Patterico's Pontifications


2009 election post-mortem

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:35 am

[Posted by Karl]

In the Internet Age, there is no shortage of punditry on the off-year election results, which makes my task here much easier.

Ed Morrissey nicely addresses the Democratic talking point this was “anti-incumbent” fervor, by pointing out that such disproportionately hurts the majority party, i.e., Democrats. I would add that the new Democrat talking points about how predictable the GOP wins in Virginia and New Jersey were ought to put the rest the old Democrat instant talking points that the 2008 elections marked a political realignment likely to last 40 years. Instead, the results looked like 1993, where a GOP blowout in Virginia and a win in NJ were part of the prelude to a GOP tsunami in 1994.

I always saw the NY-23 race as a sui generis clusterfark, so Hoffman coming up short did not exactly shock me. The “GOP civil war” narrative of the establishment media remains unimpressive, particularly given that ignores the intra-party strife among the Dems. It is even less impressive when the establishment media reports that NY-23 has been Republican since the 1872, which is patently false. Must be all those layers of fact-checking and editing.

Also, while most righties aren’t mentioning the CA-10 House race, I was told by aphrael, who lives in the general vicinity, that no GOPer had broken 35% there since redistricting and that “if the Republican candidate manages to break 40%, everyone will be shocked.” Harmer won 43%.

Any number of pundits noted the shift of Independents to the GOP last night, but Michael Barone (crediting Pat Caddell) notes that affluent suburban voters (a key Obama demo) moved sharply toward Republicans in New Jersey, New York state, Philadelphia, and Virginia. Barone notes that there are probably four House Democrats from Virginia who are more nervous today about marching in lockstep with their party. I would add career pol and Corzine ally Rep. John Adler, who carried NJ-3 by only 51.7% of the vote in 2008, because NJ-3 is looking pretty red right now.

Independents and affluent suburbanites are significant because they are blocs of the Obama coalition that have moved rightward. Other blocs, like young adults and minorities, who simply did not show up. The former are worse for the Dems than the latter, as 2010 is likely to have higher turnout than 2009.

More broadly, the 2009 results were in one sense unremarkable. The greater intensity on the right, the rightward shift of Independents, the dissatisfaction with the way Pres. Obama has handling most major domestic issues — these were all things easily seen in the past few months of public opinion polling. However, their confirmation at the ballot box, the concession speeches, and the headlines even the establishment media cannot avoid reporting, may make the shift in public opinion tangible to the center-left in Congress and the media in a way that dry numbers on a screen did not.


132 Responses to “2009 election post-mortem”

  1. The New York CD numbered “23” has been many places, including Manhattan, over the years. Not meaningful.

    However, there has always been some CD up against the Canadian border, and I presume THAT is what they mean when they talk about its long-term Republican history.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  2. Independents and affluent suburbanites are significant because they are blocs of the Obama coalition that have moved rightward.

    Me disagree. They voted for Obama (or against the GOP, you pick), but neither should be viewed as part of the Obama coalition… and I think that’s significant and not just semantics. Second, they didn’t move rightward as much as the right reached towards them while the left receded back to their liberal agenda.

    He who captures the middle wins… provided, of course, you don’t alienate your base in the process.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  3. Republicans increased their hold on VA’s House of Delegates. At least 5 seats now, and possibly more. Including suburban seats that had been trending Democrat recently.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  4. The lesson to be learned from NYCD-23 is this: both “sides” had a point: Gingrich & Co were right when they said trying to overturn local choices was a mistake, Palin & Co were right when they said “Geez, couldn’t you have found a Republican to run?”

    Someone a little less Right than Hoffman, or with better qualifications, might have won easily.

    Plenty of blame to go around, starting with the local party chairmen for doing such a shitty job.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  5. NPR is running with “meaningful.”

    Late on election night, the big Republican wins in the governors’ races had to share some of the media focus when two surprises emerged from New York.


    The other, and potentially more consequential, was the election of state Rep. Bill Owens, a Democrat, to a vacant congressional seat upstate. The district, the state’s largest and most rural, had not elected a representative who was not a Republican since the 1800s.

    The dirty socialists at NPR say the wins in Virginaia and New Jersey were totally precictable. The only person I know what’s more of a shameless dirty socialist whore than NPR is that porcine Scozzafava hoochie, unless you count the little president man.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  6. Harmer, so I heard made his first media buy last weekend. ////// Garamendi is a known name having been in politics for quite a while. He has muchos lobbyist coonnections, money and name.

    He went up against a no name and only won by 5 points. Sarah Palin should have been in Contra Costa County to help him.

    Check out California for secure gerrymandered districts – it is OBSCENE

    Typical White Person (b044ba)

  7. And, in a small but significant success for the tea party movement, I got this today:

    Congratulations to the voters of Tucson for their hard work in removing one, if not possibly two, of the entrenched incumbents on the Tucson City Council. We will keep you updated as things develop further in these races.

    The time has come to again turn our attention
    to the national scene:

    The Health Care Bill has been reintroduced and it is actually worse than its predecessor, weighing in at a massive 2000 pages. It is critical that we show Representative Giffords what we think about this bill and put her on notice if she votes for it. We now have shown the ability and capacity to remove those who don’t represent us from office.

    When: Tuesday November 10th, from 4 to 6 p.m.

    Where: Representative Gifford’s Office on the Corner of Pima and Swan (Map)

    After the rally join other Tucson Tea Partiers at the Fat Greek Restaurant located at 3225 N Swan Rd Suite 105. (Map)

    Again thank you for your hard work, but know that we are just getting started.

    The city council has been hard left for years because of the university faculty and student vote. Also, the council is elected at large, which disenfranchises the conservative areas which can’t elect their own council member. Anyway, this year they got one and maybe both of the lefties.

    The tea party there has been very active turning out 1,000 people fr a city council meeting that was scheduled to vote on a tax increase last summer. It didn’t pass.

    Giffords is a woman who won a usually Republican district where my house is. Her father is a sheriff and she is ex-military but she will have trouble next year. She ran away from townhall meetings last summer.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  8. After watching the election coverage last night, I’ve decided to support the proposed health care reform legislation. After all, if ObamaCare can resuscitate a political party that months ago had been pronounced dead, there’s no telling what other medical miracles it might bring us.

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    Dagwood (9a09b9)

  9. Typical White Person: agreed that California’s districting was terrible. Hopefully we’ll do better in 2010 – although I’d place odds on it being even worse, at the Congressional level.

    Karl: I hadn’t noticed the result in CA-10, mostly because my eyes were fixed on Maine and Washington.

    I think we have to chalk this one up to turnout.

    Results from the last five elections:

    Garamendi (D): 66,311 53%
    Harmer (R): 53,441 43%

    Tauscher (D): 192,226 65%
    Gerber (R): 91,877 31%

    Tauscher (D): 130,859 66%
    Lynn (R): 66,069 33%

    Tauscher (D): 182,750 65%
    Katelson (R): 95,349 35%

    Tauscher (D): 123,481 75%
    Harden (L) (no R on ballot) 39,858 24%

    this makes it look like there’s a core Republican constituency in the district all of whom turned out to vote yesterday, while much fewer of the Democrats bothered to come out.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  10. Notice to “Progressives”:
    When you deny the first two boxes of Democracy, you just might get the third!
    Ammo Supply Can’t Keep Up With Demand…
    Fearing tighter laws under Obama, 12B rounds fly off shelves

    “…Federal tax receipts for gun sales are up 42% over last year; for ammunition, that number is 49%…

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  11. Last night was a mild positive for the Republicans. Atempts like this post to puff it up makes this web site look like the mirror image of the LA Times.

    Virginia was an unquestioned success, given the size of the victory for the statewide candidates and the gains in the legislature. Christie’s victory in New Jersey on the other hand had no effect upon the legislative makeup there, leaving him to face a strongly Democratic Assembly and Senate. Even the two gubernatorial victories have to be seen in the context of a tradition (since ’77 in VA, ’85 in NJ)of the party that wins the Presidency losing those seats the following year.

    The stories about NY 23 being “Republican since the 19th century” are correct, but hide the fact that this district has in recent years become only slightly more Republican than the national average. While I certainly appreciate that in this case, the GOP nominee was way too far to the left, not to mention chosen undemocratically, the efforts of the Club for Growth to spend all its energies trying to purge moderate Republicans (MD 1 last year, Specter, is Charlie Crist next?)makes me wonder if George Soros isn’t their leading contributor.

    As for CA 10, the better performance in the special election compared to all of the general elections of this decade mostly reflects that the Democratic incumbent ran in all the previous elections. A ten point loss in a low turnout special election for this district is nothing to brag about.

    The yahoos that populate this site who are forever frothing at the mouth about RINOs could use a refresher course in basic arithmetic. Parties that are in the minority need to spend more time thinking about how to become the majority party, rather than how to purge more of their elected officials.

    PaulB (3a8f06)

  12. Forget about health care reform in any meaningful manner, and stick a fork in cap and trade. And about those expiring Bush tax cuts next year? I’d love to see this cast of characters attempt to explain to the extremely pissed – off and/or worried voters why they must be repealed, all in the interests of “fairness.”

    If you were using military terms to describe this debacle, you’d do well with FUBAR and screwed the pooch.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  13. PaulB: not only was he a non-incumbent, but he didn’t live in the district, either. That would have kept me from voting for him. I would have either voted for a third party candidate or left it blank.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  14. The yahoos that populate this site who are forever frothing at the mouth about RINOs could use a refresher course in basic arithmetic.

    Unlike Trolling, bloviating douchebags who expectorate their ignorance at will, and never use any objective sourcing to back up their bile spewing. But please continue – your amazing powers of talking out of your nether regions is quite amusing.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  15. Good to see you around, aphrael.

    Leviticus (f0f166)

  16. Comment by PaulB — 11/4/2009 @ 12:07 pm

    And you, Sir, like most Progressives, need to review a little basic History.
    For fourty-years, the National GOP attempted to be Dem-lite (Oh, we support X, we just think we could do it better on less money), and they wandered in the Wilderness of the Minority (See: Bob Michel).
    When, in 1994, they actually proposed an agenda of positive postitions (Gingrich/Armey Contract With America), they won overwhelmingly. And, when they became just like the Dems they replaced (The K-Street Project authored by Tom DeLay and a copy of what the Dems were doing when in the Majority), they were turned out by the voters to teach them a lesson – a lesson that some observers would rightfully say they have yet to learn.
    For years those of the Left said that GOP standard bearers were/are too conservative (Right-Wing Extremists) and that they needed to have a big-tent. So, in 2008, we went big-tent and ran a candidate beloved by the MSM (which is to say The Left), and lost due to one inescapable fact:
    When you offer the electorate a choice between a Democrat, and a Democrat, they’ll choose the Democrat!
    When the GOP nominates candidates who proclaim a message of small government, low taxes, minimum regulation, and maximum individual freedom, it prevails.
    That is the message to carry into future elections.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  17. AD – RtR/OS! – interestingly enough, the progressive spin on Virginia is that the Democratic candidate was, in fact, a DINO; that he ran from the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress and that, as a result, the Democrats who turned out to vote for President Obama a year ago stayed home.

    I find the mirror argument interesting … but I don’t think it’s possible that both are correct.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  18. It is a lot of fun to read lefties who want to warn the GOP against purging moderates, while at the same time their own Nutroots and the SEIU moneymen are threatening Blue Dog Democrats that they will face liberal primary challengers if they don’t vote for Obamacare. I’ll bet any of them that more Democrat incumbents (either number or proportion) than Republicans will lose to primary challengers in 2010. That is, of course, unless they fall in line and back the Obama agenda, in which case they will be swept out of office by Republicans next November. Dammed if they do; dammed if they don’t.

    JVW (d32e06)

  19. Comment by aphrael — 11/4/2009 @ 12:29 pm

    Being a Leftist means never having to let facts get in the way of Teh Narritive!

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  20. AD,

    Did you really think my comments indicate I’m left of center? I most certainly am not, but I try to see the world as it is, not as I’d like it to be.

    The arguments I see on this site remind me not of 1994, but rather those of 1964 when Barry Goldwater’s supporters argued that there was nothing wrong with conservatism that repudiating “moderates” like Ike and Nixon couldn’t cure. The result was a crushing defeat that brought in the Great Society, for which we are still paying the price. And do you really think that McCain (a candidate I had absolutely no enthusiasm for) lost in 2008 because he was too moderate and that if only the Republicans had nominated….Huckabee? Paul?, everything would have gone just fine?

    The successful Republican gubernatorial candidates in NJ and VA deliberately played down social issues and focused on the need for government to make do with the resources on hand. If you want to see a conservative to moderate coalition regain majority control of American politics, we need to make do with the resources on hand that we have and instead have the folks on the left spend their resources purging Democrats that they find lacking in ideological zeal.

    PaulB (3a8f06)

  21. The yahoos that populate this site who are forever frothing at the mouth about RINOs could use a refresher course in basic arithmetic. Parties that are in the minority need to spend more time thinking about how to become the majority party, rather than how to purge more of their elected officials.

    Comment by PaulB

    That certainly inspires a nice discussion, doesn’t it ? You would probably be welcome on Wash Monthly where your ideology is shared and where commenters who don’t share the ideology are banned.

    You do make one good point. Republicans need to spend more time thinking about how to become a majority. I agree. The tea parties have been trying to teach them and maybe they are capable of learning. The earmark reform committee makes me wonder.

    Like most leftists, you probably dismiss tea party folks as far right but they aren’t. They are, in my own experience, libertarian and are focused on spending and taxes and regulation.

    Ronald Reagan was conservative but had a problem; the Cold War. He figured out that communism doesn’t work, a bit of insight lacking in all the Sovietologists who now claim they knew it all along. By spending on the military and by scaring the wits out of them with SDI, he caused the collapse.

    Big L Libertarians are not capable of that insight and that is why I am not one. Maybe Bush should have left Iraq alone. I think there is a valid argument to be made but the left never makes it. They get hysterical about myths they themselves have created about lies. The fact remains that Iraq will now survive with a little help. Afghanistan may be a black hole. I don’t know if Pakistan will survive. I wouldn’t care except they have nukes.

    Our biggest priority is to get the American economy going again. I can think of a number of steps that would help. Stop spending trillions on useless program. Leave healthcare alone until the economic crisis is over. Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley so we can get some startups going again. Bush cut taxes but did not control spending. Neither Bush was a conservative and both were pretty inept economically. W had some good instincts about the housing bubble but didn’t follow through. Chris Cox was useless at SEC and the Democrats were egging the whole thing on. They have no economic sense at all, unless it is Marxist.

    Anyway, I hope the GOP learns and it can because the tea party folks are going to make them. There are a lot of Perot voters in the movement. I was one until Perot melted down in 92.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  22. AD – RtR/OS! : are you (a) saying that i’m letting the narrative get in the way of the facts, (b) saying that the people who are claiming the VA result shows that Democratic turnout plummeted because Mr. Deeds wasn’t Democratic enough are letting the narrative get in the way of the facts, or (c) something else? 🙂

    I should note that I’m tired and demoralized and somewhat spoiling for a fight, so I’m really having to struggle to suppress my urge to assume (a).

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  23. If you read carefully, you’ll find that I (and neither did Barry in ’64) mentioned any SocCon issue:
    I spoke of taxes/spending, regulation, and individual freedom!
    John McCain spoke of none of these.
    I supported Fred and then Mitt as the responsible alternatives to the Good Senator from Arizona.
    Ron Paul is crazy, as was Ross Perot…
    (must be something in the Texas water -Sorry, DRJ, it’s probably just the East Texas water).
    And, when the GOP in ’68 retreated from the individual freedom message of Barry, they gave us Richard Milhouse Nixon: Wage & Price Controls, Fiat money (off the Gold-Standard), the EPA, the War on Drugs, etc….talk about flying a false-flag.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  24. I believe those that you’re quoting “…the progressive spin on Virginia…” will say, and have said, anything that will make them look good, and will twist the facts-on-the-ground any way they can to deny the reality that is.
    I have nothing to argue about that Mr.Deeds is not the Progressive that the Left would wish him to be, but he won the VA Primary and is thus the choice of his Party, and was endorsed and campaigned for by the Leader of his Party, The President.
    That he was rejected by the Electorate-at-Large can be spun in myriad ways, my preference is that it is a rejection of the Left/Progressive agenda of the National Democrat Party.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  25. I am fascinated by the MSM meme on VA. There spin has it that their man lost because there was a lower turnout of both black and young voters then last year. They don’t seem to understand that blacks and youth normally turn out in lower numbers then many other groups in the electorate. Many of both groups only turned out because Obama was on the ballot (i.e., it was a Historic election). No Obama, and they return to their normal state of apathy – a state they will probably remain in come 2010. Not only that, but if they return in 2012, their return will be offset by the numbers of other groups deserting the One (Independents and Senior Citizens, for example).

    Mike Giles (39c34b)

  26. PaulB:

    Sarah Palin is a goddess, she can do no wrong. The GOP needs to kick out every candidate who’s less than pure on hot-button issues. Moderates? We don’t need no stinking moderates. McCain lost because he wasn’t conservative enough. And any commenter who doesn’t agree should be called a ‘bloviating douchebag who expectorate their ignorance at will’

    Say these enough times and you’ll fit in here just fine.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  27. Harmer did very respectable and its being overlooked by the commentariati.
    Harmer was unknown to all until he started posting signs early this spring. CA-10 is very Blue with an urban mix of blue collar, white collar, high wealth and ethnic poor. Harmer is white, suburban and religious. By all rights he should have lost by 30 points, at least.
    Garamendi is a state wide name, Harmer was a guy known to the local school and thats about it.

    Harmer’s slogan was “No more Bailouts”. That resonated to the tune of 43%. In one of the most left wing parts of the country, Harmer tapped into the anger and frustrations of our citizens. His performance deserved much more attention by the MSM than Hoffman vs Owens.

    richardb (f7470d)

  28. As for CA 10, the better performance in the special election compared to all of the general elections of this decade mostly reflects that the Democratic incumbent ran in all the previous elections.

    Garamendi is the Lieutenant Governor.

    Gerald A (a66d02)

  29. The NY 23 election became a national focus because of a screwup by the GOP party in New York compounded by a screwup by the GOP National committee. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to successfully correct that screw up at the ballot.

    New Jersey and Virginia have a more positive message for the GOP albeit not a completely unambiguous one. Finally, New Jersey corrected at the ballot the fact that New Jersey Democrats stole the governor’s office by brazenly violating the law with the connivance of New Jersey’s corrupt judiciary. Both Governor’s races show that hte bloom is off the Democrats’ rose.

    How that translates to 2010 is far from clear but I bet that you will see more resistance from the moderate Democrats to the more radical versions of healthcare reform and economy-destroying legislation like cap and trade. Factor in the incompetent Harry Reid suggesting that the health care legislation will still be in play early next year, and I see the beginnings of a revolt against the Democratic leaderships’ feckless and incompetence.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  30. Comment by steve sturm — 11/4/2009 @ 1:02 pm

    And yet, ss returns here time after time.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  31. By all rights he should have lost by 30 points, at least.

    While I agree that Harmer did better than expected, I don’t think that’s consistent with the numbers:

    (a) Undersecretary Tauscher never defeated a Republican by more than 34%. (Her one gigantic blowout was against a Libertarian).

    (b) there is a known incumbency advantage which Lt. Gov. Garamendi did not have.

    (c) Lt. Gov. Garamendi is significantly more liberal than Undersecretary Tauscher.

    I don’t see how you can support a claim that he should have won by at least 30 points that way; that would have required that he do roughly as well as an incumbent who was more conservative than he was.

    My expectation was that Lt. Gov. Garamendi would win by ~15. I was wrong. The numbers suggest that I was wrong because of turnout — that members of the district’s Republican base voted in disproportionate numbers.

    I can’t validate or refute that impression without looking at precinct turnout data, which isn’t available yet.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  32. How that translates to 2010 is far from clear

    I agree. I see:

    * Virginia did what Virginia does: elected a Gubernatorial candidate from the party which does not control the White House. Additionally, evidence suggests that the Democratic surge in Virginia in 2008 was a fluke, and that President Obama may have trouble holding on to Virginia and North Carolina in 2012.

    * NJ ejected a widely disliked governor who is believed to be corrupt and ran one of the major Wall Street firms widely believed to be responsible for the financial crisis, despite the fact that President Obama asked them not to. While a Gov. Corzine re-election would have indicated that President Obama had strong coattail powers (because, really, Gov. Corzine ought to be radioactive at this point), a Gov. Corzine loss doesn’t really say anything other than President Obama can’t get people to vote for someone they loathe.

    * In NY-23, an internal fight among conservatives allowed the Democratic party candidate to win in a traditionally Republican district which has been getting less Republican over the last decade.

    * In CA-10, a center-left district elected a left-wing Lt. Governor as their Congressman by a substantially smaller margin than it had been electing a center-left Congressman in the past.

    I don’t think I can make any sort of generalization about likely effects in 2010 based on these results.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  33. The crowd of Republicans who attack Palin, etc. as haters certainly seem to have plenty of hatred themselves. Hard to tell them apart from the Kossacks and Sadly, No! folks.

    I don’t agree with everything Palin says by any means. But this demonization is counterproductive, at least if you want the left to lose. BTW, I’ve ordered Palin’s book, so I’ll share my impressions after having read it.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (7a1f51)

  34. aphrael, it’s really hard to sum it up better than you do.

    I was shocked that the NY 23 polls were so far off. I think that’s part of the reason the race is getting more coverage in the aftermath… everyone expected Hoffman to trounce the GOP’s effort to destroy him, and he didn’t. That race really doesn’t say much except that Republicans and conservatives don’t like being treated like garbage. Owens really is more moderate than Scozza.

    you’re right that New Jersey rejected a completely horrible democrat incumbent more than it embraced the GOP. Virginia was massive shift, though. Maybe they always do that, but to this extent? Probably not often. And there are many congressmen in Virginia.\

    You’re right that it’s hard to read the tea leaves, but it’s evidence that Obama won’t have an easy time saving democrats in tough races. That’s enough to make a difference on the hill.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  35. 2010…Carly is IN! – DeVore to reach out to HP/Compaq voters.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  36. Personally i say this. have you seen this guy hoffman. i only saw him on hannity last night, and bluntly, he’s an odd fellow. his standard pic has these yellow teeth, and when he talks he has this odd, halting way to talk. i’m not saying this disqualifies him, but it has to hurt him. so for a guy who frankly comes off that unlikeable to knock out the republican and come within about 5 points of winning is impressive.

    and as more than a few people noted, the winner was the second most conservative in the race. for instance unlike the republican dede, the dem actually opposed card check.

    yes, run another conservative up there, but not hoffman.

    And for any dem to pretend this is a great victory, they are just deluding themselves. and i think fortunately the blue dogs know that.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  37. aphrael, if the voters of New Jersey actually loathed Corzine for corruption, then that would be a far more earthshattering news story.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  38. Did you really think my comments indicate I’m left of center?

    Your comments indicate a profound ignorance of the part and parcel of commentary on this site, which includes mostly conservative, but also some moderates and libertarians. But if you had actually spent any time at all trying to learn what goes on here, you wouldn’t have made such a ridicuously prejudicial comment in the first place, would you? Try reading the site’s archives before spouting off again about something you have no knowledge of, okay, sweetheart?

    Say these enough times and you’ll fit in here just fine.

    And as we all know, steve is really just a concerned Christian voter. Wear that tinfoil hat proudly, stevie!

    Dmac (a964d5)

  39. Many of both groups only turned out because Obama was on the ballot (i.e., it was a Historic election). No Obama, and they return to their normal state of apathy – a state they will probably remain in come 2010

    Mike Giles: Correct. This is a potential problem that I believe Dems are not taking seriously enough, and most analysts fail to even mention.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  40. And to confirm my earlier point, this just in –

    There they go again, those damn conservatives, trying to get candidates that can actually win in the primaries.

    What was your point again, Paulie? Stevie?

    Dmac (a964d5)

  41. AW, you’re right. Hoffman is a very normal looking man. he’s no Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin or Barack Obama. Owens looks like a rugged politician, while Hoffman looks like like the cashier at Wal-Mart.

    Hoffman got pissed off at the NRCC and county GOP’s fraud at selecting an extremist, and he took on both parties. He wasn’t polished, was attacked by two multimillion dollar efforts and most of the press, and backstabbed repeatedly. He’s just some normalish character with very poor public speaking skill and charisma, but he still have within a breath of beating both parties. He solidly beat the living shit out of the NRCC to the point where their candidate actually quit and hid.

    I’m still amazed the polls were so inaccurate leading up to this race. Hoffman needed more time and would have won a fair fight. Then again, normal people like him just don’t have what it takes to win in this screwed up political climate.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  42. aphrael, I say Harmer should have lost by 30 pts in a “normal” year because that is what normally happens in that district going back to 1978. Just recently this happened:

    2008 Presidential Vote
    Obama – 64.66%
    McCain – 33.13%
    Others – 2.21%
    2008 Election Result
    Tauscher – 65.20%
    Linn – 31.10%
    Ruyle – 3.70%

    Garamendi outspent Harmer by 50%.
    You have to go back to 2000 to find when CA-10 didn’t vote Democrat by 30 pts. Given Garamendi’s statewide name recognition, his solid Democratic party support he had incumbent advantages.
    Look at that district’s past, normally its a blow out win for a Democrat in 11 elections going all the way back to 1978.
    Who was Harmer?
    Nobody until he started the campaign. Yet he got more votes than any Republican going all the way back to 1978, excepting Bill Baker, Charles Ball, Claude Hutchinson and Baker was the incumbent in 3 elections.

    So yeah, Harmer did very well.

    richardb (f7470d)

  43. Oh, aphrael, I forgot to mention one last bit of trivia. I am pretty sure that Harmer’s only public office was treasurer at his kid’s middle school.
    Yet he got 43% and the darling of the right Hoffman got 45%. Hmmmm.

    richardb (f7470d)

  44. Richardb, if you look up above, you’ll see that I posted the results in the Congressional general election in CA-10 for every election since 2000. (That would be comment #9).

    While it is true that Undersecretary Tauscher usually won by about 30 points, it’s also true that she had the incumbency advantage in all of those elections, and that she was significantly less liberal than Lt. Gov. Garamendi.

    Which isn’t to deny that Mr. Harmer did really well. He did. And nobody expected Lt. Gov. Garamendi to win by 30 points, because that was never a reasonable expectation.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  45. I have a dream, that one day candidates will discuss issues more than try to obfuscate, that voters will be interested and educated, that the press will actually try to inform the populace with intellectual integrity and call out “BS” when they see it.

    MD in Philly (8b02c7)

  46. aphrael, Harmer has only won the job of treasurer of his kids middle school and that probably involved no more than 10 total votes. He had no name recognition in a large diverse district. Yet how did he get 10 pts more than McCain’s 33% showing 1 year ago?

    As I showed earlier, Democratic blow out wins in Ca-10 are frequently the norm going back 30 years. So I don’t see how you can say it was not expected this time. Not an incumbent? True but Lt. Governor Garamendi has won in 3 distinct State wide races going back to 1990 so he has name recognition among the faithful and the independents. Incumbency light I think is fair to claim.

    If Harmer can do this to a Democratic Grandee, I’d say 2010 could exhibit electoral disorder statewide if the GOP gets good candidates like Harmer.

    richardb (f7470d)

  47. All I know Karl is that where it counted Pelosi has just one more vote for her socialist taking of our hard earned achievements

    DeDe was up 28%

    Every political pundit is basically agreeing with me

    Should have left it alone better DeDe than an Owen any day of the week

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  48. Featured on Real Clear Politics

    So why – in what was clearly a Republican year – did Hoffman lose? Well, there are several reasons and, yes, the Democratic victory was narrow, thinner than the five or so percent that went to withdrawn Republican nominee Scozzafava who herself endorsed the Democratic candidate. Still, the 23rd is a safely Republican, even conservative, district. In a year where the GOP racked up a 20% margin in Virginia and coasted easily in Jersey, a state in which Obama romped in ‘08 by 16%, what was the problem?

    Well… I might as well say it… social conservatism. America is a fiscally conservative country – now perhaps more than ever, and with much justification – but not a socially conservative one. LET ME ADD DUH!!!! DOUBLE DUH!!! No, I don’t mean to say it’s socially liberal. It’s not. It’s socially laissez-faire (just as its mostly fiscally laissez-faire). Whether we’re pro-choice, pro-life or whatever we are, most of us want the government out of our bedrooms, just as we want it out of our wallets.

    Hoffman’s capital-C Conservative campaign, however, tried to separate itself from the majority parties by making a big deal of the social issues. He was all upset that Scozzafava was pro-gay marriage, seemingly as upset as he was with her support for the stimulus plan. He projected the image of a bluenose in a world that increasingly doesn’t want to hear about these things. Hoffman’s is a selective vision of the nanny state – you can nanny about some things but not about others. I suspect America deeply dislikes nannying about anything.

    There is, of course, a message in this for the Republican Party going forward. You can choose to emphasize the social issues or not. Today may show the former is a losing proposition.

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  49. Richardb: I live in the vicinity of the district. I’m well familiar with its voting history. Familiar enough to be able to tell you that the district was one of the newly created districts after the 1990 redistricting; familiar enough to be able to tell you that, when Undersecretary Tauscher won in 1996, she did so by less than a percentage point, in a result which surprised everyone – the previous Congressman had been the Republican, Bill Baker, and the district was widely considered to be a conservative district, cobbled together from the most conservative communities in the East Bay and from parts of the Central Valley. The district was made significantly more liberal as part of the incumbent-protection redistricting in 2000.

    Yes, Undersecretary Tauscher was winning by 30% majorities. But nobody expected Lt. Gov. Garamendi to do so.

    Yet how did he get 10 pts more than McCain’s 33% showing 1 year ago?

    Because the Democrats didn’t vote.

    According to the Secretary of State of California’s report, in 2008, the Presidential vote breakdown was:

    Obama 204,138
    McCain 104,628

    Wikipedia has the Congressional vote in 2008 as:

    Tauscher (D): 192,226 65%
    Gerber (R): 91,877 31%

    yesterday’s vote was:
    Garamendi (D): 66,311 53%
    Harmer (R): 53,441 43%

    so Harmer got 51.0% of the McCain vote while Garamendi got 32.4% of the Obama vote.

    which is to say: the conservative voters in the district voted. the liberals and independents, who assumed that Garamendi was going to win, and who weren’t voting on anything else other than things like whether or not to allow a planning variance so that someone could build a shop without the required parking spaces, didn’t bother.

    Now, maybe this is a sign that Republicans are motivated and Democrats aren’t, and as such maybe it’s a portent that Democratic voters as a whole will stay home in 2010. I think that’s a stretch, but at least it’s plausible. It’s not a sign that Democratic voters are flocking to support Republican candidates.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  50. You are welcome, Bradley 😉

    JD (9c266f)

  51. Another Featured Article by Americas most conservative Blog

    The fact is that Dede Scozzafava was well-suited to represent the district. She didn’t face a primary; she was chosen by a small group of party leaders. That would have been OK, except that an ambitious, slightly disheveled but avuncular accountant named Doug Hoffman got really really angry. Why did party have to anoint Scozzafava, he wondered. He began looking for ballot position at the same time that New York’s Conservative Party came looking for an anti-gay marriage candidate to plant roots in the district.

    Across the country, conservatives began to take a look at the race. The Club for Growth released a poll that showed a statistical dead heat. The Washington-based anti-tax pressure group endorsed Hoffman four days later. The next week, they ran an expensive television ad campaign on his behalf.

    All told, the Club would be responsible for $1 million of the $3 million Hoffman would ultimately spend. The Club’s notice attracted the attention of other economic conservative lights, like Steve Forbes and the former house majority leader Dick Armey. Glenn Beck’s radio program and Fox News Channel turned Hoffman into a hero of sorts when the party establishment began to fire back: no less a leader than Newt Gingrich warned conservatives to, in essence, close their mouths and support the party’s choice.

    Doing otherwise, he implied, was disloyal and would help the Democratic Party maintain its majority. Gingrich implied that Hoffman was a bad fit for the district.(LET ME ADD REALLY NO KIDDING WHAT TOLD YOU THAT – OH! THE VOTERS DID!) That implication was a challenge that conservative activists accepted. Suddenly, Hoffman became the talisman for anger at the GOP establishment in Washington, anger at the big spending ways of Democrats in Congress, anger at the media — a way to clear through a bundle of different resentments that tend to be shouldered by a party that has lost his way.

    Keep spinning

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  52. aphrael

    The low turnout gave us a clear chance to pick off that district – but I think that window is now closed – unfortunately

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  53. Eric–

    The electorate views the nation’s problems as the economy, the economy and the economy. If the republicans intend to offer them God and Morality, they will have wasted their best chance. But to some folks, that’s all there is in life.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  54. EricPWJohnson – I think it was a stretch to begin with. Had the local machine perceived a threat, it would have mounted a GOTV effort to counter it.

    But it didn’t … and rightly so, I think.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  55. EPWJ continues to spew out stuff he doesn’t understand, or is misrepresenting. His first doozy was to an article by Roger Simon — whose name he omitted.

    The second, which he misleadingly bills as from “America’s most conservative blog,” went to a piece by Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (7a1f51)

  56. EricPWJohnson, you are looking like a clown again.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  57. He wasn’t polished… He’s just some normalish character with very poor public speaking skill and charisma, but he still have within a breath of beating both parties. He solidly beat the living shit out of the NRCC to the point where their candidate actually quit and hid.

    My take on Hoffman’s success in coming oh-so-close, is that while he wasn’t a pretty face like Mitt or Sarah or Obama, he just seemed a very uncomplicated, normal everyday man whose simple honesty was (and is) what the public wants. People seem tired these days and the simple, direct spot on message is appealing.

    Then again, normal people like him just don’t have what it takes to win in this screwed up political climate.

    I suspect had he had gotten elected, the learning curve of serious politics would have been rough and certainly taken him far from his comfort zone. I wonder if he could have handled it and if would have remained true to himself and his principles.

    Dana (e9ba20)

  58. Every political pundit is basically agreeing with me

    Of course they are – in your mind. Oh, wait – did you mean to refer to Brent Hume over at Fox? That was an awesome post, definitely.

    I’d like to hear more about that amazing story regarding your Arab friend who was sold into slavery in…1970? And about your swanky affair you attended at the US Embassy – in Qatar?

    Really, let’s hear all the details, we’re hanging on your every word.

    What a farking Newty Fluffer you are, sweetheart.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  59. went to a piece by Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic.

    That was the funniest thing he’s posted yet, Bradley – bet that one went over big last night at the event he attended at the US Embassy in Qatar.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  60. I’m laughing my ass off at the idea that this was the GOP’s best chance to win this seat in California. Either the people are rejecting liberalism or they aren’t. They seem to be shifting a bit, but it’s not like we don’t get another chance in a few mere months. The economy is not getting better… we haven’t even begun to feel the true impact of inflation and the taxation Obama obviously plans for 2013.

    Yeah, this is just the crack in the dam forming. It’s far, far, far from the GOP’s last chance. Look at NR 23! A conservative who loves gun rights and hates single payer health care trounced the hell out of a card check democrat!

    We’re watching the democrat party become far more conservative, and this was just the first tiny election. 2010 will be massive.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  61. Talk is cheap, but votes count. November 12th the new Tea Party Express culminates in Orlando, Florida. The DC Tea Party brought 2 million voters to Washington, the government controlled media down played the numbers but that just added insult to outrage. An even bigger turnout is expected in Orlando, more people are energized, Disneyland is close by and the weather is excellent.

    ropelight (1a9cd1)

  62. Gingrich – “The Scozzafava pick was a mistake.” Second quote – “She was not a loyal Republican.”

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  63. Dustin, EricPWJohnson seems to not have noticed that the winner was more conservative than the GOP nominee.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  64. SPQR


    Owens is going to vote AGAINST health care – right…

    Even Michelle is saying it was an EXPENSIVE lesson in NY-23

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  65. It is simply incredible to me that EPWJ could allege, or believe, that Scozzafava would have been a reliable GOP vote in the House.
    Her history in the NY-Assy leads me to believe that she would have been more likely to vote for PelosiCare than possibly Owens.
    There were three candidates in NY-23:
    A Conservative (Hoffman-C), a Center-Left candidate (Owens-D), and a Leftist candidate (Scozzafava-R).
    The Center-Left candidate won.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  66. Have Blue

    On Hannity he first says its important to win races

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  67. Dustin: this probably was the best chance for a Republican pickup of a Congressional district in California; California’s districts were deliberately drawn as an incumbent protection plan, and turning one over in 2010 will be extremely difficult. Maybe the Republicans can retake CA-11, which was a Democrat pickup in 2006, but other than that, nothing is going to shift.

    If the Republicans want a major shift in the California Congressional delegation, they need to (a) make sure they win the gubernatorial election in 2010, and (b) engineer enough of a shift in the legislature that the Democrats can’t just play the same incumbent protection game again.

    My expectation is that this won’t work, and it will be 2022 before there’s any major change in the California Congressional delegation. [That is to say, they have to *first* achieve a major shift in the legislature, and *then* achieve the shift in the Congressional delegation … and the legislative shift isn’t happening until 2012 at the earliest.]

    aphrael (73ebe9)

  68. When did we say that, when did Hoffman run on social issues, no his big issues were the stimulus and health care, whereas his opponents
    really think cap n trade, is a good idea. Dede was for card check, which is a violation of the
    principle of the secret ballot. She was ostensibly against cap n trade, but didn’t offer a reason why, But for the
    connecting road between Plattsburg and Watertown the campaign was lost.(sarc) Wouldn’t that have been a decision of whatever factotum they put
    up in Albany, Patterson, Cuomo, et al.

    bishop (996c34)

  69. SPQR: just like no Democrats noticed, in 2000, that Tom Campbell was more liberal than Sen. Feinstein …

    aphrael (73ebe9)

  70. AD

    I posted the link that Scoozie baby was rated the 83% most conservative legislator in New York by the University of Chicago department of Political Science (they rate all of them – this was not a survey for DeDe)

    Dougie spent 3 MILLION DOLLARS – in a RACE outspent EVERYONE 10-1

    and lost

    Yeah maybe a purple district needs a purple R instead of a bluish D

    You guys can keep spimnning all you want the real jury was the voters

    and again – what was the final vote again?

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  71. Comment by aphrael — 11/4/2009 @ 6:21 pm

    Don’t we have the new redistricting commission in effect after the 2010 Census, which will take redistricting out of the hands of the legislature, again?

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  72. “…what was the final vote again?”
    Comment by EricPWJohnson — 11/4/2009 @ 6:23 pm

    No-one knows until all of the absentees are counted.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  73. Comment by AD – RtR/OS! — 11/4/2009 @ 6:27 pm

    Well, the census is taken in 2010, the results are crunched in 2011, and I am guessing that the 435 House members are reapportioned by state in 2012, which probably means that the earliest that the new redistricting commission would come into effect is the 2014 elections, five full years from now.

    JVW (d32e06)

  74. AD

    let me rephrase it for the idiologically challenged…

    What do you get when you send 4 conservative Mega Stars to a small district, spend 3 million directly and 25 million indirectly in free adfvertizing against unkown opponents who spent less than 500K combined?


    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  75. Eric – The final vote was the candidate that yu are obssesivly defending got 6% of the vote.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  76. EPWJ,

    I haven’t cared much what Gingrich says since he did the commercial with Pelosi. If the GOP can’t field candidates that represent conservatives, I hope they never win. I left the Republicans because they left me first and don’t really care anymore what letter is attached to a candidate. You’ve invested in Scozzafava… that’s fine. Of the three candidates discussed, she was the far-left (as was mentioned above). I think she typifies what is wrong with the GOP and if the lesson was expensive, that’s good. Hopefully they will learn not to disregard the base. If they don’t, I hope the Dems keep winning so they can completely own the backlash from their policies.

    That said, you’re beating a dead horse and need to get over it. Calling The Atlantic “Americas most conservative Blog” is completely dishonest, but you knew that. Otherwise you would have specified the source and provided a link. I read every comment on every thread, but yours have become so tedious that I will just scan for content from now on without evaluating the merits. Sadly, it’s become a waste of my time and energy.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  77. So how many new votes Did Nancy get for Health Care? Why one more – ehat could go wrong?

    Bishop – yeah he did when eveyone pointed out that DeDe was for Gay Marriage and abunch of issues she says she never ever voted on.

    But thats okay the NRA and conservatives supported DeDe before….

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  78. Memo to EPWJ:

    Comment by JVW — 11/4/2009 @ 6:32 pm
    No. The manner in which it has always worked in the past is that once the Census numbers are released (usually in the Fall of the Census Year – 2010), and the Congress announces the Re-Aportionment, the States begin the task of redrawing the boundaries (2011), which – barring any protracted court challenges – will be in effect for the following year’s elections (2012).

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  79. Stashiu3

    I admire your unabashed admittiance that Hoffman lost because of idiological purity.

    Suscribing to the i’ll burn evey house down until the citizens learn to love me doctrine is bold, fascinating and expensive – 1.2 trillion 8,000 dead and the end of the American way expensive – not to mention the 15 to 25 million unemployed expensive – but its an interesting theory.

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  80. Actually, the NRA rated both Owens and Hoffman as “A”‘s.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  81. Ad

    They endorsed DeDe and financed her campaigns

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  82. Irrational and off-in-lulu-land!

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  83. I hope it works out that way, AD – RtR/OS, but you can bet that there will be protracted court challenges should just one minority represented district be broken up. You probably recall that the 2001 redistricting was a mess because Latinos insisted that one of the new Congressional districts be gerrymandered specifically for them, while African-Americans demanded that none of their gerrymandered districts be broken up. Now that neither group can use the political process to get what they want, they most assuredly will try to protect their fiefdoms in court.

    JVW (d32e06)

  84. Stashiu

    No the blog that linked the story and rated it certainly is

    They didnt put it up ther by happenstance

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  85. They endorsed DeDe and financed her campaigns

    Link, Please.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  86. I think you may be mistaken about the 1872 part…your Post site doesn’t actually mention the 23rd district, just Upstate New York. And your wiki site, under the section “Components: past and present” suggests that what has been called the 23rd district has moved around quite a bit over the years.

    Roscoe (2911b1)

  87. I admire your unabashed admittiance that Hoffman lost because of idiological purity.
    Comment by EricPWJohnson — 11/4/2009 @ 6:41 pm

    You’re a liar. Now, do you really want to start something? Misrepresent me again.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  88. I’m happy Gingrich made a fool of himself. Republicans are on my last nerve. Really. I heard today Rick Santorum was thinking about running for president. Our little country is doomed if we can’t even communicate no thank you to a Rick Santorum articulately enough to where he gets it and doesn’t waste everyone’s time like that. Why can’t all this Fail from years past not get a clue? Dirty socialists get shiny new candidates. We get recycled Fail. It sucks.

    happyfeet (f62c43)

  89. AD

    Yeah me and everyone else with a brain knows just one salient fact

    DeDe had the race won – Hoffman lost

    DeDe was steamrolled jumped at night going to her car, harassed 24 hours by Fox news and Radio – outspent by millions – steamrolled by national conservative activist icons – was the victim of vicious systematic lying about her record and her positions

    and then saw her hand picked carpetbagging sucessor

    lose to a liberal

    go figure

    yeah you can pick at me all you want

    what was the final result again?

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  90. Stashiu

    I admire your unabashed admittiance that Hoffman lost the race – thanks again

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  91. If the GOP can’t field candidates that represent conservatives, I hope they never win


    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  92. I love it when people cannot remember what they typed two minutes ago


    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  93. Did the NRA actually endorse Dede?
    “…Trying to find the truth, I visited the web sites of the National Rifle Association, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund and the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. On the latter two sites, I found endorsements in the Virginia, and New Jersey governors’ races, as well as many local endorsements in Oklahoma. No mention of any endorsement in NY 23rd…”

    The final result…
    Dede picked up her marbles, scurried home with her tail between her legs,

    AD - RtR/OS! (9e209a)

  94. Eric – Once more, the final result was the candidate you are obssessing about received 6% of the vote.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  95. I’m going to leave you guys to your usual selves – sitting around if you need to trash me to handle the enormity of the stupidity of the NY-23 debacle – I submit myself humbly to your best or worst!

    Have a good day – dont let your friends help elect someone who will vote for nancy for speaker

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  96. Have Blue

    Actually was obsessing about Nancy Pelosi not getting a vote

    thats the point –

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  97. Eric – Nancy has more than enough votes this year. One more is but a drop in the sea. If the Rnc and the NRCC learn (and it looks as though Newt may have from his statements today) then they will not support liberals over conservatives for Republican seats.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  98. I’m going to leave you guys to your usual selves. . .

    Gee, and miss out on the chance to submit five, six, or even seven consecutive uninterrupted comments on this post?

    JVW (d32e06)

  99. That comment reflects on Scozzafava, not Hoffman. I haven’t said anything about Hoffman. So this:

    I admire your unabashed admittiance that Hoffman lost the race – thanks again
    Comment by EricPWJohnson — 11/4/2009 @ 6:53 pm

    again misrepresents my comments. Stop being so dishonest and obsessive. The far-left candidate dropped out, the center-left candidate won. Many of us are fine with that, even if you’re not. You’ve lost all perspective on this and should probably take a break to sober up (whether you’ve been drinking or not). I’m not going to get into a flame-war with you… I’m not in the mood. Misrepresenting my comments again would be extremely unwise though.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  100. I am really getting tired of this Eric person. He seems to carry a dead horse around with him in case he gets a moment to beat it.

    Happy, campaign consultants have to send their kids to college, too. Ease up on Santorum. If he didn’t spend his money running for president, who knows what sinful activity he might find for it?

    Mike K (2cf494)

  101. The Albany Project is a New York political organization committed to implementing liberal progressive policies in New York State. One of its contributors has posted an interesting analysis of the NY 23 election:

    — NY 23 is moderate, not conservative, largely because of gerrymandering.

    — Scozzafava would have done a good job representing the local interests of voters in NY 23 because her views are in line with the views of most NY 23 residents.

    — Bill Owens is not liberal or progressive so his selection by local Party leaders was not popular among local Democrats, although it turned out to be a good political move.

    — Hoffman was a national media darling but didn’t do much to relate to local voters.

    DRJ (dff2ca)

  102. AD: the redistricting commission only has the power to draw state legislative district lines. For Congressional lines, the power remains in the hands of the state legislature.

    aphrael (73ebe9)

  103. Obama-lite is no way for the GOP to win back voters.

    DRJ (dff2ca)

  104. So the progressives say Scozzofava was the best choice, by their lights, the prosecution rests.

    bishop (996c34)

  105. It is even less impressive when the establishment media reports that NY-23 has been Republican since the 1872, which is patently false.

    Based on that list of politicians going back quite awhile — and assuming that wikipedia in this case can be taken at face value — how the heck can anyone claim the 23rd district in New York is traditionally or predictably Republican?

    Perhaps that’s only in the context of New York, which because of its mostly leftist, pro-Democrat-Party sentiments, would make even a few years of representation by a Republican somewhere within that state therefore seem very Republican?

    Mark (411533)

  106. DRJ’s point (at least her quoting a point) about Hoffman not connecting with voters is clearly accurate.

    I never saw him mention a local issue. He’s not pretty. He is not good at speaking, either. How did this guy come so close to winning? Principles. They aren’t shared by everyone, but there’s something there.

    If Hoffman decides to run again, hopefully he will have more time and resources to do it correctly… mention local issues, get over the novice’s difficulty with the media and speaking, and perhaps adjust his dress. And foremost, double down on the principles. It is wrong to steal from our children. That is contrary to nature, and that’s what Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are doing.

    Owens actually seems to agree, but we need to see his votes. If he’s going to vote for huge entitlement programs, especially when it’s so clear we can’t even afford half the government we’ve already got, then he will not survive in office. But Owens seems like a great candidate, and if he were in the GOP, I think he’d fit in quite well for that region.

    What Hoffman represented was outrage over Scozzafava and perhaps also democrats. They were at least partially successful, and kinda awesome for making both parties have face such a rare third party fight.

    There will always be Erics out there, not being totally honest about what in the hell their real problem is. A great tell is that he defends Scozzafava. Dede dishonored those who came to her defense. She spent a million bucks given by hard working republicans who wanted to send a message that she was a moderate republican, not a democrat. She knowingly destroyed the reputation of several of her ‘friends’. Who defends someone like that? She’s lied so many times, and while there’s no reason to delve into it, she made several very harsh and dishonorable decisions.

    Anyone defending her is insincere, and carrying around an agenda. I just wish they would lay out their real agenda, because it’s probably a hell of a lot more persuasive than the kinds of arguments they resort to. Eric’s a good example… he appears to be pretty smart, except for his arguments about this race, which are obviously goofy.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  107. Mark: the 23d district hasn’t always covered the geographic area covered now.

    If you look in Wikipedia, you’ll see that NY-23 included the Bronx as recently as thirty years ago; that’s not politically or culturally the same region as the area it covers now.

    The original claim was that the counties of northeastern New York have not been represented by a Democrat since the era of Reconstruction; this has been misinterpreted in the press as being that the 23d district has been.

    I don’t know the source of the claim, but this image should at least present a better idea of what the claim is.

    Wikipedia, as good as it is, doesn’t provide the data needed to evaluate this claim one way or the other.

    aphrael (73ebe9)

  108. Take Eric’s latest strange point about the democrat house majority.

    This race did not give the democrats a majority. If the GOP is strong enough to take back the house in 2010, they will almost certainly win back this race, where the GOP will not be in nearly this kind of disarray. So this race had absolutely no impact.

    This district was going to be a battleground in 2010 no matter how this election turned out. Nancy was going to have a majority no matter how this election turned out.

    Oh, and Dede, who Hoffman vanquished, would have voted and caucused with the democrats after a party change. This is pretty obvious, given her close and avowed meetings with democrat leaders, her union boss relationships, her strange behavior at the end of the race, and her endorsement of the democrat party in this race, despite being the GOP party’s nominee in this race.

    So, Eric’s point is goofy. This simply made no difference to the democrat house. In fact, it’s obvious that the only way to deprive Nancy of a vote would have been for Hoffman to win! So Eric’s actually arguing against his own point, without knowing just how confused he is.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  109. Dustin

    Grant you your points

    1st though and I guess this isnt getting through to many

    DeDe – the most important vote she would cast would be for speaker of the house and a good speaker picks good chairmen and good chairmen dont give the Snows and Scoozo’s even the CHANCE of ever voting on anything other than reductions of regulations and tax cuts.

    Sure we can all do mea cuplas we can point to Gingrich surrendering to Fox news (since they are his primary income source) and admit he pissed off conservatives

    But in the end the SEAT of NY-23 is going to vote for whatever nancy tells them to.

    And for her to continue her path of destructive idiolical nonsense

    We can spout plaitiudes we can make pithy statements that 0 is greater than 2% all we want

    Nancy as I predicted took NY-23 as a club and is hitting all the blue dogs over the head with it to bully them into selling our children down the river

    The only way to move liberals to do the right thing for the country is to REMOVE them from office

    They dont compromise they dont believe in governance

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  110. Aphrael, that’s a much smarter way to put it. Those counties have not gone to a democrat for a very long time. Of course, that’s not very unusual for many counties. There are thousands of counties, and in each election, several that have been in one parties hands for ages go to another.

    But the media is claiming some grand old tradition, this seat, has been their honor of holding for ever and ever. That’s a plain lie. Pure and simple. There’s no way anyone can honestly say this seat has been a Republican treasure since antiquity. The dems like to lie and spin, and this was a pathetic attempt to do so. Daily Kos came up with it, and I admit I fell for it myself, which is why I wanted to correct myself earlier.

    What really puts lie to this claim is the fact that some of these counties we’re all talking about mostly voted for Hoffman, and aren’t represented by him because their district overall did not.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  111. Eric, thanks for making your point clear. But I don’t think it’s clear Dede wouldn’t have voted for Pelosi. I also don’t think it’s that big a deal.

    Pelosi is the worst speaker the democrats could have, aside from Rangel or Frank. I still hope the democrats pick a better speaker… we agree on that.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  112. Oh, in other words, I think Dede would have switched parties.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  113. Dustin

    And for people to keep calling DeDe a liberal is patent nonsense – she was HATED by the Democrats –
    I want someone its been days now anyone to point out anything (and it needs to be DeDe not a reporter with a police file for stalking) that she has actually done.

    Endorsements from liberal groups, unions, dont count either – they are not contributing and running her campaign

    I think its only fair for anyone anywhere to post anything liberal that she has actually done.

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  114. Dustin

    Really, honestly thats a dodge – Its a convienent excuse – right – no one knows if she would have switched parties – I think the guy she was replacing switching parties should have been a warning bell – but even that I grant you is argumentative

    What wasnt argumentative is the Democrats did NOT want her to win at all costs

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  115. Eric, it is a guess, but whether Dede switched or not, I think it’s clear she’s to the left of Owens. I like Owens, anyway! Did the democrats want Dede to win? YES, actually. Many liberals would have preferred her to Owens, and that’s verifiable.

    I’m kinda tired of this discussion. Hoffman is a badass for taking on so much force, when he’s clearly not gifted in politics. You can talk about bizarre consequences, but there’s bigger things going on.

    I mean, you do realize this NY 23 is all about Florida’s senate race, right? There are things at stake that are bigger than Pelosi adding 1 conservative democrat to the house for a single year.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  116. Leaving that race…

    What’s the downside to run-off elections? I imagine it would help.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  117. Florida really doesnt matter Crist or Rubio is going to win – Florida is being flooded by conservatives fleeing The Boston – Philly – NYC taxation

    Wont ever be a contest again

    EricPWJohnson (bd3301)

  118. There’s no way anyone can honestly say this seat has been a Republican treasure since antiquity.

    That explains how EPWJ can say this seat has been Republican for 170 years.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  119. And for people to keep calling DeDe a liberal is patent nonsense…

    EPWJ’s idol, Newt Gingrich, is saying patent nonsense.

    In retrospect it is clear Dede Scozzafava should never have been nominated because she was far too liberal to be acceptable.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  120. The MSM is working overtime to convince the public there’s some great ideological war in the GOP. This story, for example, played up all the hype and the reporters’ own spin, and waited until the last graf to print this from the Club For Growth president Chris Chocola:

    “The center of the electorate is for limited government and tolerance on social issues,” Chocola said. “If the Republicans want to grow the tent, I think they should look at limited government, and then the candidates can reflect the social views of their districts.”

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  121. Uhhh, Eric, my point is that we don’t want Crist to win.

    And come on… you’re still defending Scozzafava? I mean, anyone can easily, readily move the goalposts around as to what constitutes liberalism, so that Marx was not one or Rush Limbuagh is.

    You can’t just pronounce that Dede was not liberal.

    What we do know about her for sure is that she dishonored her friends, her promises, her allies, and the people who supported her at every level. She has no honor. She happens to be on record, with many, many votes, as a die hard liberal. She has a long record as legislator, and that’s why she was utterly rejected. That’s why she was endorsed by Daily Kos over Owens.

    You can deny it, but it just undermines your other points. It makes clear that you have some hidden personal agenda. No one could sincerely think Dede is worth defending.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  122. I think Eric’s comment about how Florida doesn’t matter, because the GOP will pick up the seat regardless of the principles of the race, is evidence that Eric’s true argument, which is hard to get him to make clearly, is that principles don’t matter… all that matters is a political party’s acquisition of power.

    That Pelosi has another seat is somehow more relevant than the fact that the GOP operation has changed greatly in the last couple of days to take the TEA party types very seriously, and stay the hell out of contested primary battles.

    Ideas and principles matter to me. I would happily see the GOP gone forever… I only support them because of their principles.

    I don’t mean this as an attack at all: Eric’s POv makes more sens if he’s a democrat. Then it really doesn’t matter as much who the GOP picked in FL, and it was dumb for Hoffman to be of temporary ancillary benefit to Pelosi’s point of pride.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  123. And does anyone have the argument against run-offs? I was hoping someone would let me know what the argument is, even if they disagree with that argument… I assume there is one.

    In NY-23, in Presidential elections, in State Governor races, how don’t the voters get closer to their best representation, and having their true views heard, with run-offs? Hoffman vs Owens alone would have been interesting indeed. No more spoiler third parties, and at the same time, libertarian republicans, and hyperliberal democrats, can speak more clearly.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  124. For the last time, Eric is Newt’s bootlicker – that is all we need to know.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  125. There’s no way anyone can honestly say this seat has been a Republican treasure since antiquity

    There’s no way anyone can honestly say anything about this country has been the same since antiquity; we’ve existed as a state for two and a quarter centuries, roughly, and as a people for no more than four centuries. That’s not old enough for antiquity.

    Daily Kos came up with it

    Note that the image I linked to came from them; that’s the way the idea was originally presented there, too. The fact that the media are running a simplified version of this which doesn’t make sense (district lines wander around enough that it’s reasonably uncommon for a given district number to be used for the same geographic area 100 years later) has to do with the media’s preference for short statements that don’t require long explanations.

    What really puts lie to this claim is the fact that some of these counties we’re all talking about mostly voted for Hoffman, and aren’t represented by him because their district overall did not.

    That would be a mroe reasonable response if it were the year after some gerrymander — but the district lines were drawn in 2001 and the voters in the rest of the district haven’t been able to overwhelm the votes of the people in the northeastern core until now. That said, you’re right that the claim would be stronger if there were evidence that the core counties had voted for the Democrat; I haven’t seen county-level reporting data from New York, so I don’t know.

    aphrael (73ebe9)

  126. JVW – the rules for the California redistricting are set up on the assumption that the new district lines will be in place in 2012. Which means:

    * for the state legislature, the redistricting commission releases their report in 2011, having been empaneled relatively early in 2010;
    * for the Congressional seats, the redistricting is done by the 2010 legislature sometime during 2011.

    That’s why I think the CA congressional delegation makeup doesn’t change significantly until 2022: even if the redistricting commissions produce a state legislature which is much more conservative than today’s legislature, that new legislature doesn’t get to redraw the congressional districts until 2021; a state legislature which looks more or less like the current one will have already drawn the new districts.

    This may change; there’s a move afoot to adopt independent commissions for congressional districts. However, in the event that it qualifies for the ballot, i’m certain that the national Democratic party will spend a fortune to defeat it; and if it passes, they’ll sue, claiming that independent redistricting commissions are unconstitutional (because the Constitution requires that districts be apportioned as directed by the state Legislature).

    That legal argument is a losing argument, but that hardly matters; tying the issue up in court for 3-4 years would be enough to force an interim redistricting either by the legislature or by the state courts.

    aphrael (73ebe9)

  127. Catching up….
    Runoffs…Up to the individual states, but doable in all but Presidential Elections, since Presidents are not elected by the Popular Vote, and the Constitution already provides for a “run-off” if no-one captures a majority of Electoral Votes;
    CA Redistricting…Thanks for reminding me about the bifurcation of responsibilities for redrawing district lines. And, if you think about it, the Legislature elected in 2010 (for the most part, due to term-limits) will have no responsibility for the redrawing of Congressional lines following the ’20 Census even if that privilege will still rest there. It is vitally important to remove redistricting of any kind from the hands of legislators since they are just drawing the lines for their future attempts at political office. With term-limits, and its’ imposition of an up-or-out mind-set, this is doubly so.

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  128. When history is honestly written, the 44th President of the United States will have been the co-Presidents, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, holding the leash of organ- grinder’s monkey Barack Hussein Obama.

    nk (df76d4)

  129. Aphrael, I think we’re on the same side of this claim that NY 23 was some kind of precious treasure-seat.

    It’s not that shocking that a moderate democrat won this race… it wouldn’t have been at any point in the last 30 years, either. This seat, the specific claim made on CNN and KOS (as you honestly noted… I wasn’t faulting you when I pointed out where the claim came from), has been democrat many times.

    My understanding of the county level data is that several of the rural counties were pretty lopsided in favor of Hoffman, but that’s from the Hoffman campaign…

    I also think it’s worth noting that this ‘GOP tradition Seat from 8000 years ago!’ was ended even if Hoffman won, since he was (C).

    It was pure spin to claim that the GOP lost something historical. I’m one of the first ones who repeated that claim, because I saw Brit Hume claim that the GOP had held NY 23 for a century… that was an error on both our parts. As you noted, this isn’t that old of a country, and all the time, something half the age of the country changes. We’re evenly divided as a nation, and it’s kinda nice to see a district that reflects that.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  130. For what it’s worth, a little research with the House Clerk’s records and Wikipedia will show that a Democrat, Michael McNulty had the NY-23 seat in the 102nd Congress–1993-94. The boundaries of the district then were pretty much what they are today. New York had 31 Congressional seats in the 1990s–and only 29 after the 2000 census. The current NY 23 votes pretty much Democrat in the northern, more urban part of the district, and pretty much Republican in the southern more rural portion of the district. A win for a Democrat–or a Republican–in the district is not much of a “shockuh”–and not much for Pelosi, NPR and such to crow about.

    But Nancy is like a magpie–she spots a pretty bauble that fits her political needs in a pile of trash and she’ll pick it up and wave it around.

    Mike Myers (710e8b)

  131. A Correction….RE: NRA Endorses Dede….
    After a query to NRA HQ, I received the following email:

    “Thank you for contacting NRA-ILA regarding your concern with the NRA Political Victory Fund’s (NRA-PVF) endorsement of Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava in the open Congressional seat in New York’s 23rd District.

    Assemblywoman Scozzafava received an “A” rating and the endorsement of the NRA-PVF based on her strong pro-gun voting record in the New York State Assembly and her pro-gun responses to our federal candidate survey. During her tenure in the Assembly, she has been a consistent supporter of the Second Amendment. She is the only candidate in this race who has fought and voted against ammunition bans, gun bans, unenforceable mandatory storage regulations and micro-stamping legislation. Theses measures are introduced in the NY State Assembly every year and she has supported the NRA’s position each time she was called upon to do so. In contrast, her opponents in this race received “AQ” ratings based solely on their pro-gun responses to NRA-PVF’s federal candidate questionnaire and do not have a voting record on Second Amendment issues.

    The NRA is a non-partisan organization dedicated solely to preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. When considering candidates for endorsement, our political action committee (NRA-PVF), reviews several aspects of a candidate’s campaign. In addition to determining a candidate’s position on the Second Amendment and firearms ownership rights, we also review other factors such as viability, likelihood of making a runoff, methods and staffing, and, finally, whether or not a candidate has a possibility of success in a particular district or state.

    The NRA’s first and foremost responsibility lies in defending firearms freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution. Therefore, NRA cannot and will not, take stands on issues, which do not directly relate to the right to keep and bear arms and our hunting heritage. As you can appreciate, the NRA’s constituency is universal. In protecting the right of law-abiding citizens to own the firearm of their choice, NRA-ILA draws allies from every point of the political, social, racial, religious, geographic and economic spectra. Since our members are powerfully united on this single issue, our strength is enhanced by not being involved with other issues or with party preferences that could split our base of support.

    I hope this addresses your concerns regarding our position in this race.”

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