At a townhall meeting last week in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the state’s junior Senator Russ Feingold got an earful on health care from his constituents. Unlike some of his fellow partisans, that liberal Democrat, as his wont, treated his critics with respect.
Should Scott Brown do well in tomorrow’s race in Massachusetts, would that strong showing, or even his victory, cause the Wisconsin Democrat to get cold feet on health care? After all, Wisconsin was closely contested in 2000 and 2004, only narrowly going for the Democratic presidential nominees. In 2008, John McCain ran 6 points better in the Badger State than he did in the Bay State.
If Brown does as well as anticipated, you can bet that a number of Wisconsin Republicans will be eyeing Feingold’s seat which comes up this fall. Will he, to better protect himself from such challenges, mend his ways on Obamacare? Will other Washington Democrats who voted for the health care overhaul when first it came up for a vote in their respective chambers?
I think a lot of them might be wishing right now for some way to just make the issue go away.
Back when I went to college in far leftist, er, western, fringes of the Bay State, I had occasion to talk to many a native about the state’s senior Senator. It took me a while to understand his appeal, much of it having to do with his name. But, that wasn’t all. Ted Kennedy had, by all accounts a crackerjack constituent service operations and a staff considered the smartest on the “left side” of the Hill. Plus, despite his upbringing, he had the ability to relate to the urban ethnic voters in his jurisdiction. And he loved Fenway Park and the Red Sox.
Once when taking a cab from the bus station to Logan Airport, I asked the driver what he thought about his state’s senator, “Well,” this middle-aged man began, “he’s John’s brother.” He hesitated before praising the man dubbed the “black sheep” of his family, but ended up saying that while he lacked his older brother’s charisma, he did look out for the state. The Kennedy name will always have a certain magic in Massachusetts, particularly among the older Irish voters who know what it’s like to be excluded from the political mainstream. I think that’s one reason Martha Coakley has been polling about even with older voters (while running behind Brown among younger voters), a constituency which nationwide is moving away from her party, largely based on opposition to the health care overhaul.
So,it does seems the endorsement of the Kennedy family will help Martha Coakley in tomorrow’s election. Will then some of the currently wavering voters decide in the voting booth to vote for her to honor that celebrated family? Perhaps. And enough may do that to make up for the recent swing in the polls away from the Democratic nominee.
But, that’s not the only Kennedy factor at play in tomorrow’s race. A third party candidate on the ballot has almost the same name as the Kennedy family patriarch, though this Joe Kennedy calls himself the Tea Party candidate. Given his affiliation with the anti-big government tea parties, this affiliation would normally help the Democrats by taking away votes from the GOP whose candidate is running against the Democrats’ big government initiatives. (more…)
One of our faithful readers in the Palmetto State thinks it’s about time to unseat John Spratt. The 14-term Democrat chairs the House Budget Committee, so he is kind of symbol of his party’s spendthrift ways. John McCain won this district handily (53-46); itincludes some of the territory where Nathanial Greene rallied the Continental Army in some of its bloodiest battles in the last year of the Revolutionary War.
By chasing Cornwallis and Tarleton out of the Carolinas, he forced their retreat to Yorktown where General Washington did his magic. So, let’s remind Mr. Spratt why so much blood was spilled in the territory he represents in the town named for that great American, patriotic Americans fighting against the tyranny of an overreaching national government. To show just how vulnerable he is, reader asks us to chime in at Public Policy Polling to have them poll this race. So follow the link and vote “for” John Spratt. But, in the case, a vote “for” means a vote for polling.
I expect that this big-spending Democrat won poll very well. And those low numbers will encourage strong Republicans to enter this race, giving Nancy Pelosi one less vote in the House.
Senator Barbara Boxer is now the latest Democratic incumbent to find herself in a tightening race for reelection.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely California voters finds Boxer with narrow leads over her three leading Republican challengers, including newcomer Tom Campbell.
Against each of the three Republicans, vying to oppose here, Ma’am holds at 46%. My gal Carly does the best at 43% (didn’t I see a poll last week that had the Massachuetts race at 43-46?). Tom Campbell, fresh from switching races (he had been barnstorming the state as a candidate for Governor, but had not been polling well against Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner in the contest for taking on Democrat Jerry Brown) is at 42, with longtime candidate Chuck DeVore at 40%.
Methinks Chuck might do well to shop for an open Congressional seat.
The best news for Republicans is that for the first time that Ma’am has faced the voters, the election is all about her:
The fact that Boxer’s support is frozen at 46% against all GOP challengers suggest that the race for now is about her rather than those running against her.
Men favor any of the Republicans by double digits over Boxer, while women prefer the incumbent by similar margins. Voters not affiliated with either party like the Republican candidates by anywhere from nine to 14 points.
Voters not affiliated with either party preferring the Republican? Hmmmm. . . now where have we seen that before? Oh, right, yes, in, uh, New Jersey (getting a new Republican Governor on the morrow) and Virginia (with a new Republican Governor in Thomas Jefferson’s old job). (more…)
“I’m no stranger to hard fought campaigns, but what we’ve seen in the past few days is way over the line and reminiscent of the dangerous atmosphere of Sarah Palin’s 2008 campaign rallies. This is not how democracy works in Massachusetts,” Kerry said this afternoon in a statement.
“Scott Brown needs to speak up and get his out of state tea party supporters under control. In Massachusetts, we fight hard and win elections on the issues and on our differences, not with bullying and threats,” Kerry said.
Dangerous atmosphere of Sarah Palin rallies? Huh? What does that mean? Were people lynched? Property destroyed? Books burned?
Or maybe it’s just a “dangerous atmosphere” to John Kerry when conservatives are energized.
Writer Michael Warren was quick to link the people’s choice to a previous (and much maligned) military dictator of the South American nation:
Pinera’s election victory Sunday night ends two decades of uninterrupted rule by a center-left coalition, and returns to power the same political parties that provided civic support for Augusto Pinochet’s brutal 1973-1990 dictatorship.
For all Pinochet’s faults–and they were many–he did restore capitalism and democracy to his country. It continues to be one of the most prosperous nations in our hemisphere, in large measure because that center-left coalition, like a certain former certain-left American president, did not undermine the free market reforms of a previous bogeyman of the left, though the American one at least had a popular mandate.
In the fall of 2008, as polls showed her chances for reelection diminishing with each passing day, then-Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-Inside the Beltway) decided to jump the shark, er, pull the “Godless Atheist” card. She started runningads across the Tarheel State (which she supposedly represented, but rarely visited) pointing out (quite accurately) that a leader of the Godless Americans held a “secret” fundraiser for her opponent Kay Hagan. That Democrat attended said fundraiser.
Now, while Mrs. Dole’s ads had more basis in fact than some of the stuff put out by the Coakley campaign in recent days, they betrayed a whiff of desperation. With those ads, she destroyed whatever chance the native North Carolinian had of reviving her candidacy.
Now, if the Massachusetts media were as harsh on Coakley’s negative ads as the Carolina media were on Dole’s, then the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s mailer alleging “that Scott Brown wants rape victims turned away from hospitals” could have a similar effect on Coakley’s candidacy. A Brown spokeswoman called the ad “patently false“. When a candidate is down (or declining in the polls) in the last lap of an electoral contest, such negative ads rarely have the intended effect. Instead of scaring people away from the savaged candidate, they make them disgusted with the candidate firing the broadsides.
Of course, it would be the Bay State Democrats sponsoring the attack. They want to deflect as much blame as they can away from the Coakley campaign itself
Whether or not this ad alone will prevent a Democrat from winning in this Democratic state is still far from clear. It is just one of many areas were the Coakley campaign (and it allies) have blundered in recent days. (I mean, heck, the late Senator Kennedy’s son kept calling the woman vying for the seat once held by his father, Daniel Webster and Charles Sumner Marcia.*)
In one of the iconic comments of his political career (at 1:18 below), Richard Nixon, after losing the California gubernatorial election in 1962 told the press, “You don’t have Richard Nixon to kick around any more.”
To be sure, the son of a man who held Daniel Webster’s seat in the United States Senate did fault his party–for not being harsh enough on W:
One thing the Democrats have done wrong? We haven’t kept the focus on this disaster on the Republicans who brought it upon us. We’ve tried too hard to do that right thing, and that’s to fix it, as opposed to spend more of our time and energy pointing the finger at who got us [here] in the first place.