September 21, 2013

Do The 2013 Off-Year Elections Mean Much?

Every two years there are national congressional elections in which the entire U.S. house of representatives goes to the voters. U.S. senators have six-year terms, so one-third of that body goes before the voters every two years. Gubernatorial terms in the 50 states are mostly four-years, although some states still have two-year terms. But most contests for governor coincide with the two-year cycle of the national elections.

Two states, however, schedule their gubernatorial elections between the two-year cycles. As a result, New Jersey and Virginia will hold their elections for governor this November. As an unusual twist on this, New Jersey will also hold in mid-October a special election for U.S. senator to fill the seat of the late incumbent who recently died.

The question is, especially because the nation is on the cusp of a pivotal mid-term election in 2014, will the results in 2013 tell us anything useful about might happen in 2014?

In 2009, of course, the same states held the same elections for governor, and the special U.S. senate race was in Massachusetts where liberal icon Ted Kennedy had died. (The actual voting in the Bay State senate race took place in early 2010.) Massachusetts being one of the most liberal states in the nation was considered a slam-dunk for the Democrats as was the race for governor in New Jersey, but the results sent shock waves when two Republicans, political unknown Scott Brown won the senate seat, and little-known Chris Christie was elected governor of New Jersey. At the same time, a Republican was elected governor of Virginia, interrupting several terms of Democratic governors.  Subsequently in 2010, the GOP won historic victories in the U.S. house, taking back control of it by a large margin. Republicans also significantly increased their representation in the senate, and picked up many governors.

In retrospect, then, 2009 was a signal of what was to follow in the national mid-term elections of 2010.

In 2013, Governor Christie is running for re-election, and holds a huge lead in the polls against his Democratic opponent.  Mayor Cory Booker of Newark likewise holds a huge lead in the polls agains his GOP opponent in the New Jersey senate race. In Virginia, there is a very close contest for governor between Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and long-time Democratic operative Terry McAuliffe.

It would appear that, unlike 2009, there is very little chance that 2013 will mean much about next year’s elections. Of course, if either Mr. Christie (currently one of the frontrunners for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination) or Mr. Booker lost, those upsets would be shocking, but the possibility of either, barring something now unforeseen, is almost nil. The race for Virginia governor is something of a spectacle of political contempt. Each candidate is idiosyncratically controversial, registering unusually high negatives in polls. Mr. Cucinelli has been labeled as too conservative, and Mr. McAuliffe has been associated with numerous scandals. As election day approaches, Mr. McAuliffe’s initial lead in the polls has faded into a virtual tie. It is probably going to be an ugly, knock-down battle at the end, and it is difficult to imagine how either party, if it wins, would be able to spin their victory as having national implications.

The most newsworthy story will probably be the margin of Mr. Christie’s victory, and how that plays into the governor’s now presumed presidential ambitions.

Not that party leaders and some commentators won’t try to make something out of the other results, but no one  should buy any spin that will result.

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Copyright (c) 2013 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

by @ 11:31 am. Filed under 2009 Elections, 2013, 2014, Chris Christie

January 14, 2010

Poll Watch: Rasmussen New Jersey Gubernatorial Survey

Rasmussen New Jersey Gubernatorial Survey

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Chris Christie?

  • Favorable 57% (49%) [48%] <49%> {47%} (46%)
  • Unfavorable 35% (47%) [50%] <49%> {47%} (51%)

What is the biggest problem facing Chris Christie as he takes over as governor of New Jersey….taxes, government spending, unemployment, education, crime or corruption?

  • Taxes 33%
  • Government spending 28%
  • Unemployment 22%
  • Corruption 8%
  • Education 5%
  • Crime 1%

What issue should Chris Christie tackle first as Governor?

  • Government spending 34%
  • Taxes 29%
  • Unemployment 24%
  • Corruption 6%
  • Education 2%
  • Crime 2%

How likely is it that Chris Christie will be able to improve the economy in New Jersey?

  • Very likely 9%
  • Somewhat likely 41%
  • Not very likely 34%
  • Not at all likely 6%

How likely is it that Chris Christie will be able to cut property taxes in New Jersey?

  • Very likely 9%
  • Somewhat likely 30%
  • Not very likely 44%
  • Not at all likely 9%

How difficult will it be for Christie to work with the Democratic-controlled Legislature?

  • Very difficult 41%
  • Somewhat difficult 46%
  • Not very difficult 9%
  • Not at all difficult 1%

How would you rate the job Jon Corzine has been doing as Governor?

  • Strongly approve 9% (17%) [20%] <14%> {11%} (15%)
  • Somewhat approve 27% (20%) [21%] <25%> {30%} (25%)
  • Somewhat disapprove 21% (15%) [14%] <15%> {16%} (18%)
  • Strongly disapprove 41% (46%) [44%] <44%> {42%} (41%)

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as President?

  • Strongly approve 31% [38%] <35%> {34%} (38%)
  • Somewhat approve 22% [17%] <18%> {19%} (19%)
  • Somewhat disapprove 10% [10%] <11%> {11%} (10%)
  • Strongly disapprove 37% [34%] <35%> {35%} (33%)

Survey of 500 likely voters was conducted January 13, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted November 9, 2009 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted October 29 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 26 are in angle brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 19 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 14 are in parentheses.

Inside the numbers:

Democrats think that tackling unemployment should be the incoming Governor’s top priority. For Republicans and unaffiliated voters, cutting government spending is atop the list.

by @ 6:48 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections, Barack Obama, Poll Watch, Republican Party

December 29, 2009

An Impressive Candidate Running For Governor of California

When former Congressman Tom Campbell was considered for Lt. Governor of California, the Democrats in control of the legislature would have none of it because they were afraid of the boost he would recieve in a possible governor’s bid.  From the LA Times:

“Campbell is the Republican who scares us the most,” says Bill Cavala, a former Democratic operative for the state Assembly who’s now managing Garamendi’s campaign. “Not in a thousand years would we breathe life into such a dangerous candidate.”

One of the reasons some haven’t given him much of a chance is because of his lack of funds.   With all due respect to Meg Whitman, Campbell could very well be the strongest candidate the GOP in this race who could win.  The biggest knock against him is probably the fact that he is pro choice, but so is Whitman.   Campbell also is more conservative on issues such as gun control and immigration than Whitman, and has a legislative record to back it up.

Campbell’s resume is very impressive, considering the financial crisis that the state of California is currently in:

Tom has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. His faculty advisor was Milton Friedman. Prior to that, Tom had obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics from the University of Chicago, on the same day in 1973. He then entered Harvard Law School where he served on the Harvard Law Review Board of Editors. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law in 1976. After law school, Tom served as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White. Thereafter, Tom returned to the University of Chicago for his economics doctorate, received in 1980. His free market economics training cemented a life-long commitment to limited government and greater individual liberty.

Tom Campbell has a 20 year track record of promoting less government and individual liberty.   Starting in 1988, he was elected five times to the U.S. Congress, representing districts in the Silicon Valley. He was also elected a California State Senator, and served as Director of Finance for the State of California. The National Taxpayers Union Foundation named Tom the most frugal member of the 102nd Congress, and the California Journal named Tom the “State Senate’s best problem-solver” – a quality the people of California could soon see at work in the Governor’s office.
*Five terms in the U.S Congress, representing districts in California’s Silicon Valley, during periods both of economic growth and recession. Service included the Joint Economic Committee of the US Senate and House.

*Five years as Dean of one of the most prestigious business schools in the world, the University of California’s Haas School of Business. Nineteen years on the faculty at Stanford. Starting in January, Visiting Professor at Chapman University, in Orange, while on leave from Berkeley.

*Director of Finance for the State of California, 2004-2005. This was the last year when the state spent no more than it received in revenue—when the state balanced the budget without additional borrowing, taxes, or dipping into reserves.

*Rated Overall Best California State Senator, by the California Journal. Also, rated the Most Ethical State Senator, and the State Senate’s Best Problem Solver.

*Overall, 11 years in elective office (U.S. Congress, California State Senate).

*Two and a half years in the administration of President Ronald Reagan (including Director of the Bureau of Competition).

*Two years as a law clerk, including the US Supreme Court

*Winner, Republican primary for US Senate, 2000 (defeated in general election by Feinstein).

It all comes down to whether Campbell can come up with the necessary funds to mount a serious challenge.  He currently runs 2nd in most polls, but there are a very high number of undecideds.  If he gets some more traction, he could be the candidate Democrats fear the most.  So while some of the big names are supporting Whitman, it would be wise not to overlook this candidate.

George Will agrees with me.

by @ 7:37 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections, 2010

December 3, 2009

With Tanner (D-TN) Out, Republicans Should be +1

I received an email from Kavon, asking me what my opinion is on the fact that the longtime Democratic Congressman from the 8th District of  Tennessee, John Tanner, has opted not to seek re-election

This should be another pick up for the GOP.  As I mentioned to Kavon in my response, Tanner was a conservative Democrat, and it is damn near impossible to knock out an incumbent one in this state.  With this news, it should be a gain  for the Republicans with Stephen Fincher.  However, I would remain cautiously optimistic until after the Democrats have selected their candidate to run (which is likely to be Roy Herron).

by @ 1:13 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections

November 15, 2009

Mormons prove their tolerance for intolerant left

The institution of marriage vs. housing/employment discrimination and hate crime legislation

From the category of headlines the Drive-by media has conditioned us to deem unfathomable comes this from the AP:

Mormons back gay rights in Salt Lake City

It looked like a stunning reversal: the same church that helped defeat gay marriage in California standing with gay-rights activists on an anti-discrimination law in its own backyard.

On Tuesday night, after a series of clandestine meetings between local gay-rights backers and Mormons in Salt Lake City, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would support proposed city laws that would prohibit discrimination against gays in housing and employment.

The ordinances passed and history was made: It marked the first time the Salt Lake City-based church had supported gay-rights legislation.

The Mormon church — which continues to suffer a backlash over its support last year of Proposition 8, the measure banning gay marriage in California — emphasized that its latest position in no way contradicts its teachings on homosexuality…

It is not a reversal, even if it is a bit stunning.

There is absolutely no contradiction between protecting individuals from housing and employment discrimination as opposed to maintaining the 5000 year old definition of the, civilization creating and preserving, institution of marriage. [Although, I do think that Maine's recent referenda that vetoed an act of the legislature legalizing same-sex marriage did violate small "r" republican principles.]

I and most conservatives (especially including social conservatives) do not favor any government imprimatur of approval for any sexual behavior outside traditional marriage. Moreover, conservatives generally favor that rights protected by the constitution be of the individual variety, rather than group rights, especially those of a “mutable” variety such as what one Delores one’s particular “orientations” to be, as opposed to the immutable characteristics of race and gender/sex.

But, we do favor prohibitions of discrimination based on religion/free speech, so in that sense people of faith could justify the Salt Lake City ordinance as prohibiting mind control. One can believe anything one wishes and still expect to be able to rent property and get a job one is otherwise qualified for. Of course, if the particular beliefs and/or speech rise to the level of advocacy that interferes with the workplace environment and/or property owners’ maintenance of a habitable environment for families, then one could distinguish.

We particularly like to avoid such group distinctions when one would seek to mete out civil penalties and criminal punishments for free speech against certain behaviors or seek to diminish the value of the lives of certain groups by making it a more serious crime to harm people in other groups, especially when accompanied by a requirement to determine an “intent to hate”.

The criminal law has functioned quite nicely for 500+ years as passed down from the Common Law of England with the only intent being that of the men rea, criminal intent to harm, no matter the particular reason.

devine gamecock law

DeVine Law (pictured) is not sure he favors the particular discrimination law passed in Salt Lake City. We are sure that Mormons are not contradictory in opposing same-sex marriage and that their is nothing “intolerant” about such opposition. We find the most intolerance on the left, many of whom seek to make it a crime, via hate crime laws, discrimination and marriage laws, to make it a crime to advocate the traditional values of chastity, etc found in the Bible.

We also think discrimination laws are better tailored to behaviors and not orientations, and so would not deem it “intolerant” to oppose the Salt Lake City law. But we haven’t made our judgment yet on whether we favor it.

Still thinking and more later…

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer and Minority Report columns

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

by @ 12:17 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections

November 13, 2009

Poll Watch: Rasmussen New Jersey Post-Gubernatorial Election Survey

Rasmussen New Jersey Post-Gubernatorial Election Survey

How would you rate the job Jon Corzine has been doing as Governor?

  • Strongly approve 17% (20%)
  • Somewhat approve 20% (21%)
  • Somewhat disapprove 15% (14%)
  • Strongly disapprove 46% (44%)

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Chris Christie?

  • Favorable 49% (48%)
  • Unfavorable 47% (50%)

What was the primary reason Chris Christie was elected Governor last week? Was it the economy, dissatisfaction with Corzine’s performance, desire for a change, Christie’s record as a prosecutor or Christie’s campaign promises?

  • Dissatisfaction with Corzine’s performance 45%
  • Economy 27%
  • Desire for change 16%
  • Christie’s campaign promises 5%
  • Christie’s record as a prosecutor 2%

How difficult will it be for Chris Christie to fulfill his campaign promises working with a Democratically controlled State Senate and Assembly?

  • Very difficult 43%
  • Somewhat difficult 43%
  • Not very difficult 5%
  • Not at all difficult 1%

How likely it is that Chris Christie will be able to cut local property taxes?

  • Very likely 7%
  • Somewhat likely 29%
  • Not very likely 43%
  • Not at all likely 18%

How likely is it that Chris Christie will be able to root out and crack down on corruption in New Jersey?

  • Very likely 22%
  • Somewhat likely 29%
  • Not very likely 30%
  • Not at all likely 14%

How likely is it that Chris Christie will be able to improve the economy in New Jersey?

  • Very likely 7%
  • Somewhat likely 33%
  • Not very likely 39%
  • Not at all likely 15%

What should be Chris Christie’s first priority after he takes office…cutting state spending, cutting personal taxes or cutting business taxes?

  • Cutting state spending 49%
  • Cutting personal taxes 32%
  • Cutting business taxes 10%

Survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted November 9. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points. Results from the pre-election poll conducted October 29 are in parentheses.

by @ 9:02 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections, Poll Watch

Enemies of the Middle Class

Further review of the Democratic losses last week along with recent polls showing Republicans beating Democrats in the generic congressional ballot demonstrates the impact of only ten months of Democratic governance on Independents. In Virginia, New Jersey, and now nationally, we’re seeing the exact same dynamic: Republicans are supporting Republicans, Democrats are voting Democrat, and Independents, after having installed a Democratic government just one year ago, are moving heavily towards the GOP. Note that this coalition — let’s call it the McDonnell/Christie Coalition — is quite distinct from the last Republican majoritarian coalition that brought the GOP to power in 2004. In ’04, the GOP won because voters on either side of the political fifty yard line ran to their respective end zones, and the voters on the Right were just a tad more fired up than voters on the Left. This year, the American middle is still in the middle, but centrists and Independents are voting Republican by a lopsided margin, just as they voted Democrat by a significant margin in 2008.

The movement towards Republicans on the part of swing voters shouldn’t be surprising, as pretty much the entire Democratic agenda thus far has amounted to a (largely failed) attempt to enact a huge burden on the very middle class, middle of the road, Middle American voters who brought Democrats to power in the first place. By ignoring the unintended consequences of their policies and by misreading their mandate, Obama and congressional Democrats are on the verge of losing the republic that Americans handed them just one year ago.

Last year, I wrote extensively about the plight of the average middle class American, and of the manner in which regular Americans are beginning to feel that the American Dream is being extinguished. Once upon a time, working hard and playing by the rules was all that was necessary to achieve a comfortable and rewarding life in a nation which values opportunity and meritocracy, and which promises equality under the law for all, regardless of national origin, religion, and so forth. But as the cost of housing, education, and health care rose, and as wages, benefits, and job growth shrank, and as the growth of government at home and its actions abroad sent the American people a bill which could only be paid for via fiscal collapse or massive future tax increases, Americans began to wonder whether the nation’s best days were behind her and whether the American Dream was, in fact, dead. Democrats ran as champions of the middle class and unsurprisingly won massive majorities.

But less than year into their reign, the heroes of the middle class have been revealed as enemies of the middle class, as Democrats have spent 2009 pursuing policies that essentially constitute what is probably the largest middle class tax increase in American history. They are, in no particular order:

The Stimulus: The president and congressional Democrats promised that adding a trillion dollars to the national debt was necessary to stimulate the economy and prevent a depression. Instead, unemployment has continued to increase, and most of the stimulus has yet to even be enacted, as the package was largely a Trojan Horse filled with funding for every Democratic domestic program under the sun. Because the national debt will eventually have to be paid off, this means that the president and Congress gave American taxpayers a trillion dollar bill during the worst recession since the Great Depression, one that will ultimately lead to a massive tax increase on the middle class, and one that did nothing to actually restore the economy and create jobs.

The Bailouts: The Obama Administration and congressional Democrats seemed to have no qualms about using the tax dollars of the American people to bail out the nation’s robber barons who had reached the precipice due to practices such as imprudent and predatory lending and slapping interest rates on lines of credit that would once have been considered usury. The average American, who most certainly did not find himself bailed out of his mortgage or his car payments or his student loans, could do nothing but sit back and watch as his tax dollars were used to bail out the very folks who were simultaneously raising his interest rates on all of those things. Instead of letting poor business decisions be punished by the marketplace, which would disincentivize similar practices in the future, the Obama Administration ensured that no lessons were learned, no robber baron or archaic motor company was allowed to fail, and no American taxpayer would be able to avoid the bill.

Cap and Trade: The Administration itself has privately concluded that this legislation would essentially amount to a 15 percent tax increase. What could go wrong?

Health Care: While small-bore reforms are definitely needed to lower the cost of health care and help more Americans get insured, the health care reforms proposed by Democrats all have one thing in common, and that’s an increased financial burden on the middle class. Even without the creation of a new middle class entitlement in the public option, guaranteed issue, which is a feature of all the Democratic plans, has increased health insurance premiums in every state in which it’s been implemented. This means that the average middle class American will see his or her health insurance premiums go up if ObamaCare becomes law. Under ObamaCare, subsidies are phased out well before they impact most middle class Americans. The poor will have government assistance to help them pay their premiums, and the jet set can simply take more money out of their trust funds. But the middle class will bear the brunt of ObamaCare, being handed higher premiums with few new benefits in return.

Afghanistan: With the nation nearing fiscal collapse, the last thing that Americans want to do is continue to pour blood and treasure into a tribal nation stuck in the 10th Century due to the notion that it’s somehow our moral imperative to do so, or that the sword can be used to modernize such a society. Neither is true. If it’s our job to save the world, then why not all of Sub-Saharan Africa? Why are we not attempting to send troops to every banana republic in Latin America? We don’t because we can’t. In the real world, resources are finite. Americans realize that it’s time to conserve ours, which is why large majorities of Americans now oppose the war in Afghanistan and oppose sending more troops to Afghanistan. Every penny that is added to the national debt because of Afghanistan will come directly out of the pockets of the middle class in the form of some future tax increase.

In sum, the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress are running up a massive bill and sending it to the same middle class that elected Democrats to save it from its economic woes. Apparently, Democrats thought that the middle class was electing them out of some masochistic desire to be further squeezed in order to solve all of the world’s problems, from global warming to the societal travails of distant lands. Democrats are about to find out what Republicans found out last year: at the ballot box, there’s nothing more powerful than an army of disgruntled white collar professionals who make $50,000 a year. In the Nixon era, these folks were called Cloth Coat Republicans. Now they’re Cloth Coat Independents. And they’re the most potent political force in America today.

by @ 12:01 am. Filed under 2009 Elections

November 6, 2009

DaveG, Palin, Stupidity

DaveG’s new term of choice to smear the right seems to be “anarcho-conservatism.” It is not a statement about its electoral viability — something that we may find some common ground on — but his personal opinion about the ideology. Yes, apparently the Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck brand of conservatism is “anarchy.” That’s right: small-government, individualist conservatism — classical liberalism — is no better than anarchy. (I don’t even want to know what he thinks about libertarianism.) The kind of conservatism that opposes the stimulus, the kind of conservatism that doesn’t give in to cap-and-trade, the kind of conservatism that is angered about Obamacare and the debt — crazy anarchism! And this anarchism is perpetuated by fanatics like Sarah Palin and her stupid little slogans.

Only in the fantasy land of unwavering moderates is Sarah Palin’s only focus “Drill, Baby, Drill!” They have so bought into their own propaganda, they are so unable to look at her full record of public statements, they are so unable to orient themselves to other wings of the party, that they truly think that she has been completely disregarding anything substantive. One imagines her as a robotic drone running around the country chanting the slogan like Paul Revere: “Drill, Baby, Drill, Baby, Drill, Baby!” –

Of course, this is total nonsense. In case DaveG missed her multiple op-eds — whether in the Wall Street Journal, the National Review, or on Facebook — Sarah Palin has consistently, and with great verve, been promoting a coherent, all-of-the-above energy policy. But no matter how much substance she inserts into the op-ed, if she throws a slab of red meat to the base at the end of it in the form of “Drill, Baby, Drill!,” she’s deemed a sloganeer. She could produce a modern-day Nicomachean Ethics and conclude it with “Drill, Baby, Drill!” and DaveG and his ilk would decide that it was nothing but sloganeering.

No attempting to fire up the base with chants of “Hoffman, Baby, Hoffman!” — No! Bad! You’re not allowed to use a slogan, no matter what you surround it with, no matter what your rationale is for supporting the candidate. Sloganeering will make you look “anarchist.”

I have already given my opinion on the Hoffman race — that Hoffman was vastly superior to Scozzafava, but that it would have been much more prudent to run a safe, center-right candidate a la Chris Christie in the first place — but I cannot say that either side’s rationale was ludicrous. Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty, the NRA and Sarah Palin — all had respectable opinions in the race.

Interestingly, DaveG seems not to target Tim Pawlenty or any of the other high-ranking, national Republicans that endorsed Hoffman — ones with far less star power and, indeed, far less substance than Sarah Palin’s endorsement. The message is obvious: it’s not sloganeering that he dislikes, it’s not even “anarchy” that he dislikes. It’s just Sarah Palin.

by @ 2:00 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections, Sarah Palin

Issues, Baby, Issues!

Daniel Larison sums up the lessons of 2009 over at The American Conservative:

What is more encouraging to me is that the wins by Christie and McDonnell show that competent center-right candidates interested in governance and all those “parochial” local issues can tap into voter discontent and win electoral victories. Hoffman’s possible defeat suggests that campaigns dominated by the presence of national activists, empty sloganeering and indifference to local interests may not gain traction even in those districts that are traditionally inclined to favor the politics of someone like Hoffman. Those of us who would like to see Democratic domestic agendas thwarted without empowering the Palins of the world may have managed to get exactly the results we would wish to have.

To me, this is THE lesson of 2009: the triumph of Governing Conservatism over Anarcho-Conservatism. The reason that the issues were “parochial” to Hoffman (according to Dick Armey) was that, like Palin and Beck, Hoffman was not running to apply conservatism to the concerns of his constituents in order to reach right-of-center governing solutions. Instead, the Beck-Palin-Hoffman axis was and is running to enact a cultural revolution on America from the top down, one which will, somehow, make all of those annoying issues go away, presumably because this revolution involves government magically shrinking back to its consitutional mandate, and Americans changing their collective worldview overnight when it comes to every aspect of life.

But cultural revolutions don’t occur from the top down. They come about organically, from within society, and work their way up. Nor do they take place overnight. They generally require multiple decades to take root and to flourish. Unsurprisingly, politicians like Hoffman who tell voters that the issues that they care about are irrelevant and who aim to use government to force them to change their very being are exactly the kind that lose Republican districts in a Republican year to standard issue Democrats.

The rise of Anarcho-Conservatism is, of course, Bush blowback. Because of Bush-style governance — a combination of big-government bossiness, fiscal imprudence, endless military adventures, incompetence, and corruption — many conservatives rebelled not only against Bush’s governance but against the very concept of governance itself. The idea of serious, sober, modest, reformist, solutions-oriented, issues-oriented governance became liberalism by any other name to many conservatives, creating an interesting and destructive dichotomy in the pre-11/3/09 GOP, with the Anarcho-Conservatives on one side and everyone else on the other, with all but the Anarcho-Conservatives deemed some brand of “moderate.”

Thankfully, the events of 11/3/09 decimated that framework, and the post-11/3/09 Republican Party is now the party of the Governing Conservative, exemplified by Chris Christie and by the Virginia dream team of McDonnell/Bolling/Cuccinelli, three conservatives who won Virginia’s top offices by double-digits by focusing on, you guessed it, the issues that voters cared about. And, thus, revolution is replaced by reform, cultural identity and colloquialisms move aside for competence, sloganeering makes way for solutions and sobriety, and Sarah Palin’s rallying cry of “Drill, Baby, Drill!” and “Hoffman, Baby, Hoffman!” is drowned out by the concerns of the voters over “Issues, Baby, Issues!”

by @ 12:01 am. Filed under 2009 Elections

November 5, 2009

In a Conservative Vs GOP Fight, Democrats Win

In the only real black eye for the GOP on Tuesday, Democrat Bill Owens won in NY-23.  This is a seat that has been held by the GOP for a very long time, and for at least one year, Democrats will now hold it.  We (as in the GOP and Conservatives) lost in NY-23, not because the Democrats beat us with ideas, but because we were too busy fighting with each other to identify the enemy.

Pointing fingers doesn’t do any good.  The GOP party chose a good paper candidate without regard to her stand on issues.  Conservatives pushed a candidate who was much better ideologically, but who didn’t know the district.  Both strategies are poor, and the result was the Democrats winning the race.

On the flip side, let’s look at New Jersey, and Gov-elect Christie.  By no means was he the favored son of conservatives in the primary, nor did the GOP strong-arm the base into a lesser-of-two-evils situation.  Realism set in, and conservatives backed him in the general.  I have no idea if Steve Lonegan could have won that race or not, but as a conservatism-first guy, I’m very pleased with the result.

The truth to be learned from all this is that the GOP needs Conservatives, and Conservatives need the GOP.  The GOP needs to know they can’t push Karl Marx for a congressional seat, and Conservatives need to know their first choice isn’t always going to make it.  If both lessons are learned from this loss, then we will see more results like New Jersey.  If we continue to point fingers and say “You’re the reason we lost,” we will have more results like NY-23.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I like New Jersey’s result better.

by @ 6:42 am. Filed under 2009 Elections, 2010, 2012 Misc., Republican Party

November 4, 2009

Daily Roundup

House Democrats, undeterred (or perhaps emboldened) by last night’s election results, have planned to schedule a vote on the most recent health care bill introduced into Congress as early as this weekend:

Party leaders signaled they’re ready for the House to begin debating the legislation and vote on its final passage by filing a 42-page amendment that made last-minute changes to the bill. The filing last night triggered a 72-hour waiting period that Democrats pledged to give Republicans before a vote.

…House Rules Committee Chairman Louise Slaughter said Democratic leaders planned a vote for Saturday on the legislation. The leaders wanted a ballot before taking a recess next week.

…The Senate is still considering its own version of the legislation, and House lawmakers said they weren’t concerned about the possible delay of a vote in that chamber until early next year. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid suggested yesterday that the goal of passing a bill this year may slip into the 2010 election year.

…Both the House and Senate plans lack any Republican support. The only Republican to vote for a health-care proposal, Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, said she can’t back the measure currently before the Senate because it includes the government insurance program. A number of Senate Democrats have also expressed concern about that so-called public option.

For Pelosi, Republican opposition is an easier hurdle to mount. Her Democratic Party now controls 258 of the 435 seats in the chamber, meaning she can lose some votes and still have the 218 needed for passage.

In the Senate, Reid is still working to get enough votes to even start debate, then faces a tougher road to passage because of Senate procedures and opposition to his plan.

…Reid needs all 60 votes controlled by the Democratic caucus to even begin debate, and it’s not certain he has them. He would then need 60 votes again to cut off debate and take a vote, amid controversies over the public option and new taxes to pay for the expanded insurance coverage for Americans.

Hopefully, if the bill does pass the House, it will stall in the Senate, like the cap-and-tax bill.

In addition to other pieces of quality analysis, Chris Cillizza has written an article about the impressive numbers of Conservatives who aligned themselves with Republican nominees last night:

[40:] That’s the percentage of the Virginia electorate that identified themselves as conservatives, the highest number among that ideological group in the Commonwealth since 1994.

And, not only did conservatives comprise an extremely large segment of the Virginia electorate, they also cast their ballots for Republicans at a historically high rate; 91 percent of self-identifying conservatives voted GOP while just nine percent cast their vote for Democrats.

(Compare that to 2008 when conservatives were one in every three voters and roughly one if five — 18 percent — voted Democrat and you see the considerable change in that segment of the electorate in just one year’s time. A hat tip, as always, to Post polling director Jon “JC” Cohen for digging into the data.)

…What remains to be seen is whether the Republican establishment can direct the intensity/anger of their base in positive directions. The unwillingness of the base to accept the candidacy of state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) in Upstate New York almost certainly cost the party a seat it should have won.

If that scenario plays itself out in future contests — somewhat unlikely due to the unique ballot and party system in New York — the energy of the base won’t translate into the sort of Republican gains it should in a midterm election.

Cillizza raises some good questions about party unity. Fortunately, it appears that party leaders have learned from last night and decided to embrace primaries as a means to sort out the conservative vs. moderate tug-of-war (for lack of a better descriptor).

In another stunning turn of events, Charlie Crist has actually claimed that he did not initially support the Dems’ so-called stimulus:

Crist appeared with President Barak Obama in February to support the bill, asked Florida members of Congress to vote for it and previously told The Associated Press that he would have voted for it if he had been in the Senate.

But when the Republican governor talked about the bill Wednesday on CNN, he said he didn’t endorse it. Crist told CNN he understood that the bill was going to pass and wanted to use it for the benefit of Florida.

Perhaps Good Time Charlie needs to jog his memory.

Lastly, today a local Virginia news outlet offered a rather interesting take on the performance of Gov.-elect McDonnell and other Republicans last night:

McDonnell and the Republicans managed to rebrand the GOP, moving the party away from its far-right social agenda and the anti-Obama catcalls of Fox News in a few short months. The new surge is all the talk Tuesday night — the “warning shot,” crows U.S. Rep Eric Cantor — but this isn’t the Allen-Gilmore lineage.

This new party was message-oriented and respectful, eschewing the screaming conservatives on the Hill. It was polite, in fact. A billboard for Powhatan Delegate Lee Ware, who looks alarmingly like a younger Newt, whispered: “Principled. Effective. Courteous.” McDonnell never personally attacked Obama and at times agreed with his policies (charter schools, for instance) and even congratulated his Nobel Prize.

Ripping a page or two from former governor and now U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, the Republicans rode to victory by appealing to the middle, pushing Reaganesque fiscal conservatism and keeping a safe distance from abortion and gay marriage.

…Surely the Republican victories were influenced by the anti-Obama movement, the tea parties, the Pelosi-bashers, but McDonnell’s campaign was about jobs and low taxes — and it ushered him into the Executive Mansion.

“It can be a conservative party, but it can also be a pragmatic party,” Bob Holsworth, the longtime political analyst, says of the McDonnell credo.

Indeed. And it just might have kicked off a kinder, gentler Republican revolution this time.

Perhaps McDonnell’s campaign provides a promising template for 2012 campaigns by a certain former governor or a famously pragmatic (Minnesota) nice guy?

by @ 11:07 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections, Democrats, Mitt Romney, R4'12 Essential Reads, Tim Pawlenty

Has Cornyn Finally Gotten a Clue?

He appears to have. After creating upheaval and controversy around the country, Cornyn is backing off on sending money into contested open primaries:

With Republicans grappling with the fallout of an intra-party battle that may have cost them a House seat, the head of the Senate Republican campaign effort is making a pledge that may ease some of the anger being directed at the party establishment.

“We will not spend money in a contested primary,” Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told ABC News in a telephone interview today.

“There’s no incentive for us to weigh in,” said Cornyn, R-Texas. “We have to look at our resources. . . . We’re not going to throw money into a [primary] race leading up to the election.”

Cornyn said his pledge extends to races for open Senate seats — not incumbents who may face primaries next year. The NRSC so far has endorsed candidates in four open Senate seats — Florida, Missouri, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

Cornyn’s commitment is most immediately relevant in Florida, where the NRSC’s candidate, Gov. Charlie Crist, is facing an aggressive challenge on his right from state House Speaker Marco Rubio.

This may ease some of the tension that conservatives have experienced and put an end to Cornyn’s Boss Hogg Shennanigans. He walked back the NRSC’s full out support for Charlie Crist slightly:

Cornyn had praise for Rubio, and said he’s sure that he would win the general election if he gets past Crist in the primary. Cornyn said he’s confident that — unlike in upstate New York — Republicans will settle their differences in the primary.

“The first lesson is that competitive primaries are generally a good thing,” Cornyn said. “To me, that’s the overarching lesson to be learned out of the 23rd. When 11 people get behind closed doors and pick the nominee … the grassroots are going to find an alternative.”

Cornyn said the NRSC is only endorsing in races where — like in Crist’s case — the candidate specifically requests its stamp of approval. He said that — notwithstanding any endorsements — his group would even offer advice on hiring and strategy to GOP challengers, like Rubio, who haven’t been endorsed.

Competitive primaries? What a novel idea.  If there was anything that was rejected clearly in New York-23rd, it was the backroom dealing to pick candidates. If the NRSC and NRCC stay out of elections until the general election and stop wasting money trying to pick candidates, then something good may come out of this whole sordid affair in NY-23.

by @ 10:05 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections, 2010

Don’t Let the Media Tell You That the Reed Comeback in Atlanta Mayoral Race is About Race

-The racists in this drama are the media…

No matter how incessantly the Drive-by media talks about white and black voters, the change in the relative fortunes of frontrunner Mary Norwood and runner-up Kasim Reed is about leadership qualities, and not the relative pigmentation of their skins.

Less than 48 hours ago, polls showed Mary Norwood might be able to garner 50% plus one vote and succeed Shirley Franklin as Mayor of Atlanta. Then the only poll that matters reared its head (Norwood 46%, Reed 36%), and it turns out that many Northern Atlanta voters in mostly Republican areas came in less enthusiastically than expected for their supposed Buckhead champion. She now faces a run-off against surging Kasim Reed.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is already peddling the racist line that is par for the course that has them regularly referred to as the Urinal-Constipation.

Don’t believe a word of it.

This conservative Republican knows better, which is why I announced my support for Reed yesterday.

Mary Norwood blew it by being equivocal about her Republican past. Mary must have forgotten that conservative Republicans are proud to be so, and proud of the candidates they have supported at least beginning with Ronald Reagan. Mary Norwood also must have forgotten that most all voters appreciate strength, leadership and honesty in an executive leader.

Kasim Reed did not forget this. He knows who he is, what he stands for, and is proud of it. Bravo!

I left the Democratic Party nine years ago last summer, and so I have major problems with many of the positions of Reed, and Norwood for that matter, given her apparent liberal conversion in the 90s. But liberal/conservative doesn’t matter that much the more local the race, and Reed is conservative on all the right issues for the City of Atlanta.

Mary Norwood’s only chance, if she has one, is to come clean on her past and turn out more of her supporters in the run-off than Reed.

But no matter who wins this race, Atlanta’s reputation matters most to me, and I don’t trust the simplistic, operationally racist, Drive-by media to be able to look past the skin color of the voters and the candidates. It makes me wonder if the purveyors of the racism charge are projecting their own racism, or that of their own institutions, onto others.

Atlantans can, have and will, and they see major differences between Reed and Norwood under their respective skins. Let’s let the coverage and conduct of this race leading to the run-off be an indictment of the racist media, and not Atlanta.

Atlantans are too busy for that kind of hate. After all, we have a city to run.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer, Examiner.com and Minority Report columns

One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

Originally published @ Examiner.com, where all verification links may be accessed.

by @ 9:19 am. Filed under 2009 Elections

Poll Watch: New Jersey Gubernatorial Election Exit Poll

New Jersey Gubernatorial Election Exit Poll

Among Democrats (41%)

  • Jon Corzine 86%
  • Chris Christie 8%
  • Chris Daggett 5%

Among Republicans (31%)

  • Chris Christie 91%
  • Jon Corzine 6%
  • Chris Daggett 3%

Among Independents (28%)

  • Chris Christie 60%
  • Jon Corzine 30%
  • Chris Daggett 9%

Among Liberals (25%)

  • Jon Corzine 83%
  • Chris Christie 9%
  • Chris Daggett 7%

Among Moderates (45%)

  • Chris Christie 48%
  • Jon Corzine 45%
  • Chris Daggett 6%

Among Conservatives (30%)

  • Chris Christie 82%
  • Jon Corzine 15%
  • Chris Daggett 3%

Among Men (47%)

  • Chris Christie 53%
  • Jon Corzine 40%
  • Chris Daggett 6%

Among Women (53%)

  • Jon Corzine 50%
  • Chris Christie 45%
  • Chris Daggett 5%

Among Whites (73%)

  • Chris Christie 59%
  • Jon Corzine 34%
  • Chris Daggett 6%

Among White Men (35%)

  • Chris Christie 63%
  • Jon Corzine 29%
  • Chris Daggett 7%

Among White Women (38%)

  • Chris Christie 56%
  • Jon Corzine 38%
  • Chris Daggett 6%

Among Blacks (14%)

  • Jon Corzine 88%
  • Chris Christie 9%
  • Chris Daggett 2%

Among Hispanics/Latinos (9%)

  • Jon Corzine 65%
  • Chris Christie 32%
  • Chris Daggett 3%

Age 18-29 (9%)

  • Jon Corzine 57%
  • Chris Christie 36%
  • Chris Daggett 6%

Age 30-44 (24%)

  • Chris Christie 50%
  • Jon Corzine 44%
  • Chris Daggett 7%

Age 45-64 (47%)

  • Chris Christie 48%
  • Jon Corzine 46%
  • Chris Daggett 6%

Age 65+ (19%)

  • Chris Christie 55%
  • Jon Corzine 40%
  • Chris Daggett 4%

Total Family Income Less than $100,000 (61%)

  • Jon Corzine 50%
  • Chris Christie 43%
  • Chris Daggett 6%

Total Family Income $100,000 or more (39%)

  • Chris Christie 55%
  • Jon Corzine 40%
  • Chris Daggett 5%

Among College Graduates (54%)

  • Chris Christie 50%
  • Jon Corzine 44%
  • Chris Daggett 6%

Among Non-College Graduates (46%)

  • Chris Christie 48%
  • Jon Corzine 46%
  • Chris Daggett 6%

If these were the only two candidates for governor on the ballot today, for whom would you have voted?

  • Chris Christie 49%
  • Jon Corzine 46%
  • Would not have voted 4%

(more…)

by @ 4:06 am. Filed under 2009 Elections, Poll Watch

Winners and Losers: New York-23

Looking at the GOP side of this fiasco, there are many losers and few winners:

The Biggest Loser: New York-23rd GOP Organization

Based on her endorsement of Bill Owens and the conduct of her campaign, it is clear the GOP had made big-time error in choosing Dede Scozzafava as the party nominee. It shouldn’t have happened. In addition, the New York Conservative Party is not a fly by night organization. They’ve been in the state for 40 years. They’re also not horribly unreasonable. They’ve endorsed moderate candidates like Rick Lazio, Al D’Amato, Susan Molinari, and George Pataki. Obtaining the endorsement of the New York Conservative Party is vital to Republicans winning elections as the CP acts as a minimum standards committee, and for this not to have even been taken into consideration is unconscienable. Heads should roll.  A half-way decent candidate that could have pulled an ACU score of 70% would have easily won this district.

The Runner-Up: Sarah Palin

This district was a watershed for Sarah Palin’s leadership. Like her running mate, John McCain, she plays high stakes poker. She gambled on Hoffman, and her endorsement was the turning point for Scozzafava’s demise. However, after Tuesday’s result, there are many questions focusing on Palin regarding her leadership, her popularity and whether outside of the South and some portions of the West, her endorsement is a general election albatross. A Hoffman success would have been a notch in her belt, but if anything’s become apparent, it’s that her image may need far more rehab than 3 years can allow.

First Runner-Up: Newt Gingrich

Gingrich, since becoming a Catholic Convert has been warning about our spiritual rot and corruption, the degradation of our society, and been talking a lot about conservative principles. Of course, it’s more important to win elections. Newt’s pedantic lectures, however right or wrong they were was completely inappropriate for someone who wishes to lead his party as its nominee. If Newt’s attacks did anything, it hardened opposition. Unless, the correct book for presidential candidates to read is, “How to Make Enemies and Alienate People,” it’s hard to see how what did was peoplesmart. If he wants to lecture, give him a thinktank, give him a column. But, if he wants to be the GOP nominee, give me a break.

Second Runner Up: Tim Pawlenty

I don’t think Pawlenty’s entrance into NY-23 hurt him near as much as Palin’s did. First of all, he’s very nationally obscure, so most people didn’t notice, and it didn’t have the same effect. However, political observers and party operatives whose help he’ll need on a 2012 campaign are going to view this as a rookie mistake, and nobody wants to work for a campaign that makes rookie mistakes. He can overcome it, but its a ding.

Honorable Mentions:

The Club for Growth: Spending $1 million to lose is tough. The best the Club can say is that when the GOP nominates a candidate to challenge Owens in 2010, they’ll be sure that candidate fits the fairly generous margins of the Conservative Party of New York.

There are too many other “losers” to mention. The problem comes down to this: too many Conservatives jumped into a race in a district they knew nothing about to support a candidate who didn’t live in the district. The overwhelming outside play gave people the impression not that there was a grassroots insurgency, but that outsiders were picking their Congressman for them.  It didn’t help that the party’s nominee was as graceful and intelligent  as Goofy after drinking an entire keg of beer.

Were there any winners in this whole affair? Two.

Huckabee and Romney.  Both had the political smarts to stay away from this hot potato (while there were three candidates in the race), as well as to avoid lecturing grassroots Conservatives: the very people whose support they’ll need if they choose to run in 2012. While, it’s perfectly permissable to not campaign for a candidate that you don’t care for, or not endorse them. To actively try to undermine the decisions of a local party, no matter how worthy those decisions are of being undermined. is foolishness. Huckabee and Romney showed why they are the fronturnners.

by @ 1:41 am. Filed under 2009 Elections, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty

Mark Kirk’s Sigh of Relief

Matthew E. Miller and I spoke regarding Hoffman the other night, and he noted presciently that if Hoffman pulled out a solid win, it could bode poorly for candidates with weak ACU ratings, such as Mark Kirk, our current nominee-to-be in Illinois. Would a Hoffman win embolden them? Look — we can win with a down-the-line conservative if we have the right circumstances! –

Mark Kirk — as well as Mike Castle and dozens of House candidates — can breathe a sigh of relief tonight, as the conservative movement was dealt a terrible embarrassment in NY-23.

NY-23 is really not a conservative district. It is a moderate district where we had a solid shot at getting a slightly-more-conservative-than-McHugh candidate into office, had we played our cards right. From the very beginning, though, things went horribly wrong. Instead of playing by-the-book pragmatism, the establishment defecated all over the place in the form of Dede Scozzafava, who is barely distinguishable from Joe Lieberman — which in turn, predictably, caused an absurdly out-of-proportion backlash from the talk radio contingent of the party.

DaveG is basically right: we saw how not to win tonight. We don’t win by running Rockefeller Republicans, but we don’t win by running Glenn Beck-style Republicans, either. I think that a strong candidate in the latter category has more of a chance than the former — my goodness, Hoffman was a weak candidate who was in way over his head, skipping out on debates and admitting that he knew absolutely nothing about local issues — but it’s not something that we need to risk when we can run amorphous blobs like Chris Christie and walk away with five-percent wins in blue states.

It wasn’t crazy to try with Doug Hoffman — indeed, I supported him over Scozzafava — but it would have been much better to run someone like Chris Christie or Bob McDonnell: competent, issues-oriented candidates that don’t try and bludgeon anyone with the gigantic club of ideology. Running someone like McDonnell in place of Scozzafava wouldn’t have made a statement. But it would have made a Congressman.

by @ 12:36 am. Filed under 2009 Elections

Hoffman Falls Short

Fox News just called NY-23 for Owens, meaning that a solid Republican congressional district has fallen into Democratic hands thanks to two candidates who serve as examples of what the GOP should not do. First there was Dede, a Democrat by any other name, who was not only socially liberal, but fiscally liberal as well. As readers know, I’m a pragmatist’s pragmatist, but even I could find very little difference between Dede and a run-of-the-mill Democrat. And not only was Dede a moderate-liberal, but she was a product of the establishment, supporting the bailouts that Americans now view as a giveaway to the robber barons. And the nomination of Dede by the GOP, of course, led to the Hoffman third-party challenge, which resulted in the only right-of-center candidate in the race being focused on the abstract, the theoretical, and the ideological instead of the actual problems facing the actual people of, you know, New York’s 23rd Congressional District.

What this shows is that neither running as Democrats-lite nor as talk-radio-style anarcho-conservatives will win the future for the GOP. What will yield a Republican comeback in 2010 and beyond is the McDonnell/Christie model, where Republican candidates ideologically appropriate for their states and districts run as pragmatic conservatives who are solutions-oriented and who are running to apply their conservatism to public problems. This is the type of Republicanism that can win, and it did win in purple Virginia and blue New Jersey. It did so by contrasting a GOP that was optimistic and problem-solving yet distinctly conservative with a corrupt, interest-group-friendly, tax-and-spend leftist establishment. This is the model that Republicans should emulate, not the Rockefeller-esque model of Dede nor the Palin/Beck model of Hoffman.

by @ 12:17 am. Filed under 2009 Elections

Anti-Establishment

Tonight was a victory for many things. It was a victory for the Republican Party, a sorely needed win by a party that was left for dead just one year ago in the wake of a supposed national Democratic realignment. It was a victory for those who believe in divided government, who recognize the extremism and corruption inherent in one-party rule, and for good-government types who have enough of a sense of history to recall that the best government seems to emanate from bipartisan combinations like Reagan/Tip O’Neill, not Reagan/Bush, and from Clinton/Gingrich, not Clinton/Gore. But first and foremost, tonight was a victory for the anti-establishmentarian sentitment that is currently permeating the American political psyche — a sentiment which was present in full force just one year ago and that was misinterpreted then, and probably will be misinterpreted now, as an ideological mandate instead of what it really is: discontent with the decimation of the American Dream and a belief that the elites and the political establishment, regardless of party, have the blood of the Republic on their hands.

Earlier tonight on Fox News, Frank Luntz asked his focus group of Virginia voters, comprised of an equal number of McCain and Obama voters from 2008, how many were angry. Almost every hand in the room shot up. What were they angry at? The economy. Jobs. Spending. The fear that taxes will go up. The fact that health care needed reform but that Democrats were attempting to reform it in a way that would make things worse than they already are. There was a high correlation between Angry Voters and McDonnell Voters. The GOP sweep of Virginia was not an ideological message. It was not delivered by voters concerned with abstract, philosophical ideas about what the Constitution says the federal government should and should not do. It did not constitute the rise of a new band of Culture Warriors nor was it the re-emergence of NeoConservatism. This election was not about the big ideas that are discussed over pizza in a college dorm room, or in a graduate-level philosophy class. This election was about real people and their real problems in the real world. This election was about the realization that the Democratic Party, with which the nation was entrusted just one year ago, is still the same paleo-leftist party that it’s been for the past thirty years, and that it simply does not have the solutions required to move the country forward.

There is a growing sense, I think, that America is on the decline, and that our country is being led by the worst political class in memory. In the wake of the Bush/DeLay/Frist Republican Party came the Obama/Pelosi/Reid Democratic Party, and tonight was essentially a repudiation of a repudiation. Americans seem perfectly content with throwing out one party after another until someone gets things right, and deep down inside, Americans are wondering whether anyone is capable of getting things right, or if there’s any “right” left to get in a society with unsustainable entitlements, rising health care costs, a sputtering economy, and one which exists as part of a global society with lots of competitors who seem to be surpassing us by the day. Americans are beginning to wonder whether the nation’s best days are behind it.

The romanticism of the days of Reagan/O’Neill and the sleek technocracy of Clinton/Gingrich have made way for the current establishment, the one of Bush/Obama. This is an establishment that has genuflected to the robber barons by bailing out the powerful and the connected and asking Middle America to pay for it. This is the establishment that drops countless dollars on endless war in the middle of a barren desert that has destroyed many an empire and that hasn’t changed since the 10th Century and has no intention of doing so now. This is the establishment that fiddles while America burns, refusing to do the hard things, like modernizing entitlements, health care, and immigration policies, because doing any of those things would offend too many interest groups, too many trial lawyers, too many monied interests, and too many lobbyists. This is the establishment that calls itself the heirs to Reagan on the right and to JFK on the left and then refuses to do what’s necessary to restore America’s greatness simply because it’s too hard.

Tonight, the Obama Establishment got what it deserved, just like the Bush Establishment got what it deserved a year ago. And Americans will continue to give the political class in this country what it has coming to it until our leaders garner the courage to stand up and do what it takes to unleash America’s greatness once again.

by @ 12:01 am. Filed under 2009 Elections

November 3, 2009

Open Thread #2

Celebrate! Congratulations Governors-elect Christie and McDonnell!

Has Scozzafava’s endorsement thrown NY-23 to Owens? RINO, indeed.

Also, Bloomberg is winning by a shockingly small margin. How embarrassing!

by @ 10:32 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections

Why I think McDonnell has VA in the Bag

I know only about 17% of the vote is in but some places the vote is in 100%. So I looked at those areas and McDonnell / GOP is going great.

For example, District 1 >>> KING & QUEEN COUNTY: (100% in)

McDonnell won by +19 which went 52-48 Obama.

UPDATE: FoxNews has called Virgina for Bob McDonnell.

You can see the actual VA Election Returns here.

by @ 7:54 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections

11am Intrade New Jersey Update Plus Election Day Open Thread

As of 11am EST, the Intrade market for the New Jersey Governor’s race sits at Christie 55, Corzine 47.

Consider this our election day open thread.

Update: As of 6:30pm EST, Intrade’s action indicates a very tight race — Christie 53, Corzine 52.

by @ 7:50 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections

It’s Hard to Keep Track of These Things Sometimes

So which party is it that is supposed to be in the midst of a civil war?

MoveOn.org is sending out emails today seeking more contributions for its campaign to defeat any Democratic senator who does not fully support Obamacare. Yesterday the left-wing activist group asked members to contribute “to a primary challenge against any Democratic senator who helps Republicans block an up-or-down vote on health care reform.” Today, MoveOn reports that it has received $2 million in pledges in less than 24 hours. “It’s a clear sign of how angry progressives would be at any Democrat who helps filibuster reform,” MoveOn executive director Justin Ruben writes in the new email.

“The larger the war chest we can offer a potential challenger, the stronger the signal we’ll send to conservative Democrats,” Ruben continues. “So we’re setting a huge new goal: $3 million in total pledges by the end of the week. That’s plenty to launch a serious primary challenge.”

MoveOn is already planning radio ads targeting Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and Arkansas Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln over the health care issue.

The bottom line is that in spite of the over-heated rhetoric, these sorts of dust-ups are all part and parcel of “Politics as Usual”. It is impossible to get hundreds of thousands of adults to agree on everything. There are going to be disagreements. When you consider the stakes involved, it should surprise no one when things get ugly upon occasion.

by @ 5:21 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections, 2010

Patently Progressive Public Policy Polling Pundit Predicts Particularly Pleased Pachyderm Party

Left leaning pollster PPP is predicting a very good night for the Republicans. They cite two reasons, superior unity and Independents fleeing the Democrats.

We think tonight will be very good for Republicans.

Two of the main reasons for that are superior party unity and pretty overwhelming support from independents.

As evidence they cite:
->Hoffman is winning 71% GOP vote versus 67% Democrat vote to Owens. Independents split 52/30.
->Christie is getting 82% GOP vote versus 72% Democrat vote to Corzine. Independents split 52/29.
->McDonnell is grabbing 94% GOP vote versus 87% Democrat vote to Deeds. Independents split 63/33.

They mention several other races that show the Republicans are far more likely to be loyal to their party member than the Democrats, and the Independents are going to the Republican 2-1 in many cases.

Think of this the next time you read how the GOP is in disarray or out and out civil war.

Edit: I couldn’t help but improve the alliteration in the title.
Edit: Last tweak on the title, I promise. ;-)

by @ 4:58 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections

The Return of Cockstradamus: Atlanta’s color blind mayoral election

Atlanta remains a city too busy to hate, which fact caused the Rooster oracle to realize he wasn’t too busy to end his Sabbatical for an Election Day prognostication.

cockstradamus

This I-85 South Carolina native has loved the Capital of Dixie since childhood. His brother was even born at Crawford-Long Hospital when the family moved to Bolton Drive during a Southern Railway shutdown of its Hayne (train repair) Shop in Spartanburg.

Our first love was the Braves (Mike DeVine Law Gamecock even loves the Braves more than his beloved USC Fighting Gamecocks for God’s sake), followed closely by the Falcons, Hawks and even, the now defunct, Nick Papadakis-led soccer team, the Chiefs. We loved Coca-Cola, the Varsity, Tech and the world’s busiest airport.

But mostly, we loved the home of Martin Luther King, Jr. that made great racial progress while also electing white and black mayors that fostered the growth of one of the great American cities.

This conservative Republican has been impressed with the governance of Atlanta for the last eight years by a non-racial, competent mayor named Shirley Franklin.

But we are most impressed now with the current campaign to succeed the term-limited City leader, for the non-racial conduct by all the candidates. Has their been some petty partisan party bickering even in this, officially, “non-partisan” race? Yes, after all, these are politicians, not candidates for sainthood.

But none of the campaigns have focused, at all, on the race of their opposing candidates, despite some puny attempts by two local college professors, and other outliers, to try and get blacks to gang up on the white poll leader.

Atlanta is a mature city focused on who can get the job done, and it appears to be moving towards that color-blind, judge by the content of one’s character goal of Martin Luther King.

Cockstradamus (pictued above) believes that this majority black Democrat city is about to elect a white woman for the first time, partially due to the resentment of many for the Georgia Democratic Party (and admitted Democrat candidates) attacks against Mary Norwood, that claim she is a closet republican.

Cockstradamus thinks that many black and white Democratic and independent voters resent the implication made by the GA Dem Party that they are mindless lemmings waiting for direction from on high.

We also note a possible affirmation of our apathy is good theory, given the likelihood of a low turnout. Atlanta has been hit hard by the Great Recession in terms of jobs lost, budget problems and crime. Yet, they seem to believe that all four of the major candidates are up to the job, and so are too busy to vote, so busy are they trying to make a living.

One thing is for sure: They are too busy to hate any candidate because of their race.

Atlanta, you make me proud. Gamecock would lean to voting for Kasim Reed if he weren’t viewing the Big City election from Clarkston and the Stone Mountain of Georgia, but we will flock to Manuel’s to celebrate the election, no matter the winner, because the real winner is….

Atlanta, the greatest city in America.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer, Examiner.com and Minority Report columns

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

Originally published @ Examiner.com, where all verification links may be accessed.

by @ 11:41 am. Filed under 2009 Elections

“Moderate” Purge in NY-23? Not Even Close.

Now that Dede Scozzafava has withdrawn from NY-23, leaving the GOP without a nominee, the question is what does this portend for 2010.  Is this a sign of eliminating the slightest deviation from Conservative orthodoxy (whatever that means; the definition of Conservatism is certainly in question if Pres Bush can be considered a conservative), or is it a grassroots movement, with the silent majority standing once again to bring the GOP back to the 1994 Revolution?

As of yet, no one has shown me that Dede Scozzafava has a moderate voting record.  She has some decidedly liberal endorsers.  To be fair, she and Spkr Gingrich came out and said “Trust her, she’ll vote conservative on X, Y, and Z.”  If her positions on those issues was actually what they said, I’d say she’d undoubtedly be a moderate, and she should have been backed by conservatives.  These stances, however, are in direct contradiction with the organizations that had endorsed her, which creates a situation of “Do you believe me, or your lying eyes?”  In short, the only reason people call her a moderate is because she has an “R” after her name.  If it were a “D”, most people would call her a liberal.

Now, I fully believe there is a place for moderate politicians within the GOP.  One does not need to agree with every stance of the platform in order to join, and a certain amount of debate within the party is healthy.  A party that locks its thinking into place is one that will stagnate and die off.  Those points aren’t in question.  What IS in question is whether ANY sort of standard should be put in place, or whether the GOP should run Karl Marx if he would win a seat for them.  Essentially, should the GOP become m0re like the Democrats?  Should the GOP complete the process, and essentially make politics gang warfare, where the only real difference between them is who gets the payout in the end?

In short, the voters of NY-23 have made their voices heard.  They aren’t opposed to moderates, but they do want SOME standards when it comes to voting records.  The purpose of NY-23 isn’t to say “Thou shalt vote conservative down the line,” but to say “The GOP isn’t the Democrats.”  The quest isn’t purity, but to show the GOP does have standards beyond just electability.

by @ 6:30 am. Filed under 2009 Elections, Republican Party

November 2, 2009

State of the Race: Under 24 Hours to Go; Plus Rasmussen NJ Poll Prediction Thread

With under 24 hours to go until the candidates raise their hands in victory, here’s a recap of where the polls and futures markets stand in regards to the state of the races:

RCP Averages:

Intrade:

  • Virginia Governor: McDonnell 99.1, Deeds 1.0
  • New Jersey Governor: Christie 56.0, Corzine 46.0, Daggett 1.1
  • NY-23: Hoffman 75, Owens 28, Scozzafava 0.8
  • NYC Mayor: Bloomberg 95

Rasmussen will reportedly release its final New Jersey Governor poll tomorrow morning. So please post your prediction as to their findings in the comments.  Actually, why don’t we just make this post an election day prediction open thread?

by @ 10:47 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections, Poll Watch

Poll Watch: SurveyUSA/WABC-TV New Jersey Gubernatorial Survey

SurveyUSA/WABC-TV New Jersey Gubernatorial Survey

  • Chris Christie 45% <43%> {41%} [40%] (43%)
  • Jon Corzine 42% <43%> {39%} [39%] (40%)
  • Chris Daggett 10% <11%> {19%} [18%] (14%)

Among Independents

  • Chris Christie 55% <51%> {49%} [48%] (44%)
  • Jon Corzine 25% <30%> {24%} [26%] (32%)
  • Chris Daggett 16% <17%> {24%} [23%] (19%)

Among Men

  • Chris Christie 48% <47%> {46%} [44%] (48%)
  • Jon Corzine 38% <42%> {32%} [34%] (35%)
  • Chris Daggett 10% <10%> {21%} [19%] (16%)

Among Women

  • Jon Corzine 45% <44%> {45%} [43%] (46%)
  • Chris Christie 41% <39%> {37%} [35%] (37%)
  • Chris Daggett 10% <12%> {17%} [18%] (13%)

Among those with no reservations about their vote

  • Chris Christie 51% <50%> {49%} [48%] (47%)
  • Jon Corzine 41% <43%> {38%} [40%] (43%)
  • Chris Daggett 8% <7%> {12%} [13%] (9%)

Survey of 582 likely voters was conducted October 30 – November 1. The margin of error is +/- 4.1 percentage points. Party ID breakdown: 44% <44%> {41%} [42%] (42%) Democrat; 33% <34%> {37%} [33%] (38%) Republican; 22% <20%> {20%} [23%] (18%) Independent. Political views: 46% <42%> {45%} [49%] (46%) Moderate; 29% <31%> {28%} [28%] (31%) Conservative; 20% <22%> {22%} [18%] (18%) Liberal. Results from the poll conducted October 26-28 are in angle brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 19-21 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 12-14 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 5-7 are in parentheses.

by @ 1:26 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections, Poll Watch

Poll Watch: Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Gubernatorial Survey

Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Gubernatorial Survey

  • Jon Corzine 43% {42%} (39%) [40%] {39%} (36%) [37%]
  • Chris Christie 41% {43%} (39%) [43%] {47%} (50%) [45%]
  • Chris Daggett 8% {8%} (14%) [8%] {5%} (4%) [4%]

Among Democrats

  • Jon Corzine 77% {77%} (76%) [71%] {77%} (73%) [67%]
  • Chris Christie 8% {11%} (8%) [12%] {8%} (14%) [17%]
  • Chris Daggett 7% {9%} (11%) [7%] {7%} (2%) [4%]

Among Republicans

  • Chris Christie 82% {86%} (81%) [81%] {82%} (81%) [78%]
  • Jon Corzine 10% {6%} (6%) [11%] {8%} (9%) [10%]
  • Chris Daggett 4% {5%} (8%) [4%] {4%} (4%) [4%]

Among Independents

  • Chris Christie 43% {51%} (45%) [49%] {53%} (56%) [47%]
  • Jon Corzine 33% {29%} (21%) [28%] {30%} (24%) [26%]
  • Chris Daggett 12% {10%} (22%) [13%] {6%} (11%) [8%]

Among Men

  • Chris Christie 46% {49%} (40%)
  • Jon Corzine 39% {36%} (34%)
  • Chris Daggett 8% {9%} (18%)

Among Women

  • Jon Corzine 46% {49%} (43%)
  • Chris Christie 36% {38%} (39%)
  • Chris Daggett 8% {7%} (11%)

Favorable / Unfavorable {Net}

  • Chris Christie: 40% {44%} (40%) [41%] {48%} (49%) / 38% {36%} (41%) [39%] {30%} (33%) {+2%}
  • Chris Daggett 21% {22%} (28%) [17%] {11%} (11%) / 21% {22%} (15%) [8%] {6%} (9%) {0%}
  • Jon Corzine: 40% {39%} (37%) [40%] {37%} (37%) / 44% {49%} (51%) [49%] {53%} (53%) {-4%}

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Jon Corzine is doing as governor?

  • Approve 36% {33%} (41%) {34%} (35%) [40%]
  • Disapprove 54% {55%} (55%) {58%} (58%) [53%]

Among Independents

  • Approve 28% {21%}
  • Disapprove 63% {69%}

Among Daggett Supporters

  • Approve 14% {9%}
  • Disapprove 71% {82%}

Among Undecided Voters

  • Approve 24% {26%}
  • Disapprove 40% {47%}

Survey of 722 likely voters was conducted October 31 – November 1. The margin of error is +/- 3.7 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted October 28-30 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 15-18 conducted are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted September 24-29 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted September 8-10 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted July 29 – August 2 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted July 9-14 are in square brackets. Party ID breakdown: {40%} (40%) [37%] {35%} (33%) Democrat; {34%} (34%) [37%] {36%} (42%) Independent; {26%} (26%) [26%] {29%} (25%) Republican.

by @ 1:24 pm. Filed under 2009 Elections, Poll Watch

Poll Alert: Siena New York 23rd Congressional District Poll

Siena New York 23rd Congressional District Poll

  • Doug Hoffman 41%
  • Bill Owens 36%
  • Dede Scozzafava 6%

This SRI 23rd C.D. survey was conducted November 1, 2009 by telephone calls to 606 likely voters. It has a margin of error of + 4.0 percentage points.

by @ 11:21 am. Filed under 2009 Elections, Poll Watch

Poll Watch: Quinnipiac 2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Survey

Quinnipiac New Jersey Gubernatorial Survey

  • Chris Christie 42% [38%] (41%) {43%} [47%] (46%)
  • Jon Corzine 40% [43%] (40%) {39%} [37%] (40%)
  • Chris Daggett 12% [13%] (14%) {12%} [9%] (7%)

Among Independents

  • Chris Christie 47% [45%] (41%) {45%} [46%] (55%)
  • Jon Corzine 32% [30%] (32%) {32%} [30%] (25%)
  • Chris Daggett 17% [20%] (20%) {16%} [16%] (13%)

Among Men

  • Chris Christie 47% [46%] (43%) {50%} [51%] (53%)
  • Jon Corzine 36% [34%] (36%) {34%} [36%] (34%)
  • Chris Daggett 12% [15%] (17%) {12%} [9%] (7%)

Among Women

  • Jon Corzine 44% [51%] (44%) {43%} [39%] (46%)
  • Chris Christie 37% [31%] (39%) {37%} [43%] (40%)
  • Chris Daggett 11% [12%] (11%) {13%} [10%] (8%)

Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?

Among Christie Supporters

  • Mind made up 90% [88%] (80%)
  • Might change 10% [12%] (20%)

Among Corzine Supporters

  • Mind made up 86% [80%] (75%)
  • Might change 13% [19%] (24%)

Among Daggett Supporters

  • Mind made up 61% [60%] (39%)
  • Might change 38% [38%] (59%)

Among ‘Certain’ Voters

  • Chris Christie 37.8% [33.4%] (33%)
  • Jon Corzine 34.4% [34.4%] (30%)
  • Chris Daggett 7.3% [7.8%] (5%)

(Among Daggett supporters) Who is your second choice for governor?

  • Jon Corzine 39% [27%] (33%)
  • Chris Christie 29% [43%] (40%)
  • No one/wouldn’t vote 17% [18%] (13%)

Favorable / Unfavorable {Net}

  • Chris Daggett 23% [21%] (19%) {11%} [8%] (4%) / 17% [16%] (7%) {3%} [4%] (3%) {+6%}
  • Chris Christie 41% [37%] (38%) {38%} [41%] (42%) / 40% [42%] (40%) {38%} [30%] (20%) {+1%}
  • Jon Corzine 39% [41%] (40%) {34%} [34%] (37%) / 53% [52%] (53%) {56%} [57%] (54%) {-14%}

Survey of 1,267 likely voters was conducted October 27 – November 1. The margin of error is +/- 2.5 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted October 20-26 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 7-12 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted September 23-28 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted August 25-30 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted August 5-9 are in parentheses.

by @ 10:10 am. Filed under 2009 Elections, Poll Watch

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