Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stick With Nick


If you read this blog much, you've probably noticed we sometimes express a bit of antipathy towards ConservaDems, New Dems and Blue Dogs, generally speaking, the Republican wing ofd the Democratic Party. Over the years Blue America has even helped defeat some of the worst of them, particularly Al Wynn (MD), Tim Holden (PA), Chris Carney (PA) and Bobby Bright (AL). We've had John Barrow (GA), Jim Matheson (UT) and others like them in our sites for years. But one long-time conservative Democrat who we never really went after has been Nick Rahall (WV). His voting record is conservative, a lifetime ProgressivePunch crucial vote score of 65.57 in fact. But…

Of all the conservative Democrats who say that they vote their district, Rahall makes the most persuasive case. In fact, is votes considerably to the left of his district. California fake progressive Julia Brownley has approximately the same voting score, 65.73 but she represents a Democratic district (D+4) where Obama won with 56% in 2008 and 54% in 2012. A political coward, she follows a Beltway Establishment line that makes her far worse than Rahall who's district's PVI is R+14 and where Obama scored only 42% against McCain and a startling 33% against Romney. For someone who represents a district that red, Rahall, votes as well as he can-- and far more frequently with the Democrats than Members with MUCH safer districts.

Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sanford Biship (D-GA), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Dan Maffei (D-NY), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Bill Foster (D-IL), Filemon Vela (D-TX), Jim Costa (D-CA), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Joe Garcia (D-FL), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Collin Peterson (D-MN), to name incumbents in perfectly safe seats, vote far more conservatively than Rahall, who actually resisted joining the Blue Dogs for years and years and did it a few months ago as the noose tightened around his neck and the Koch brothers started pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars in a coordinated smear campaign into his district.

His voting record is as good as it can be without an act of overt political suicide. I would't say that about any other conservative Democrat in Congress, which is why we rarely attack him and why we have some sympathy for his predicament. Above is the newest ad the Democrats are running to counter the barrage of Koch-crap being thrown up against him. New polling-- although from an untrustworthy GOP fake polling firm (Tarrance)-- released this morning shows Rahall down by double digits against far right state Sen Evan Jenkins. It would be a miracle if he actually wins. We're not endorsing him or raising money for him but if there's one Blue Dog in the whole country worth rooting for, it's probably Nick Rahall. This graphic from Primary Colors will give you an idea of just how much better he actually votes than one might expect from the political contours of his district.

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At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. This fellow has been a Representative for 36 years. Of course he's better than any Republican, and probably better than any Democrat who would be allowed to run in that district, but seriously. Then again, John Dingell was handed the job from his dad, and his wife might well win the seat in November, so _that's_ a 100-year political dynasty. I suppose a third of a century is just par for our representative republic's course.

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe we should rethink whether it makes sense to put members like Rahall into the "Let's Try Not To Lose This One" category and actually raise money for him?


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