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SSP Daily Digest: 10/26

by: Crisitunity

Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 3:14 PM EDT

AR-Sen: Another day, another random conservative guy running for the Senate in Arkansas. Today, it's the turn for Stanley Reed, the former president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau and former president of the University of Arkansas board of trustees, who says he's considering the race for the Republican nod. (H/t CongressDaily.)

FL-Sen: The Police Benevolent Association, friendly with Charlie Crist from his law-and-order days as Attorney General, commissioned a poll via McLaughlin & Associates that paints a slightly rosier picture of Crist's race against Marco Rubio than we've seen from several other pollsters last week. They find Crist up against Rubio 53-29, with a 67% approval.

IA-Sen: It looks like Christie Vilsack (the former Iowa first lady, and political heavyweight in her own right) won't be challenging Chuck Grassley after all. She'd sounded receptive to the idea in the last few weeks, but today she's telling the Des Moines Register that she won't run. Lawyer and former gubernatorial candidate Roxanne Conlin had sounded close to running last week, so the ball's in Conlin's court now.

LA-Sen: Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne is the only prominent Republican left who hasn't ruled out a challenge to David Vitter in the Republican primary, and, although he hasn't taken any steps, he's still not shutting the door on it. Last week on a radio show he confirmed that he hasn't ruled it out. While a primary between the two hasn't been polled since March (with Vitter leading 43-32), a recent poll had Dardenne overperforming Vitter against Charlie Melancon in the general.

MA-Sen: A poll of the Democratic primary, from Western New England College Polling Institute, in the special election in Massachusetts finds that AG Martha Coakley is still in the driver's seat, but that some of her competitors are gaining ground as they get better-known. Coakley is at 37, with Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca at 14 (that's what spending all that money on ads will get you), Rep. Michael Capuano at 13, and City Year founder Alan Khazei at 4. The general election is shaping up to be a non-event, as Coakley beats Republican state Sen. Scott Brown 58-32 and Capuano beats him 49-33.

WI-Sen: Russ Feingold finally has a noteworthy challenger: Terrence Wall, a Madison-area real estate developer who seems to have lots of money, although he's never been elected before and it's not clear what poltical skills he brings to the table. Wall is a frequent GOP donor, although he's also given money to his local Dem, Rep. Tammy Baldwin.

MI-Gov: Rasmussen took a look at the Michigan governor's race, but without a clear sense of who the nominees will be, they just did a generic ballot test. Generic R leads Generic D by only a point, 37-36 -- suggesting that Lt. Gov. John Cherry, who hasn't polled well in general election matchups, is underperforming Generic D. Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm's approval is 40/60.

NJ-Gov: Suffolk University takes its first poll of the New Jersey governor's race, and while it would be nice to say this was the new reality, it's probably more likely an outlier: Jon Corzine leads Chris Christie 42-33, with Chris Daggett pulling in 7. Suffolk did an interesting experiment: they listed all 12 minor candidates, and they ate a bit into Daggett's numbers, pulling in a cumulative 3%. Corzine also has surprisingly high favorables, at 45/46, with Christie at 34/46. Monmouth, however, explains what might have happened with this sample (apparently a simple mistake that out-of-state pollsters often make): Suffolk weighted party ID by registration, but because of NJ's semi-open primary system, many unaffiliateds are actually partisan and should be polled as such.

Meanwhile, with most polls still pointing to a tossup, Barack Obama is back for one more rally with Corzine next weekend. Chris Christie can ill-afford one more scandal in the news, but that seems to be happening anyway, as stories about his seemingly politically-motivated hiring of the son of Christie patron and mentor Herbert Stern as an assistant US Attorney, despite Stern Jr.'s mediocre interviews.

NY-Gov: This is the kind of courtesy call you don't really want -- the kind that says "I'm taking the job you want." According to the NY Post's Fred Dicker (so add salt according to taste), Andrew Cuomo contacted Rudy Giuliani through intermediaries to let him know that he will, in no uncertain terms, be running for Governor.

CA-11: One more Republican sounds like he's ready to join the strangely crowded field to go up against Rep. Jerry McNerney next year. Former San Jose city councilor Larry Pegram says he'll move into the district to take on McNerney -- but it seems like he may want to do a little research before getting too committed, as he claimed that McNerney is weak because he was just swept in as part of the "Obama wave." (McNerney, of course, was first elected in 2006.)

FL-19: The special election in the 19th is shaping up to be pretty uneventful: over the weekend, not only did outgoing Rep. Robert Wexler endorse state Sen. Peter Ted Deutch to take over for him, but so too did everyone else representing the Gold Coast: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Ron Klein, and Alcee Hastings.

MI-02: A whole lot of Dutch-American conservative Republicans are jostling to take over from Rep. Peter Hoekstra in the solidly-red 2nd, and one of the field's heavy hitters made his entry official: state Sen. Wayne Kuipers. He faces former state Rep. Bill Huizenga, former NFL player Jay Riemersma, and businessman Bill Cooper.

NY-23 (pdf): There have been rumors of private polls out there given a small lead to third-party Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman in the 23rd, and now his sponsors at the Club for Growth have openly released one. Basswood Research finds Hoffman in the lead with 31, with Democrat Bill Owens at 27 and Republican Dede Scozzafava lagging at 20, with 22 undecided (although with a huge 6% MoE, anything could be happening). That must have something to do with the DCCC's new strategy; their new negative ad is going after Hoffman, rather than Scozzafava. Also, Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty finally got off the fence and decided to throw his lot in with the movement: he endorsed Hoffman.

NY-24: The New York Times, in a broader piece on GOP targeting of New York House Democrats, has an interesting tidbit we hadn't seen before: the GOP is trying to coax Michael Richard Hanna, the businessman who performed surprisingly well against Rep. Mike Arcuri last year, into a rematch.

KY-St. Sen.: We're moving one step closer to another vacant seat and special election in Kentucky's Senate (which is controlled 21-17 by Republicans right now). Republican Dan Kelly was nominated for a state circuit court position, and he just needs Gov. Steve Beshear's approval to get the job. Competitors are already lining up for the special, including Republican state Rep. Jimmy Higdon and Democratic former state Rep. Jodie Haydon. (In case you were wondering if Kentucky, which votes for statewide offices in odd-numbered years, is having legislative elections next week, the answer is no; state legislators are still elected in even-numbered years.)

VA-St. House: One more good piece in the diaries breaking down the individual races in Virginia's House of Delegates into Tossup, Lean, and Likely, thanks to our Johnny Longtorso. One particularly interesting race is the 51st District in exurban Prince William County, where Republican Rich Anderson, challenging Dem incumbent Paul Nichols in a very competitive race, may face criminal charges for giving out Nichols' Social Security number on a mailer to over 15,000 area residents.

ME-Init: Another poll from Pan Atlantic SMS of Question 1 in Maine on gay marriage. They find 42 yes and 53 no (with "no" being a vote in favor of continuing gay marriage), not much changed from their September poll (43-52) but the most optimistic numbers we've seen yet here.

Mayors: In New York City, Quinnipiac finds incumbent Michael Bloomberg (the $85 million man) with a sizable edge against Democratic comptroller William Thompson, leading 53-35 with a lead in every borough. (Not much change from 52-36 a month ago.) In what looks to be the first poll of the Atlanta mayoral race, SurveyUSA finds city councilor Mary Norwood with a big lead, although not quite enough to avoid a runoff with the 2nd place finisher. Norwood is at 46%, followed by state Sen. Kasim Reed at 26% and city councilor Lisa Borders at 17%. Norwood leads 6:1 among whites, independents, and Republicans; Reed leads among African-Americans. Also worth a read is a piece from our own diaries about major (and minor) mayoral races from elections09, which gets into the weeds on some tight races not on anybody's national radar screen (with Vancouver, WA and Stamford, CT as particularly interesting examples).

Crisitunity :: SSP Daily Digest: 10/26
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Not buying the CfG numbers
The NRCC wouldn't be doubling down on Scozzofava if they were anywhere near accurate. I think the internals suggest not. Seniors oversampled and more Republican in general than Research 2000 found.

NYC-Mayor: It's over, but will it be a brutal loss? Only sorta.
Yes, Michael Bloomberg is running away with this thing, and sans some huge bombshell on his part over the next week, he's going to win pretty comfortably.

The thing is, with NYC's Dem registration, Bill Thompson basically wakes up on election day with a guaranteed 40% floor. And, despite the odd geographical crosstabs in recent polling, Thompson will absolutely carry The Bronx; perhaps even by double-digits. He'll lose Manhattan and Brooklyn by 10% a piece, Queens by 20%, and Staten Island by 40%.

Odds are, we're probably looking at a 58-42 count come election night. Which, in theory, is terrible, but you can look at it from another direction too - it took $85 million for Bloomberg to not even get 3/5 of the vote.

For daily political commentary, visit me at and

It's Ted Deutch, not Peter Deutch that is the endorsed State Senator.

Irritating, isn't it?
Not only does the guy have a similar name, but also slightly different spelling - Ted Deutch vs. Peter Deutsch.

Male, 23, DC-At Large

[ Parent ]
You know the charts
You prepared last year showing county percentages and necessary victory margins? Do you have one for NY-23 or am I jumping the gun? :)  

[ Parent ]
Not yet
Although, yeah, it had occurred to me that I should put that together for NJ, VA, and NY-23. Probably next Monday.

[ Parent ]
If Christie Vilsack isn't running
Does Tom Vilsack running seem more likely?

20, Male, Democrat, CA-44 (home) CA-12 (college)

no way
He has a good gig now and won't give up his position at the USDA to take on Grassley. He will probably run for Senate in 2014 (if Harkin retires) or in 2016.

[ Parent ]
Deval up double-digits in three-way according to Rasmussen.

Don't know what Larry Pegram's thinking
Not that much of CA-11's near San Jose.  Pretty much just Morgan Hill: areas on the East Bay and especially San Joaquin County are pretty far away.  Of course if he really wants to go to Congress this is his only real option (besides switching parties) but still pretty weird.

21, male, CA-15 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

Morgan Hill's inclusion in the district is a joke
The area connecting it is a rugged unpopulated wilderness.  You cannot get between the three regions of the district (Central Valley, Tri-Valley and Morgan Hill) without leaving the district, except perhaps on horseback.  

28, Unenrolled, MA-08

[ Parent ]
I'm not complaining
Morgan Hill is pretty Democratic leaning if I remember right.  

21, male, CA-15 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

[ Parent ]
I gave up on the VA gov race some time ago.
Lt Gov and AG too.

I still have no idea how the assembly elections (and the senate if they are running this yr) will turn out.

Worried. We were on our way to majority and now this.

It's one cycle
The long term political and demographic shifts are just too dramatic for us to be kept out of the majority much longer.  

Male, 23, DC-At Large

[ Parent ]
I'm in Virginia, and you and all others need to remain calm......
Political progress is two steps forward, one step back.

I've been bracing for a Deeds defeat since mid-August, and even when he surged in September I was skeptical he ultimately would get over the hump because at his peak he still polled so poorly with white independents.  And I try to remind so many that McDonnell was the frontrunner even way back last winter, already then beating Deeds and Moran, and later McAuliffe, in all the trial heat polls.  He was just stronger than any of our choices right from the start, and we needed a good candidate running a great campaign to have a realistic chance to win.

This election just shows that Virginia remains purple and this is a neutral year, and in a purple state in a neutral year it's the quality of candidates and campaigns that decide outcomes.  Deeds did himself in with countless unforced errors, and that's what ultimately is handing McDonnell a victory instead of forcing a dead heat right now.

What's important to me is that we still can save a bunch of NoVA Democratic Virginia House candidates.  The new WaPo poll today gives Deeds a 56-43 advantage in NoVA, only a small drop from the previous WaPo poll's 57-40 Deeds advantage.  If that proves accurate, then we still do well in these state legislative contests, and that matters a lot in evaluating the reality of where Democrats are right now.

And as long as Owens doesn't blow it and Corzine finds a way to pull it out, we'll be in good shape in the post-election narrative with every reason for good morale going forward, especially if health care keeps progressing as it has lately.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
I was praying for some muck on Christie.
That has been answered. But the dam is not breaking.

It's Richard Hanna. Rep. Arcuri is the Michael in that race :) Easy mistake to make.

Mark Dayton got the endorsement from AFSCME, citing his proven ability to win statewide election in MN, having won the state Auditor race in 1990 and US Senator in 2000.  It is pretty much the only reason cited, which actually shouldnt be taken too lightly as a reason since MN hasn't had a DFL Gov. since 1990.  The DFL has massive majorities in both chambers of the legislature (2/3rds in the senate and just a little 2/3rds in the house) so getting a DFL Gov. would allow us to govern with a very progressive ideology.

Dayton is a bit of a non-factor in the race, Rybak, Entenza, Kelliher, and Bakk will romp with the delegates.  (Bakk because he is an Iron Ranger and will get a huge Greater Minnesota portion of the delegates).

The article says that Dayton is planning on running in the primary with or without the DFL endorsement, which would probably include Kelliher and Entenza as Entenza is already out of politics and Kelliher has announced she is retiring from the house.  Rybak would probably be in the primary as well.

That doesn't surprise me
Basically, whoever wins the convention will most likely do so without a huge mandate and will likely require more rounds into the wee hours of the morning (ala the 2002 GOP convention when Pawlenty officially won the convention after something like 2AM).  Given that, the candidates that have the money or feel like they have a built-in base of votes are going to take it all the way to the primary, a rarity in Minnesota.  Entenza and Dayton will have the money, Rybak has Minneapolis, and Kelliher is the only credible female in the race (sorry Susan Gaertner) so it makes sense they have all signaled that they may stay in.  Of course, if one candidate manages to somehow win the convention in a runaway it may change the calculus a bit.

Tom Bakk is the one candidate that intrigues me as he is the only major Iron Range candidate in the race and seems to be able to corral the blue collar vote.  My only question is whether he can garner enough liberal votes from the Twin Cities/inner suburbs to pull off a victory, as I doubt he has high name ID down in Minneapolis.

Overall, I feel good about our chances at retaking this seat.  My only concern is if someone like Dayton or Entenza were to win it when we could have a much more progressive choice in there (thank god Mike Opat doesn't have a shot!).

[ Parent ]
What makes Dayon and Entenza
not as progressive as the other choices?  To me, both have other problems.  (Dayton had to retire because it was common knowledge that he'd lose to Kennedy and Entenza is a bit of a slime ball.)

[ Parent ]
common knowledge as of early 2005
Hard to estimate politics but it's probably a pretty safe he wouldve beaten him with the huge 2006 wave.

[ Parent ]
You mean Mark Kennedy v. Mark Dayton
Yup, Dayton was having trouble in the polls then, and I give him credit for stepping aside, before the '06 wave became apparent. Dayton may very well have won in '06, but Klobacher was a much stronger candidate.

However, is there anything new that suggests that Dayton has overcome his previous image problems, and would be a better candidate than say RT Rybak?

[ Parent ]
Tough to say
He polls well due to name recognition, but I think voters still remember all the baggage that he has.  And yes, he would have probably been boosted by the '06 wave to re-election had he stayed but he would have been a weak incumbent and would likely have been vulnerable again in 2012.  Klobuchar is a great Senator for the state and has a potential future on the national stage.  I hope she can follow in the footsteps of former Minnesota Senators Paul Wellstone, Gene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, and Hubert H. Humphrey in becoming a strong advocate for liberal causes in the Senate.

[ Parent ]
Mark Kennedy was a real star for the GOP
He would have been a real problem for us down the road, we were very lucky to have him flame out the way he did.

Same with Jack Ryan in 2004.

I suspect that Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is similar, and hopefully he'll run in 2012, when it is likely to be a Dem landslide in Wisconsin.

The one star that the GOP does have, IMO, is Bob McDonnell.  Expect to see him run in 2016.

[ Parent ]
I misspoke
I meant to say effective progressives.  Dayton seems to have pretty liberal views but I just don't see him as able to be an effective Governor who could utilize the majorities the DFL has and he has a propensity to put his foot in his mouth.  Entenza's ties to the insurance industry and some of the corporate donors to his think tank do concern me, and he also has the magical ability to piss off fellow Democrats.  To me, if we can get a good progressive and an effective executive like RT Rybak in there, I'll be happy.

[ Parent ]
While a forty percent approval rating doesn't seem that out of line in Michigan, Rasmussen again shows no undecideds.  How can that be taken seriously?

Nate on the CfG poll of NY-23
"Poll May Seek to Alter, Not Reflect, Reality"

I thought this part was most important
"The poll was released at a time when the NRCC, which has endorsed Scozzafava, is defending its position by citing the polling evidence, and so the incentive to put out some contrary evidence to alter the inflection of the media narrative is quite high."

[ Parent ]
It's amazing (though not surprising) how quick the conservative blogosphere ignores things like that
When that NJ poll giving Corzine a big lead came out I heard mostly skepticism from our side (and that poll didn't have nearly as many issues as this one).  If Deeds came out with a similar internal I doubt we'd fall for it either.  

21, male, CA-15 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

[ Parent ]
The biggest red herring is clearly the difference with the Kos/R2k poll - 60+ at 16% of its total sample while the CfG sample has 65+ at 34% of its total sample. Now special elections may skew older or not but surely not that much older. Looking at the national exit poll for last year thye breakdown was  18-29 (18%), 30-44 (29%), 45-64 (37%), 65 and Older (16%). In the Empire State it was 18-29 (22%), 30-44 (29%), 45-64 (38%), 65 and Older (11%). Now obviously this district is more Republican than New York as a whole but double the turnout of seniors this year compared to last? Come on!

[ Parent ]
Yeah, the demographics pretty much Hoffman's far-best case scenario
Very unrealistic.  Wonder if this poll will make a difference: the people most likely to read it (political insiders and junkies) either are already onboard the Hoffman train or should see right through this.  (Though few reports have highlighted the polls glaring problems, so maybe not).  It may move a few of Dede's voters to Hoffman if they feel this confirms she can't win, but I'd imagine a (real) poll confirming Owens is ahead and Dede's in second (for now) will be released and cancel this out.  

21, male, CA-15 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

[ Parent ]
Club for Growth poll summer '08
NJ Senate
36% Zimmer
35% Laughtenberg  

[ Parent ]
Tell it to the pundits, not me
I don't need to be convinced CFG polls are crap.

21, male, CA-15 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

[ Parent ]
As a commenter on FiveThirtyEight just pointed out
It is awfully strange that all of these individuals are "likely voters" yet all three of the candidates have such huge shares of voters who have either never heard of or have no opinion of them.

Male, 23, DC-At Large

[ Parent ]
I miss the days when I could dismiss that result as an outlier...

21, male, CA-15 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

[ Parent ]
Well, if nothing else
he's holding a lead in Northern Virginia, which may help in the House of Delegates races there.

[ Parent ]
That's exactly what I posted elsewhere, Johnny, and... mental state right now is such that the first thing I did when I learned of the new WaPo poll was to search the article for the NoVA result and consider it a victory to see that 13-point lead.

All I care about anymore in Virginia is saving our Virginia House candidates, and more personally saving Vanderhye.  I chatted with her campaign manager just the other day, and the talk calmed my nerves somewhat and left me thinking Vanderhye is going to win.  What the campaign manager shared with me corroborated some information I'd read elsewhere about Vanderhye and more broadly the NoVA races, and all that combined with the NoVA result in the new WaPo poll make me feel we're going to have a better night in the House races than a lot of the wingnut trolls believe.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
CA-Gov: Richard Riordan endorses Whitman
I mean no disrespect to Gov. Granholm, but how did she get re-elected in 2006?  Was it just the Democratic wave across the country or did people despise Dick DeVos that much.  She must have magical skills as a politician.  

Please donate to to help build more after school centers in the Miami area.  

23, Democrat, IA-2

What makes you think she should've been endangered?......
Granholm was never considered seriously endangered that year that I can recall, and 2006 certainly wasn't the same economic environment as now, even in Michigan.

And DeVos was no serious challenger except for being a rich guy.  I always viewed him as a sacrificial lamb.

And yeah, the Democratic wave that year obviously saved EVERYONE on our side.

If you want to talk about Dem Govs saved by that wave, the big four are Baldacci in Maine; Blago in Illinois; Doyle in Wisconsin; and Kulogonski in Oregon.  Everyone but Doyle had a 3rd-party or independent candidate in the race taking a LOT of votes to save very unpopular incumbent Democrats.  Everyone forgets that now as we focus on Corzine, but what he's doing has been successful as a formula for us a bunch of times in RECENT years, not even just the medium term.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
Several GOP governors
Managed to narrowly survive in 2006, though: Gibbons, Pawlenty, Carcieri.

[ Parent ]
Gibbons won an open seat. Pawlenty survived because...
...Hatch shot himself in the foot a week out.  It's truly amazing how Minnesota Dems snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in gubernatorial elections.  Minnesota Democratic nominees for Governor are the Chicago Cubs of politics.

Carcieri was a typical moderate blue state GOP Governor who knew how to negotiate being a Republican in a liberal state, just as people like Freudenthal know how to negotiate being a Democrat in a conservative state.  I don't recall Carcieri being particularly unpopular.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
Carcieri is far from moderate
York and Fogarty were weak opponents for one thing. Another factor is that the Democrats in the legislature are for the large part (not all of them) corrupt and incompetent. Also, there's probably a lot of distrust towards the Democrats for things like education (many of the problems w/r/t education can be blamed on the way the teacher's unions work, especially in Providence) and taxes.

However Carcieri has been a terrible governor and I'm not sure he would win if the election were held this year or next. My father, who always votes Democratic in federal races, voted for Carcieri twice but may have sworn off Republicans even in statewide races now.  

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami."

[ Parent ]
Yes, she was
for a time in August 2006 and i think for part of September, she was regularly trailing DeVos in polls and made a comeback during the fall.

For a time she was thought to be the only Democratic governor who would lose.  

[ Parent ]
Thanks, did a little research and found...
...she was in trouble in June/July.  She recovered in August and led in almost all polls from mid-August forward, the one exception Rasmussen ( WHAT A SHOCK! ) at the end of August.

I'd forgotten Granholm was ever in trouble, maybe as I was so much more focused on House races, and Granholm was looking pretty safe by Labor Day.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
Crisitunity, you owe us some more info on NY-23......
You say there have been "rumors" of "private polls" showing Hoffman in 1st place, and that's eye-opening even if no one else in this thread has commented on it yet.  You imply the CfG poll is confirmation of rumors already out there.

So what were the rumors themselves, where did they come from?

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

Methinks those rumors originated from Hoffman's camp...
As has already been said, it wouldn't make any sense for the NRCC to be going all in for Scozzafava otherwise.

Male, 23, DC-At Large

[ Parent ]
That was from Chris Cillizza, which I mentioned on Friday. We aren't privy to any special knowledge - though if we did have a confidential source, obviously we would not reveal such a source.

[ Parent ]
OK, that post and Cilizza don't say or support "Hoffman in 1st"......
I read that Cilizza piece back then, and he said private polling on both sides showed DeDe in 3rd.  He did not say polling showed Hoffman in 1st.  Those are 2 completely different things.  Hell, I was predicting before that Cilizza tidbit that DeDe would end up 3rd on election day.

So I still don't see a source for a "rumor" beyond the new CfG poll for "Hoffman in 1st."

And I don't expect or demand you guys to disclose confidential sources.  But if someone posts a "rumor" of something, some obscure guidance on where it came from (e.g., "party insiders" or "media sources") could be offered without breaching any confidence.  If nothing else, it helps to have confirmation that the "rumors" were of something other than the new CfG poll.

43, male, Indian-American, Democrat, VA-10

[ Parent ]
I'll second
what David said about Cillizza -- that's the only place in the legacy media where I've seen mention, and without citation of course. Also, if I remember correctly, there was some buzzing about it in the rightosphere, like RedState. Even if I remembered where exactly at RedState it was, we try not to send link traffic their way. Anyway, it's all a big game of 'telephone,' and I'm sure it whatever meaning exists has gotten twisted around long before it reached Cillizza or Erickson.

[ Parent ]
I don't believe this BS Club for Growth poll
but I will say this:


The one thing that could make
Next Tuesday mean anything for next year would be Hoffman wnning. And not for the reasons you think.

[ Parent ]
The CfG / wingnut brigade have a lot of chips riding on Hoffman
I'm now convinced their success/failure in NY-23 will affect wingnut turnout in 2010 -

If Hoffman wins, R leaders will all become teabaggers, leading to enhanced R turnout in 2010.

If Hoffman comes in second to Owens, it'll be "game on" between wingnuts and the R establishment. Kos may be able to affect that game with a few choice "endorsements" like he did (intentionally or otherwise) with Scozzafava.

If Hoffman comes in third, Palin, Pawlenty, Armey, etc. have egg on their faces. Some significant group of teabaggers will hunker down for the long haul, looking for electable Rs for 2010 - That may be more difficult for us on paper. But the teabag movement will have suffered a hit, and their 2010 turnout will not be as high as it would be otherwise.

[ Parent ]
Let's look at each scenario
If Hoffman wins, R leaders will all become teabaggers, leading to enhanced R turnout in 2010.

And resulting in independents voting Democratic outside the South.  Basically the GOP turns in to the 1964 Goldwater variety or the 1972 McGovern variety.

In the case that Rs are not teabaggers, there will be third party challenges.

Huge win for the Dems outside the South.  Blue Dogs in the rural South go down in flames.

If Hoffman comes in second to Owens, it'll be "game on" between wingnuts and the R establishment. Kos may be able to affect that game with a few choice "endorsements" like he did (intentionally or otherwise) with Scozzafava.

It will be a fight within the party, but wingnuts are more likely to back whomever the party finally chooses, provided that they are not complete apostates.  Will wingnuts put up third party challenges?  Maybe, but not certainly.  Some teabaggers might take a step back, like liberals did after Nader.

Bad news for the GOP.

If Hoffman comes in third, Palin, Pawlenty, Armey, etc. have egg on their faces. Some significant group of teabaggers will hunker down for the long haul, looking for electable Rs for 2010 - That may be more difficult for us on paper. But the teabag movement will have suffered a hit, and their 2010 turnout will not be as high as it would be otherwise.

Bad news for the Democrats.  Sure teabagger turnout will be less, but outside the South, this is no more than say 1-3% less in the outcome.  But much more importantly, the GOP will be able to appeal to moderates, and that is bad news for the Dems who are trying to sell policy.

[ Parent ]
Huge win for the Dems outside the South.  Blue Dogs in the rural South go down in flames.

Wouldnt that just divide the vote to defeat these Blue Dogs?

[ Parent ]
because in the South, the GOP usually nominates extremist wingnuts that are acceptable to teabaggers.

[ Parent ]
You're reading too much into it
Slate ran a really good feature today that laid out some good arguments that regardless of who wins, the circumstances surrounding this election are fairly unique and will be awfully hard to replicate on a national scale in 2010.  Honestly, I don't see how this "teabagger effect" will suddenly lead to Democrats in the South or elsewhere going down in flames.  For starters, the Republican establishment is still wary of them as a) there's no real way to tell how influential their numbers are and b) they are complete wild cards and cannot be trusted or relied on.  The only reason why so many 2012 presidential contenders are jumping on the Hoffman bandwagon is that Scozzafava is toxic right now and has been tarred - it's a cheap way to boost conservative credentials.  This smells a lot like how folks predicted back in 2004 that the anti-war vote would make a huge difference in the general after thst group made such a good showing at the Democratic primaries, and that just never came to fruition.  Plus, Hoffman has been pimped by mainstream conservative publications like The Weekly Standard and The National Review for weeks now.  Had he not been given that sort of endorsement, he would have just been known as a "teabagger" candidate and probably would have never gained traction.  It was precisely those endorsements that made him appear legitimate/electable and NOT like a crazy teabag wingnut.  

This is also an instance of an election being the focus of all the attention.  As I've said before in other threads, it's easy to catch lightning in a bottle when it's just one Congressional race that allows every national GOP organization, activist group and publication to devote their resources on.  Have fun trying to replicate this across 200+ districts in 2010, cause it just won't happen.

Here's the Slate piece I mentioned earlier

[ Parent ]
Lots can happen when you make
common cause with the Club for Growth. BTW, big victory for them if they can co-opt the teabaggers.  

[ Parent ]
That's a big if
The other big if in this equation is if the anti-tax teabaggers can not only keep up their populist rage, but keep it directed at the government.  Will the energy still be there after healthcare reform is passed, or when the eoonomy begins to recover and many of these teabaggers - many of whom were hit hard by this recession - start to enjoy the benefits of it?  I think it's still way too early to tell if these folks have any staying power as an influential group, or will become so small and radical that they go the way of the Birchers.  

[ Parent ]
Interesting points, thank you, however
I'm thinking that demographically, 2010 (and possibly 2014) will be the last chance for wingnuts to win elections based on turnout.

And turnout / voter energy is one of the areas where perceptions becomes reality.

Nevertheless, the article you cite is correct, too much is - usually - read into off-year elections.

I don't know if they need to focus on more than 40 districts - i.e. the south, mountain west, and wingnut friendly swing areas such as Ohio and PA.

Just as Reagan did in '80-'82, Rs don't need a majority to wreck legislative havoc in the House - 210 seats would probably be enough.

But IMO, that depends on a Hoffman victory, and despite what we're seeing on InTrade, I'm guessing the chance of that is no greater than 10%.

[ Parent ]
All I read was that he was avoiding endorsing anyone as much as possible.  What did I miss?

[ Parent ]
He endorsed Hoffman
In standard Pawlenty spineless jellyfish fashion, he waited to make a move until the pack already did so he wouldn't offend anyone.

[ Parent ]
It is for the reason I think
It will have two effects:

1. Third party teabagger candidacies in the North, I would expect teabagger challenges immediately to Mark Kirk and Mike Castle among other moderate to conservative Repubs.

2. Massive wingnut turnout, mostly concentrated in the rural white South (where the militant teabaggers are) which will manifest in the defeat of many rural Southern Democrats both in Congress and in the state legislature, mostly Blue Dogs.

[ Parent ]
As I pointed out in the other thread pertaining to NY-23
Why support Hoffman for ruining the GOP and why not Scozzafava?  There is certainly plenty of ways a Scozzafava win could factor into helping us down the road.

[ Parent ]
wups sorry!
I posted a reply without reading through the entire thread and you've already considered all that above.

[ Parent ]
What, if anything, would an Owens win/ loss mean for us?
This election is pretty hard to draw conclusions from, but it may be worth trying.  Would an Owens win mean the Democrats should try picking more moderates?  Would a loss (which I don't think will happen, but it's worth thinking about) mean we need more liberals to draw a disctintion?  Or should we just say "It was a very strange race" and read nothing into it?

21, male, CA-15 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

The only scenario truly horrible would be Owens in last
There is no way to spin that.

Fortunately 1st or 2nd seems close to a lock.

The fact we won't come close to a majority though is not good at all. 45% is a total victory.  Under 40% would be a lame "victory".

[ Parent ]
An Owens win means...
The Dems need to cheer on third-party right-wingers as much as possible. That's about it; Scozzafava would be winning this race without it.

For daily political commentary, visit me at and

[ Parent ]
Two possible lessons from an Owens win -
1) Stay out of the way, stay mostly positive when R establishement and wingnuts are at war
2) Kos can affect wingnut perceptions of moderate Rs

[ Parent ]
Kos had nothing to do with it
Scozzafava's record is outside the mainstream of the GOP.  I can see why the base was pissed.

[ Parent ]
If you've seen the way Malkin, Red State, etc have used the Kos "endorse"ment
You'd understand why Kos himself suggested that the effect of his Oct 1 diary was "Rovian"

So many wingnuts have used and morphed his diary title to announce to the world that Scozzafava is more liberal than Owens.

Scozzafava is fully in the mainstream of the NY GOP, and I believe would have been left - at least comparatively - alone without the Kos "endorse"ment of Oct 1.

[ Parent ]
Not true
The head of the Club for Growth attacked the Scozzafava pick the week it occurred in an op-ed in The Hill.  Kos was the icing on the cake, but it was her previous endorsement by the Working Families Party that got so many in a snit to begin with.  She would have been challenged regardless, as the head of the NY Conservative Party even said they were going to refuse endorsing her if she was picked before the election began.  That was the tacit signal from the Conservative Party that they were planning on challenging her regardless.

[ Parent ]
Your chronolgy is correct
It is difficult to measure - what gets wingnuts more energized -

"Working" in the title of a political party



My gut is that it's Kos, as I believe that it's easier to make a bogeyman out of a person, that Hoffman wouldn't have gotten so much wingnut energy without him -  

but "Working Families" (unfortunately) does sound socialist in popular American vernacular, so your point is well taken.

[ Parent ]
I'm not diagreeing on Kos
as I do think he was the straw that broke the camel's back; however, this race is a perfect storm of circumstances and Dede had a lot of the "liberal" baggage - Kos just iced it for her.  Due to that, even if Kos were to endorse other Republicans in 2010 I'm not sure how much of an impact it would make.

[ Parent ]
Working Family Party=ACORN.

They were freaking out over after that tie long before Kos wrote that post.

[ Parent ]
I would put the chances of a Owens win
at 75%.  And I would read nothing into it for the Dems, because this was a very strange race that will be unlikely to be replicated.

The closest races I can see to NY-23 are DE-Sen and IL-Sen, but both of those states are much more blue than NY-23.  But I would expect third party wingnuts in both of those states if Hoffman wins/comes close.

[ Parent ]
If I were Mike Castle...
...I'd be afraid of Christine O'Donnell making a third-party run. In '06, she lost the GOP nod (to face Tom Carper), and opted to run a write-in campaign where she netted 4% of the vote.

For daily political commentary, visit me at and

[ Parent ]

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