Tuesday, April 01, 2014

How Big A Disaster Will Steve Israel Prove To Be In November?


Yesterday Steve Israel was crowing on Twitter how 4 powerful senior Republican committee chairmen are retiring (Doc Hastings, Mike Rogers, Buck McKeon and, now, Dave Camp). What his tweets conspicuously left out, of course, is that Israel didn't recruit any candidates against them and actually undermined candidates who ran against Rogers and McKeon last cycle. Israel is well-known as an incompetent lummox incapable of putting together a two-cycle plan to beat vulnerable Republicans. They have nothing to worry about from him. He leaves his old fraternity brothers from the Center Aisle Caucus alone and his little deal with the NRCC to keep his own seat safe leave GOP committee chairs unchallenged. As we saw earlier today, Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is the best example of Israel's venal incompetence on both counts.

On top of all that, Israel, an "ex"-Blue Dog, is more interested in stocking the House Democratic caucus with corrupt conservatives than he is in winning back the House majority. His recruiting has been horrifying-- and sure to discourage Democratic voters from coming to the polls. In a midterm election, when its all about base turnout, Israel has come up with some of the most vile and unattractive candidates imaginable. Why, for example, would any Democrat-- other than a Blue Dog or a yellow dog-- both to vote in OH-06, after Israel chased away state Senator Lou Gentile in favor of right-wing, anti-Choice bigot Jennifer Garrison. Garrison is beloved by the NRA but they'll be voting for the Republican incumbent. Meanwhile, she made her reputation (as "the Sarah Palin of Ohio") by relentlessly attacking LGBT equal rights and by taking disgusting anti-Choice positions. From an e-mail NARAL sent to its members in Ohio about her:
Jennifer Garrison currently serves in the Ohio House of Representatives and has a 0% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.

Rep. Garrison showed just how extreme her anti-choice position is when she filled out the 2008 candidate questionnaire for Ohio Right to Life, saying she would:

 support legislation in Ohio to outlaw abortion (with only an exception to save a woman’s life),

 support legislation that would allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense emergency contraception, and

 support state funding for so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” that lie to women about the risks of abortion and never refer patients for abortion or birth control services.

Representative Garrison does not share our values.
Israel expect this to turn out the Democratic base?

That's right; she shares Republican values. So do several Israel recruits, some of whom are conspicuously anti-Choice, anti-gay and pro-gun. That's supposed to get the base out. Israel's pathetic candidate in CA-31, Pete Aguilar, preaches Chained CPI and other Republican anti-family austerity measures; perfect Steve Israel candidate. Most of his candidates are "mystery meat" nothings who are hiding from the issues and refusing the give voters any reason to bother turning out at the polls. That said, NY Times reporter John Harwood published a disturbing look at the midterms last night: Democrats Scramble to Stave Off Midterm Disaster.
In 2012, exit polls showed, Mr. Obama won a second term by rolling up margins of 11 percentage points among women, 24 percentage points among voters ages 18 to 24, and 87 percentage points among blacks. Over the last four midterm elections, turnout by all three groups fell more from the previous presidential race than turnout by Republican-leaning men, whites and those over 65.

Young voters have abandoned the midterm electorate at more than twice the rate of seniors. Hispanics, who favored Mr. Obama by a margin of 44 percentage points, have voted at just two-thirds the rate of whites. Unmarried women, the source of the Democratic advantage with women, vote less often than their married counterparts.

“I’m worried this could be a disaster,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster.

…With its sophisticated voter identification and mobilization programs, the 2012 Obama presidential campaign produced a more Democratic-leaning electorate than many Republicans had thought possible. In 2014 battlegrounds like North Carolina and Colorado, vulnerable Senate Democratic incumbents hope to capitalize on the results of those efforts the way Terry McAuliffe did in winning the Virginia governorship last year.

But “just because they find these people doesn’t mean they have a message that will work” to turn them out, said Zac Moffatt, a Republican strategist who was an aide to Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. Mr. McAuliffe, for instance, had less success mobilizing young voters than he did with African-Americans.

…[A] recent special House election underscored the Democrats’ turnout problem. The contested district, which includes much of St. Petersburg, has 2.4 percent more registered Republicans than Democrats. But Republicans outnumbered Democrats by eight percentage points among those who actually voted, early evidence that Republicans are more energized about November.
A message that will work? That's where Steve Israel's "mystery meat" strategy will prove that Nancy Pelosi's worst political decision of her career was in reappointing Israel after he lead House Democrats to failure last cycle while Obama won a healthy victory and while the DSCC won severe serious race it engaged in against far steeper odds than any of Israel's lame attempts to win back the House. November is going to be a disaster for Democrats, although there are opportunities for progressives to advance despite Israel. Helping candidates like Stanley Chang (HI-01), Paul Clements (MI-06), Patrick Hope (VA-08), Daylin Leach (PA-13), Pat Murphy (IA-01), Eloise Reyes (CA-31), Lee Rogers (CA-25), Michael Wager (OH-14), Kelly Westlund (WI-07) and Rob Zerban (WI-01) will help establish a progressive beach head inside Congress when Israel is gone from the DCCC in 2016 and Democrats do take back the House. You can help all these candidates here. Let's do what Steve Israel is incapable of doing by taking a long-term strategic approach.

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