near demagogic, playing a pathetic numbers and rule changing game without acknowledging her own prior agreements, in her attempt to maintain any momentum or relevance in the race. She forgot we've had enough of the usual political, morality-doesn't-count parsing.

Frankly she would have more leverage today if she had shown judgement, grace and class this last couple of weeks. Overall she has proved to me that Obama seems better presidential mettle and hers deeply flawed.

Either will be preferable to McCain but the numbers are in. Clinton needs to get in behind and make sure her supporters are on board with Obama, not alienated and bitter. Isn't that part of being in the Party?

She needs to change her message. Now!

Posted by: notthere on June 4, 2008 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

"And nobody wants anything to do with Republicans anymore."

At least until the next terror "incident" scares the beejeebers out of us. Then back into Big Brother's arms we shall flee. It all depends on how desperate BB gets as the prospect of "one of them" in the White House.

Posted by: Howard on June 4, 2008 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Well we can all start getting ready for the July Surprise, the August Surprise, the September Surprise & the October Surprise unless the ReThugs get really, really desperate & start doing the Next Week Surprise, the Week After That Surprise etc

What a f*ckin mess...

"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." – Edward R. Murrow

Posted by: daCascadian on June 4, 2008 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

Repubs will run on the local issues and make the grade.

When November rolls around, all local and state jurisdictions will be struggling with all the union pensions they have promised based on 1) rising house prices, and 2) bearing no responsibility for global warming.

These two stark facts have come to light and, for example, all the central valley, and northern counties in Californian's are struggling with union pensions,. They just got through being the greatest job engine, government work, with house construction second.

Voters will be focused on that problem, and all the county progressives have put these economies in sub-optimal positions for five years. We will have to absorb a 25% reduction in county payroll over the next two years.

We are in a mafia like grip of the government unions. Now, it is the progressives who are causing the boom and bust.

Posted by: Matt on June 4, 2008 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK


McCain seems to be a strong candidate....
Neil B.

??????
If this is strong, define weak.

Posted by: Huh on June 4, 2008 at 3:55 AM | PERMALINK

"...the strength for Democrats is in suburban and exurban districts..."

Aka foreclosure country.

Posted by: Nancy Irving on June 4, 2008 at 5:54 AM | PERMALINK

Note to Democrats from a long time Republican:
The Dems are holding all the cards this time. Young, vital candidate vs. old Senator with long paper trail. Nationwide disgust with Bush and the GOP along with it. Huge pool of highly motivated young campaigners. Massive fundraising advantages - the usual filthy rich lefties, the Democrats' usual backbone of support, are almost matched by Obama's savvy with online fundraising.
How on earth could you lose this election?
I'll tell you how: you'll get cocky and arrogant, and do the amazing Democratic trick of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. People with memories know whereof I speak.
DON'T DO IT.
Please?

Posted by: rhinoman on June 4, 2008 at 6:19 AM | PERMALINK

rhinoman:

I think as long as Hillary supporters can get over themselves, McCain is going to get beaten like a rented mule. I wouldn't be surprised if he loses by 10% points. The Congressional elections will be worse - if Bush has accomplished anything, it is making the Republican brand worthless. The only Repubs who will win are the ones who cast themselves as "independents". It's over for the GOP for a long, long time.

TCD

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 4, 2008 at 6:35 AM | PERMALINK

so the real question is what will the politics and government in the U.S. look like after the Republicans complete their death spiral and the U.S. is a de facto one party state.

Reading on Obsidian Wings the other days, some Democratic operatives have already realized that the Democratic Party needs to start making primary election changes to lock out all of the former Republican voters. I look for the one dominate party in the U.S. to do everything it can to lock in its position such as amnesty for illegal immigrants so that they quickly become automatic Democratic voters and making the Democratic Primary system more caucus heavy to keep out independents and former Republicans.

Posted by: superdestroyer on June 4, 2008 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK

Could we put aside your posts about movies, mothers, the U.S. Army's recruitment problems, and stale news from the AP for a little while? There's history being made before our very eyes, and Kevin's in England.

I'd very much appreciate reading the intelligent (except for Norman) comments on current events.

Please come home, Kevin....

Posted by: wileycat on June 4, 2008 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone notice all the s--t going down since Boy George has been in office and especially since attacking Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 911 and had no wmds?

Economy taking a dump, gas prices going through the roof, food prices jumping, hated around he world, Colony Collapse Disorder, unexplanined disappearing of song birds, etc. etc.

I'm becoming a believer in karma.

Posted by: on June 4, 2008 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK
so the real question is what will the politics and government in the U.S. look like after the Republicans complete their death spiral and the U.S. is a de facto one party state.

Never happen. The Party of Jefferson has seen its major party Rival collapse twice in the history of the U.S., but its never resulted in a "one-party" state. The Federalists died, and the Whigs became the other major party. The Whigs died, and the Republicans became the other major party. When the Republicans die, they will be replaced.

Our electoral system creates extreme pressure in favor of two major parties, that hasn't changed. Which parties they are may change, but without fundamental changes to how we do elections, the number won't.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 4, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

And, remember, the Republican party didn't just die. It committed suicide by purging from its ranks or dog-collaring all of its liberal, moderate, and traditional conservative politicians. The support they garnered from Democrats, independents, and tradtional conservatives is going solidly Democratic this year.

The right-wingers wanted a party just for themselves and they got one. Two centuries of American political experience says you cannot win nationally with a narrow-based party.

Posted by: Berken on June 4, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

"Huh", polling shows McCain basically even with Obama. By definition, that's a "strong candidate" like him or not.

Posted by: Neil B on June 4, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

I've never been less impressed by polls than I am now. It seems as they've proliferated they've become less useful at making accurate predictions, which is a shame because on election day we need polls you can trust to use as a check against possible fraud.

Regarding one party rule vs. two parties; get ready for the next big realignment as the Democratic party splits in two giving us the next major Center-Left and Center-Right parties. I'm guessing what's left of the GOP and the new Democratic coalition will last about one decade. Idle pasttime; imaging a name for the new Center-Right party.

Posted by: dennisS on June 4, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK
Regarding one party rule vs. two parties; get ready for the next big realignment as the Democratic party splits in two giving us the next major Center-Left and Center-Right parties. Idle pasttime; imaging a name for the new Center-Right party.

The new Center-Right party will most likely be named what the current Center-Right party is named: "the Democratic Party".

If we should end up with a Center-Left party as the main alternative replacing the hard Right Republican party, I imagine it'll be called something like "the Green Party".

Posted by: cmdicely on June 4, 2008 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

And what would a center-right Democratic party consist of? The actual survey data puts the vast majority of swing votes in center-left (pro-choice, pro-national health insurance, pro-environment, anti-war, anti-corruption, anti-Washington, anti-corporate), which is where the Democrats have been running for the last few elections. The conservative Democrats have no where to go. The Republicans don't want them, because those remaining aren't right-wing and obedient enough.

Posted by: on June 4, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

The new Center-Right party will most likely be named what the current Center-Right party is named: "the Democratic Party".

Touché

And, I do like the sound of a center-left called Greens. Perhaps in this century as climate change becomes the overriding issue that is how it will turn out.

Posted by: dennisS on June 4, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

The problem with a center left Green Party is that it would probably end up as white as the current Democratic Party. What issue is going to cause a anyone currently inside the Democratic Party and move to a party that can probably no compete in all 50 states.

What is much more likely is the current scenerio in Mass. where the Democratic Party is the one, dominate party and there is a Potemkin Repubican party that competes in about 25% of the races and has zero effect on policy.

Posted by: superdestroyer on June 4, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

fixed it for ya...

OHB's voting record makes john mccain look like an old man...

Posted by: mr. irony on June 4, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

"How on earth could you lose this election?
I'll tell you how: you'll get cocky and arrogant, and do the amazing Democratic trick of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. People with memories know whereof I speak.
DON'T DO IT.
Please?"

-------------------------------------------------
And as if on cue...

"McCain is going to get beaten like a rented mule. I wouldn't be surprised if he loses by 10% points."

"so the real question is what will the politics and government in the U.S. look like after the Republicans complete their death spiral and the U.S. is a de facto one party state."

"Regarding one party rule vs. two parties; get ready for the next big realignment as the Democratic party splits in two giving us the next major Center-Left and Center-Right parties."

"What is much more likely is the current scenerio in Mass. where the Democratic Party is the one, dominate party and there is a Potemkin Repubican party that competes in about 25% of the races and has zero effect on policy. "


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