Sunday, March 15, 2009

Will Obama Have Coattails In Special Elections-- Like In NY-20's Contest Between Tedisco And Murphy?


In November Obama ran up bigger vote margins than John Kerry in every state except for 6 racist throwbacks that are still largely KKK bastions, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia. The first number is Obama vote percentage and the second is Kerry's.

Alabama- 39/48
Alaska- 38/36
Arizona- 45/44
Arkansas- 39/45
California- 61/54
Colorado- 54/47
Connecticut- 61/54
Delaware- 62/53
DC- 93/89
Florida- 51/47
Georgia- 47/41
Hawaii- 72/54
Idaho- 36/30
Illinois- 62/55
Indiana- 50/39
Iowa- 54/49
Kansas- 41/37
Kentucky- 41/40
Louisiana- 40/42
Maine- 58/54
Maryland- 62/56
Massachusetts- 62/62 (Kerry's home state-- and Obama came up with 90,000 more votes)
Michigan- 57/51
Minnesota- 54/51
Mississippi- 43/40
Missouri- 49/46
Montana- 47/39
Nebraska- 42/33
Nevada- 55/48
New Hampshire- 54/50
New Jersey- 57/53
New Mexico- 57/49
New York- 62/58
North Carolina- 50/44
North Dakota- 45/35
Ohio- 51/49
Oklahoma- 34/34
Oregon- 57/51
Pennsylvania- 55/51
Rhode Island- 63/59
South Carolina- 45/41
South Dakota- 45/38
Tennessee- 42/43
Texas- 44/38
Utah- 34/26
Vermont 68/59
Virginia- 53/45
Washington- 58/53
West Virginia- 43/43
Wisconsin- 56/50
Wyoming- 33/29

The result was 365 electoral votes for Obama and 53% of the popular vote, as opposed to the 252 electoral votes and 48% of the popular vote that Kerry took, or-- in way of comparison, 286 electoral votes Bush got in 2004, along with 51% of the popular vote.

There are similar instances in congressional districts in every part of the country. A combination of Obama's coattails and voters' disgust with Republican governance combined to elect a great many Democrats in traditionally Republican seats. Upstate New York's 20th congressional district, which has a PVI of R+3 gave Bush 51% in 2000 and 54% in 2004, dumped it's drunken, woman-beating wingnut of a Republican incumbent, John Sweeney, and elected moderate Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand in 2006 by over 13,000 votes, 53-47%. This past November, against concerted and well-financed opposition (Sandy Treadwell spent over $7,000,000, $6 million from his own pocket, to Gillibarnd's total of $4.4 million), Gillibrand's constituents sent her back to Congress with a startling 62% of the vote. Obama's margin of victory was smaller but his win was not something Republicans were expecting.

New York's completely clueless soon-to-be-ex-governor appointed Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat and it was widely assumed, on both sides of the aisle, that he was throwing away the NY-20 House seat. If the Republicans get it back, it will be a close race, and a very expensive one. Their candidate, Jim Tedisco, started out with a seemingly insurmountable lead against Scott Murphy, a moderate Blue Dog Democrat who isn't exactly inspiring any progressives. But after a series of missteps from Tedisco and from the national GOP, the race is now neck and neck. The NRCC has leaned on its members to flood Tedisco's campaign with money and 88 of them have responded with checks. The NRCC itself has put 344,000 into negative TV ads and the RNC has put in another $180,000. National Democrats have put $156,000 into the race.

Tedisco, a hard-core conservative, refuses to say whether or not he will join the Republican Party's All Obstruction/All the Time strategy against President Obama's policies and won't answer any questions about where he stands on the Stimulus bill. If Obama were to appeal directly to voters in NY-20 to give him a supporter in Congress, the way FDR did for Democrats, Murphy might actually hold the seat. Gillibrand is trying but the impact isn't the same.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, the race is seen as a make it or break it contest for the party itself. Today's Hill:
Though officials at the NRCC warn the race will be close, privately Republican strategists say a loss would be devastating. Republicans hold a wide voter registration advantage in the district, and before Gillibrand beat an ethically tainted incumbent in 2006 Republicans had held the seat since the 1970s.

Early polls showed Tedisco with a wide lead, though recent public surveys indicate Murphy is quickly closing the gap. Though Republicans privately expressed early optimism and played up their chances of taking over the seat, some strategists are now privately expressing concern.

Private GOP polls show that Murphy has all the momentum and has actually pulled slightly ahead of Tedisco. The RNC's embattled chairman has realized that if Tedisco loses he will probably be forced out of his job even sooner than is expected.
[A]fter a series of comments that have turned Steele into the butt of jokes on late-night comedy shows and a punching bag in his own party, Republicans say the former Maryland lieutenant governor's performance depends more than ever on his mastering the essential duties of a party chairman: raising money, hiring staff members and helping candidates win elections. No major figure in the GOP has yet called for the resignation of the party's first black chairman, but many want him to stay behind the scenes, even though his reputation as a likable and telegenic figure helped win him the job in the first place.

Today's North Country Gazette absolutely savaged Tedisco and will make it even harder for him to make up lost ground against Murphy. A campaign add from President Obama about GOP obstructionism would end Tedisco's chances once and for all.
The economy-- layoffs and foreclosures and other detrimental effects of the recession-- is the most important issue in the campaign for the 20th Congressional District.
While Democrat Scott Murphy of Glens Falls has been focused on the everyday issues facing middle class families in this tough economy, the Republican candidate Jim Tedisco, part of the Republican regime that got us into this recession, is still driving around in his state-owned vehicle spouting his rhetoric and claiming to be “one of us.” While you are struggling to make your car payments, pay your car insurance, maintain your vehicle and put gas in it, Tedisco is among the state employees who are riding around at your expense. He’s NOT one of us.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home