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Lack of California Democrats’ enthusiasm for Boxer may give Fiorina edge in campaign’s last month

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:47 pm - October 5, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,California politics

While the polls last week seemed to put the California U.S. Senate seat out of reach for Carly Fiorina, two polls this week indicate that the race remains a toss-up, with the incumbent Barbara Boxer enjoying a modest, but definitely not insurmountable lead.

One reason the 28-year Washington veteran seemed to surge was that with her cash advantage, she was the first to go on the air.  Now that Carly and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (along with the Chamber of Commerce) have returned fire, we see the career politician slipping again.  Her negatives remain very high.  And she just looks old — and out of touch.

While the SurveyUSA and Rasmussen polls still show Boxer ahead, Fiorina campaign spokesman Andrea Saul said the “race remains a dead heat”:

Despite the fact that Barbara Boxer spent weeks pouring millions of dollars of special-interest money into baseless attack ads against Carly, she was unable to significantly improve her standing with voters. Now that Carly is on the air setting the record straight about Barbara Boxer’s dismal 28-year career in Washington, voters are being reminded daily of just how little Boxer has delivered for California – and the gap is closing again.

And that gap may been even more narrow that polls suggest.  Save for a few die-hard lefties in San Francisco, Beverly Hills and other tony neighborhoods of Southern California, Democrats just aren’t enthusiastic about their party’s nominee.  When I told Democratic friend about the merits of Peace and Freedom Party nominee Marsha Feinland, he, while acknowledging the incumbent’s ineffectiveness, said he was sticking with Boxer because she’s the Democrat.  Hardly a ringing endorsement.

With Republicans, particularly in the Golden State (given the Democrats’ recent shenanigans), more raring to vote than their Democratic counterparts, the enthusiasm factor could tip races to the Republican where polling gives the Democrat a slight lead.   (more…)

The most brilliant political ad of fall campaign?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:24 pm - October 5, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

The National Republican Senatorial Committee shows how to run against a popular Democratic governor in a state where the Democratic president is unpopular.

Meanwhile, in the Golden State, the increasingly desperate Barbara Boxer is clinging to Obama’s coattails.  Note that this president’s rhetoric in Ma’am’s ad doesn’t cite any specific legislation that his California candidate supported.  You can support her less partisan opponent here.

UPDATE:  They’re pulling the ad: (more…)

Jerry Brown: Unequipped to face California’s fiscal mess

For a great many reasons, Jerry Brown is exactly the wrong man to helm the (once-)Golden State at this time in its history.  Indeed, when he first served as Governor in the 1970s, he sowed the seeds for the state’s current economic malaise.  In 1978, he signed the Dill Act “giving the public unions collective bargaining.”  Now the public-employees unions, on whose support he has been relying to win the election, all but control the legislature, making pension reform all but impossible “to accomplish.”

For a little more on the state’s “half-trillion-dollar pension mess,” check out this piece by Jane Jamison.

No wonder his camp is eager to exploit the flap over Meg Whitman’s housekeeper.  It distracts voters from the real problems facing the state.

State spending is out of control.  And as the former longtime Democratic Speaker of the State Assembly Willie Brown reminds us, “80 percent of the state, county and city budget deficits are due to employee costs.”  And California’s fiscal problems (not to mention those of other states) are only going to get worse.  According to the Washington Examiner, “the same woman who predicted the Wall Street meltdown is warning about another calamity — our state governments are going broke, with possibly disastrous consequences“:

[Meredith] Whitney has released a 600-page report on states’ fiscal woes, warning of $192 billion in state budget shortfalls, which comes to 27 percent of all combined state budgets for the 2010 fiscal year. States have been borrowing heavily from health care and public pension funds, which are now underfunded by $1 trillion, to cover their debts. What happens when states can’t pay the bills?

We need serious reform of overly generous state pension and employee benefits packages.  In recent years, the federal government has helped paper over the problem of out-of-control state budgets, with the “stimulus” transferring federal funds to the states to pay off their various liabilities.

Without that cash, however, states are going to have to implement real reforms, most of which the ever-powerful public employee unions oppose.  With such unions providing the backbone of Jerry Brown’s campaigns, the former Governor clearly lacks the capacity to confront California’s real problems.

To show they’ve changed, Republicans (if victorious) must work for immediate & full repeal of Obamacare

On Sunday, Glenn Reynolds wrote that should Republicans win this fall and don’t get their act together in the 112th Congress, we could see third-party challenges in 2012:

But those establishment GOP figures who think that they’ll cruise to victory and a return to the pocket-stuffing business-as-usual that marked the prior GOP majority need to think again. This election cycle is, in a very real sense, a last chance for the Republicans. If they blow it, we’re likely to see third-party challenges in 2012, not only at the Presidential level but in numerous Congressional races as well.

For the national GOP, it’s do-or-die time. So guys, you’d better perform — unless you want me to be writing another “I told you so” column in 2013. And trust me, you don’t.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) echoed that thought, predicting

. . . that if Republicans win majorities in Congress but don’t follow through on their promises, it could cause a third party built in the shape of the Tea Party movement to take off.

“I will say this: If we do not govern according to our principles and if we don’t follow through on the things we say we’re going to do, I think there will be a third party in this country,” the fourth-ranking Senate Republican said on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program, set for broadcast this weekend.

To that end, if victorious this fall, Republicans should follow the lead of the Club for Growth and push for an immediate and full repeal of Obamacare: (more…)

Jon Stewart: Mistake for Dems to dwell on Christine O’Donnell

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:42 pm - October 5, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

Last night before bed, I checked into Memeorandum to see if there was anything worth blogging about it.  I had to scroll down past link after link after link to the latest outrage Christine O’Donnell committed in the 1990s to get to the real eye-popping news of Gallup’s first “likely voter” poll of the 2010 elections.

This is not the first time I’ve noted the Christine O’Donnell obsession of the normally even-handed blog-aggregator.

Well, Jon Stewart has noticed this phenomenon as well, only among Democrats:

You know, I feel like again, this woman, Christine O’Donnell, she may be qualified. She may not. I’m not all that impressed with what’s in the Senate right now. But the last thing that I would suggest is that her witchcraft or masturbation stance is what we should be even thinking about or focusing on, and I think that’s an enormous mistake that the Democrats will make.

Democrats do seem to have a fascination with defining the right by some figure they find fascinating enough to demonize.  Wonder how they’d feel if Republicans tried the same tack.

Gallup Numbers Showing Republican Tsuper Tsunami?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:47 am - October 5, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,We The People

Gallup has released a poll which is simply astounding.  Crying “Holy Smokes Batman!” Hugh Hewitt calls the new Gallup numbers “extraordinary:

Americans are going to vote against Democrats from top to bottom, and they are not going to be diverted by Gloria Allred, secret tapes, or any other stunt. It is a massive rejection of President Obama’s policies and those of Pelosi and Reid.

And consider this: The gap may widen, not narrow, as more and more people focus on the dismal results of the blank political check given the Democrats in 2008. The American people made a huge mistake two years ago. They won’t be fooled again.

Calling the numbers “astonishing,” Michael Barone wonders what election the 2010 mid-terms will most closely parallel:

These two numbers, if translated into popular votes in the 435 congressional districts, suggest huge gains for Republicans and a Republican House majority the likes of which we have not seen since the election cycles of 1946 or even 1928.

Perhaps, it’ll be like 1894 when the GOP picked up 100 seats. Still, this sage pundit urges caution. Oh, and what are those two numbers you may ask. Here let me show you Gallup’s chart:

Vote Preferences in 2010 Congressional Elections, Various Turnout Scenarios

The GOP even leads among registered voters, but the two numbers Barone referenced come from the second two lines in the chart above, from the two different turnout models Gallup uses.  Under the second such model, the GOP has an 18-point margin, otherwise it’s just 13.  Wowza.  And independents are turning away from the big-government policies of he incumbent Democrats:

Independents in both likely voter models skew strongly toward the Republican candidate. Gallup has found independent registered voters consistently preferring Republican candidates throughout the campaign.

But, good as these numbers are, let’s remember what the sage captain of the Millennium Falcon once said.