Currently Browsing: 2010 Election
Nov 8, 2010
Megan McArdle links to a well-researched piece that basically makes that argument, despite what a lot of other pundits are saying about health care not being the big issue. I have to wonder how much of a role polls, showing Americans are most concerned about the economy are playing into this. I myself have been polled in regards to issues this election, and also answered the economy was my chief worry. I’m always reluctant to answer this way because I don’t think government is a magic jobs fairy, that can correct our economic woes if they would just do X, Y, and Z. A better question might be “What has Congress done this session that’s pissed you off the most?” My answer there would definitely be passing the health care monstrosity.
Anecdotally, the Health Care issue would seem to be a big issue in Pennsylvania. It was a bloodbath for Dems that voted for it. Sestak, Dalkemper, Carney, Kanjorski, and Murphy all voted for it, and all went down to defeat. Demcorats Jason Altmire and Tim Holden voted against it, and all held on to their seats. Pennsylvania Democrats also tried to make Corbett’s joining the lawsuit against Obamacare an issue in the election, and Corbett won overwhelmingly. I think people were more angry over health care than pundits are giving them credit for. I think this was an anger driven election rather than a concern driven election.
Nov 5, 2010
I don’t understand how a man who may have the record for knocking on the most doors in a Pennsylvania election* can choose to ignore an NRA questionnaire when he’s a Republican running in a district with lots of working class or union middle class Democrats that borders two districts with huge gun clubs and in an area that supports lots of gun shops and even some commercial ranges.
Things we know:
- Kevin Glasson did not respond to any of NRA’s mailings. This landed him with a big ? next to his name and resulted in no assistance from NRA in the way of a postcard mailer.
- He lives right next to a district where the now incumbent state rep – who ran a similar uphill campaign in 2008 – actually ran into a man who brought his NRA magazine out of the voting booth and declared that no one with a ? gets his vote.
- *He personally knocked on 13,000+ doors, so he’s definitely got the man of the people thing going for him.
- He’s a firefighter in the community. That’s always a good thing in a race like this.
- We already know that Democrats in the area were angry and more than happy to vote against their party. It was such a dramatic turnaround that even the NYT covered the shift.
- He only lost by 301 votes.
- Challengers benefit the most from NRA backing.
Of all the types of Democratic demographics in this area (NJ transplants, rich liberals, working class guys, union diehards, etc), his district probably has the most of the type who would be willing to cross over on something like the gun issue. By refusing to respond to NRA’s questionnaire, he didn’t even give them a choice between the two candidates. Yes, this election is all about the economy and jobs, but there are still folks looking for information on other issues. I had at least half a dozen union guys out of Philly and our district call me to tell me they would vote against their union this year and go all GOP. They just wanted to make sure their Republican choices were all pro-gun. I have to believe there were many more waiting on their NRA magazines to drop to find out about their local races in that district. Just imagine what the reaction might have been if it turns out he was actually pro-gun and received an endorsement and orange postcard. I wouldn’t be shocked if he could have found the 302 votes he needed that way.
If Glasson had won, it would have been nearly impossible to hold the seat through the next few election cycles. However, he would have been in for redistricting votes and hopefully to help us move Castle Doctrine along. I don’t want to pretend that the NRA endorsement is the magic bullet that will solve all of your election woes. But, in a county where about 20,000 people have licenses to carry, it’s not unreasonable that 300 votes could have been swayed by an NRA grade. But, that’s what you get with our local GOP folks. This isn’t the first year that Republicans have refused to even communicate with NRA, and it won’t be the last. If they are smart, they’ll learn. But I’m not sure I give them that much credit.
Nov 5, 2010
National Review is reporting that Dino Rossi has conceded, and Murray was declared the winner. A real squeaker of an election, but I thought this comment at NRO pretty much captured it:
Rossi never gave the electorate a compelling reason to vote for him rather than Murray. He didn’t embrace the tea party, he didn’t exude energy and passion. He went negative throughout the campaign, and his attack ads complained about Murray’s attacks. Moreover, the Democrats just had to polish off their third edition of the how-to-defeat-Dino manual, which took about five minutes. There were even stories about how it was going to be such a sacrifice for the comfortable Rossi family to go to DC. I wanted someone who was chomping at the bit and foaming at the mouth to get to DC to knock some heads, not somebody who says, “sigh, well I really need to do this for the sake of the country, I guess, but I’d rather stay home.” The only county in Washington State that matters for statewide office is King County. If you can’t get in the high 40s in King County, don’t run, period. We have to find a Republican who is willing to go into that lion’s den and change some minds.
That sounds about right to me, though I can’t say I know Washington that well. It’s always seemed to me to be a bit like Pennsylvania, only with King County being a good bit more dominant in state politics than Philadelphia County. One things for sure, you have a squeaker of a loss once, I’m open to the idea of running a candidate again. Lose twice that way you’re probably not viable. The GOP in Washington State would seem to need to rethink its strategy. I think the GOP needs to rethink its strategy for every blue state.
My idea would be to run sane libertarians in blue states, people who are fiscally responsible but socially liberal. But will the GOP listen? Probably not.
Nov 4, 2010
Normally, I’d love writing that headline, but not for this particular Brady. The prospects for getting a pro-gun Governor of Illinois are very dim now, and as Bitter mentioned, the state House race we put the most effort into this year lost by 99 votes. Ninety-nine votes. This would have replaced an anti-gun Democrat with a pro-gun Republican. Despite winning in every other race, this one still stings. It would have been a great pickup for gun rights in our district, and in Pennsylvania. Never believe one vote doesn’t count, or one person can’t make a difference. Had I been able to send one or two more people to help out this campaign, we might have been able to make up those ninety-nine votes.
Nov 4, 2010
99 votes needed to win, 99 votes needed, get off your butt & help us out, 98 votes needed to win.
98 votes needed to win, 98 votes needed, get off your butt & help us out, 97 votes needed to win.
97 votes needed to win, 97 votes needed, get off your butt & help us out, 96 votes needed to win.
96 votes needed to win, 96 votes needed, get off your butt & help us out, 95 votes needed to win.
95 votes needed to win, 95 votes needed, get off your butt & help us out, 94 votes needed to win.
Get the hint, folks?
It appears as though we have a CeaseFire/Brady/Bloomberg lovin’ candidate who kept his seat by just 99 votes. We didn’t know until today because of the process needed to count absentees. It may be close enough to trigger a recount, but both sides seem to believe it’s going to have the same final result.
For the gun owners in the district who got the personal emails asking them to give just a couple of hours of time, enjoy your anti-gun representative who doesn’t even believe you have the right to defend your life & family on your porch or outside of your home. For Adam Z., THANK YOU for driving out of your own home district to come help out.
94 votes needed to win, 94 votes needed, get off your butt & help us out, 93 votes needed to win.
93 votes needed to win, 93 votes needed, get off your butt & help us out, 92 votes needed to win.
92 votes needed to win, 92 votes needed, get off your butt & help us out, 91 votes needed to win.
91 votes needed to win, 91 votes needed, get off your butt & help us out, 90 votes needed to win.
Nov 3, 2010
It’s hard to argue the GOP didn’t fall down a bit in the Senate races. In the races the GOP did win, the margins were closer than many of the House races, and in the ones they lost they lost pretty substantially. Jim Geraghty argues that it might have to do with the quality of candidates, a sentiment echoed by Michael Barone in the Washington Examiner. I tend to think this is a correct analysis, largely driven by the fact that the structure of the Tea Party movement. When it comes to Congressional Districts, most seem to have only one or two Tea Party groups, who presumably don’t find it too difficult to coordinate on local races, like a House race. The Tea Party movement at the local level have some defined structure, and look more like traditional political civic groups. But take that out to a statewide race and the Tea Party starts to look more like a mob than an organization. As our Founding Fathers were aware, mobs seldom make prudent choices.
Choices like Angle and O’Donnell, are examples of this, though there are many more. None of these candidates to me looked like winners. The big unknown question was how far could Tea Party enthusiasm take lackluster candidates in state wide races. The answer would appear to be not very far. This isn’t surprising considering Tea Party supporters only make up about 30% of the population. It doesn’t change the fundamental dynamic that you still have to build a coalition to win.
Choosing the right candidate is difficult when you’re an organic movement, made up of people who normally don’t participate in the political process. Organic movements are going to gravitate towards candidates based on ideological compatibility, rather than their ability to actually run a statewide campaign and win. When assessing the viability of a candidate’s political potential for federal office, I’m only looking at a couple of factors in order of importance:
- His or her ability to raise money.
- His or her ability to manage a campaign, or hire the right people to do it (see above)
- His or her ability to connect with ordinary Americans who are not ideological in their political preferences.
- His or her values in comparison to the voters they will be going before.
For a state level or local race, fundraising can drop in importance, depending on the district. A candidate that’s willing to go knock on thousands of doors, and has a way with people, can overcome a fundraising deficit in a local race. There are plenty of politicians in state and local offices who are dogged campaigners, but can’t raise money worth a damn when they try to move to a higher level office. That’s one reason, as much as I love Sam Rohrer, I didn’t think his candidacy had a chance. Look at any race, and how or why they lose comes down to one or more of these issues. When I’m looking at a candidate in a primary race, I’m only looking for someone who’s ideology roughly matches up with my own. I’m more interested in someone that can win in the district they are running in. Depending on the district, this is either going to mean high ideological compatibility, or having to pick a few issues of importance and compromising on the rest. In Delaware, Nevada, and many other places, Tea Party backers needed more of the latter and less of the former. I think the organic nature of the Tea Party movement is going to mean they get it wrong in state wide races just about as often as they get it right. How one could improve candidate selection, without destroying the grassroots nature of the movement, is an interesting question.
Nov 3, 2010
Although the GOP was trounced in state wide races, in state legislative races, there were some gains. We did not knock off Carrie McCarthy, but that was a long shot anyway.
Nov 3, 2010
Reid coasted to an easy five point victory over Sharon Angle, and as predicted, the GOP failed to win control of the Senate. The Democrats have 51 firm seats as of now, and look to pick up another two. Prospects for the Senate were grim the moment that O’Donnell defeated Castle in the Delaware Primary, and Lisa Murkowski announced a write-in campaign.
This leaves Reid still Majority Leader in the Senate, and to be honest, that’s the best outcome for us. This prevents Durbin or Schumer becoming majority leader. A great many conservatives were upset by NRA’s refusal to endorse Sharon Angle, but I think it’s hard to argue they made a poor strategic decision by sitting this one out. Reid probably would have won the day regardless, and now we at least have a majority leader we can hopefully still work with.
Nov 3, 2010
First, we had hope, and it looked like this:
Last night the voters of the Philadelphia Suburbs voted for change:
This looks more like the map I grew up with. I would note that each of those blue going red districts was an anti-gun Democrat being replaced by a pro-gun Republican. In addition, the Republican seats we held in the suburbs are solid. Allyson Schwartz, who’s district includes Philadelphia and heads out into Montgomery County, is the only gun hater left in the Philly suburbs. And this is where Bloomberg made his stand, dumped big money, and lost just as big. They tried to make gun control an issue and roundly lost.
UPDATE: That finger of blue coming down out of Berks County in the Northwest corner of this map? That’s Tim Holden’s district. Holden voted against Pelosi every step of the way, ran as a conservative rather than a Democrat, and carried an NRA endorsement. He’s a DINO.