CA-50: 36, 35, 34, 33, 32... realignment?

Gallup, 4/13: 36% -- 59%
Pew, 4/16: 35% -- 57%
Fox, 4/19: 33% -- 57%
ARG, 4/21 34% -- 60%
CNN, 4/23: 32% -- 60%

The CNN poll (their first with a new polling outfit, post-Gallup) gives Bush a net -28% approval, 3% short of the worst ever recorded for either his father or for Jimmy Carter. In the past, whenever a President has fallen to a net approval worse than that held by Bush (1952, 1974, 1980, 1992), the elections that year proved to be a decisive victory for the party in opposition to the President. Given this, I do not really care if Bush's approval rating goes any lower or not, as long as it remains low. As I have written in the past, the endgame against Bush is not for his approval to be 20% or some other number, but rather for his low approval to result in political realignment.

As I wrote earlier today, this summer, the Connecticut Democratic Senatorial primary is the most important election facing progressives. A very close second is the CA-50th special election to replace Duke Cunningham on June 6th. If Francine Busby wins that election, it will be a sign that realignment, which is a step well beyond simple Democratic control of Congress, is most definitely in play in 2006. I have written extensively about my worries concerning turnout and a generally inadequate democratic electoral machine, but a win in CA-50 would go a long way toward putting those fears to rest.

The Republican spin on CA-50 is that Republicans only fared 1% worse in the April 11th run-off than Bush fared in the district in 2004. Like most Republican spin, it does not hold up to scrutiny. CA-50 is much more Republican in non-Presidential elections than it is in Presidential elections. Democratic congressional candidates should not be performing at the same level as Democratic Presidential candidates in this district for some time, there is a typically long lag period between voters switching parties in presidential elections and switching parties in local elections (see The South, Democrats In). For Busby to reach Kerry's totals despite voters having 14 Republican options to choose form (which basically meant that generic Republican was on the ballot, a tremendous advantage for Republicans) and $5M behind those candidates (much more than any Republican will be able to spend in any district this fall), is, for my money, a very encouraging sign. I like her chances on June 6th

However, if Busby fails to win on June 6th, no matter how low Bush's approval numbers are nationwide, we can probably put our hopes of realignment to rest. While in a normal year Busby should have no business competing in this district, this is not supposed to be a normal year, and on June 6th the cards will not be stacked against her like they were on April 11th. If we want realignment, we have to win in CA-50.

Republicans know this too, and are looking to make a stand in CA-50. To date, the NRCC has spent $800K in this district, and are currently running a $400K ad buy with Swift Boat type ads that include the following outrageous claim:Busby even praised a teacher reported to have child porn, saying he was 'always willing to lend a hand.' That's dangerous." Of course, Busby actually said: "He is a teacher who put in a lot of extra time. He was always willing to lend a hand. I was shocked about the investigation." How dare she be surprised and shocked that a teacher might have been involved in child porn! No one should be shocked by something like that! How dare anyone ever put quotes in context!

This is what Francine Busby is up against: large, slanderous advertising buys form the NRCC. If we want realignment, this is an election we have to win. This is where we determine if our turnout will be good enough, and our machine is good enough to pull it off.

Support Francine Busby. YearlyKos is two days after the election, which makes it entirely possible that the election narrative will dramatically shift in our favor with a victory. This is one where your resources are critical. Oviously, we are going to need to do some better work with absentee voters, but please help out anyway you can.

Volunteer for Francine Busby, no matter where you live.
Contribute to Francine Busby, no matter where you live.

Tags: Activism, Bush, CA-50, House 2006, polls, Realignment (all tags)

Comments

22 Comments

Re: CA-50: 36, 35, 34, 33, 32... realignment?

I'm contributing to Busby's campaign.

by Stuart Shaffer 2006-04-24 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: CA-50: 36, 35, 34, 33, 32... realignment?

 Special election day is also primary day in California.  The special election is for Duke's unfinished term of bribery.

 If Busby wins June 6, it will be a good fortelling of a potential tidal wave in November.
However, a loss in June is not necesarily the endall to this dream.  Busby will be running in November either win or lose, and in that time Georgie boy and his party will have some more screwups on their record.

 If Busby is the incumbent, it should be clear sailing in November.  If she is the challenger, Bush annd his cronies will not be more popular than even today.

by ocdemocrat 2006-04-24 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: CA-50: 36, 35, 34, 33, 32... realignment?

I agree with you completely.

I was thinking about commenting somehting similar to what you typed but alas, you typed it for me.  Thank you.

This needs to be addressed, ousting DINOs is good, ousting Republicans is BETTER. Can someone front page a story about this as far as our contributing is concerned?

Busby, Joe Saestek (sp?), and Tester (ESPECIALLY TESTER) need more money. If Tester had raised as much online as Lamont by now things would be looking real pretty up there.

Seriously guys, let's get our priorities in order. Get Reid and Pelosi as the majority leaders first and if we get some DINOs along the way, so be it, but they are secondary bonus targets.

by Trowaman 2006-04-24 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: CA-50: 36, 35, 34, 33, 32... realignment?

I would love to see Busby win, but I disagree with this argument.  I don't think a Busby loss in June means we can kiss realignment goodbye.  This district is far more conservative than the nation as a whole and lets not forget Busby is running against a moderate.  It's hard to imagine many of the 56% that didn't vote for her to switch over to her in June.  The only way we'll win is if we have much more turnout.  While I would love to see that i think we have to admit the odds of her getting above 50% aren't great.  I'd love to see her win and if she does I agree it's a great sign for us, but if she loses that doesn't spell doomsday for us in November.

by blueryan 2006-04-24 05:10PM | 0 recs
Re: CA-50: 36, 35, 34, 33, 32... realignment?

Don't forget for one second that 1.5% of the 56% that didn't vote for her was for the Democratic Candidate Chris Young. So truthfully, Busby is making up a deficit of 4 and a half % points rather than 6.

by KainIIIC 2006-04-24 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: CA-50: 36, 35, 34, 33, 32... realignment?

yeah, but those "only" 4 or five points are harder to get than hitting a Randy Johnson slider.  

I see her topping out a couple more points than she got in the previous one.  I know it sucks, but there are plenty of other winnable races out there, we shouldn't hang our hats too much on this one.

by jgarcia 2006-04-24 07:56PM | 0 recs
Also, there was an Indie and a Libertarian

http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/Special/c d50/elections_cd50results.htm

Busby got 43.74%.  The other Democratic canidate, Chris Young, got 1.32%.  The indie got .81%.  The Libertarian got .60%.  The 137893 Republicans running got the rest.

by Geotpf 2006-04-25 01:21AM | 0 recs
hah

"As I have written in the past, the endgame against Bush is not for his approval to be 20%"

Boy, you better hope it goes close to zero, because this group of Democrats is pretty much as pathetic as there's ever been. You can't even get yourselves to say the Democrats will take over the Congress in November or its imperative for the country that you do. Politics isn't about predicting, it's about doing.

What the hell do you think things are going to realign around? Give me one thing you guys talk about that could begin a realignment.

All's you do on these blogs is repeat the tripe and practices of a corrupt and decadent political class, that believes winning is destroying the character of another, so you can take their chair.

Damn this is some depressing stuff.

by brutus1 2006-04-24 05:36PM | 0 recs
I fail to see...

I fail to see how performing a little pseudoanalysis of polling data, and pointing out a bad Republican T.V. ad qualifies as "repeating the tripe and practices of a corrupt and decadent political class"... or furthermore how this post is "destroying the character of another" so that Chris can "take his chair" (whose chair?  I'm totally lost.)

Admit it... you're drunk-blogging.  I've been there, too.

by NCDem 2006-04-24 07:57PM | 0 recs
CA-50?

Do you really want to win the CA-50 by a very slim margin? I actually don't think you do.

If Busby carries the district, the Republican war machine will turn it up a notch. They will bring the fury like nothing we've ever seen. I'm not scared of it, inasmuch as I realize Republicans have deeper pockets and we do not want a war of attrition against them.

We want Busby to either win convincingly (which just won't happen) or pull a Hackett. That way the media attention still paints a negative picture for the Republicans, but their fringe base and big donors will bubble over in pride and think it's our high water mark.

As for Lamont over Lieberman, that's also pretty irrelevant. We have no shortage of conservative Jews in the Democratic Party.

The race of races this year is in Missouri. We might actually be able to have McCaskill beat Talent independent of if there's a wave. That would strike at the heart of the social-fiscal conservative alliance of the GOP.

As for CD's the map says it all according to Congressional Quarterly: The Ohio River Valley. If we can win there, our fortunes are reversing.

by risenmessiah 2006-04-24 05:37PM | 0 recs
Reregistered a republican

Well, something's working... I just re-registered my mother-in-law as a democrat from a republican.  Gas prices of course, but I'll take it.

by David in Burbank 2006-04-24 06:32PM | 0 recs
Re: CA-50: 36, 35, 34, 33, 32... realignment?
I really don't have a comment on this. Certainly if Busby loses, the national press will spin it favorably for the GOP despite the make-up of the district. My fear is that the blogosphere is constantly getting wrapped up in the hype of these special elections and possibly setting themselves up for failure by declaring this or that uphill Congressional election a "must win"
and then spending the month after said election sitting around feeling sorry for themselves when the windmill takes down Don Quxiote.
The Democrats have taken few prisoners in the numerous special local and state legistlative elections this cycle and their losses have come in heavily Republican districts where the losing Democratic candidate outperforms the party's typical show by roughly 10 percent, so that may be a harbinger that nobody's talking about.
On the night when Busby failed to clear the impossibly high bar the blogosphere called on her to make, for insitance, the Democrats won a special state legislative election in Pennsylvania, taking away a seat held by the Republicans for 40 years.
The Dmocrats also elected a mayor in Tulsa, Okla., taking over City Hall in a city and a state that are so red they're infected.
The outcome in CA-50 may be a harbinger of things to come, but the liberal blogosphere shoulkd do something different for a change and go into this election with an open mind. They should also be prepared to keep working otowards their goals.
by spirowasright 2006-04-24 06:55PM | 0 recs
Re: CA-50: 36, 35, 34, 33, 32... realignment?
One is just a single congressional seat. The other would cut the heart our of a narrative that has been plaguing Demcorats for fifteen years, dramaticly increase Democratic voting loyaty in both branches of Congress, and give the progressive netroots a permanent seat at the table in determining the direction of the Democratic Party for the forseable future.
by Chris Bowers 2006-04-24 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: CA-50: 36, 35, 34, 33, 32... realignment?

this is true and normally I would agree with you, but this is 2006, the democratic realignment year (hopefully). I just feel we should be pushing several people against the Rs now, and give the progressives in those races the extra push first. I want us to support Ds who need the extra push to get over the edge against Rs. This is Eric Massa, this is Joe Saestic, this is Francine Busby.

Just my thoughts . . .

by Trowaman 2006-04-24 08:47PM | 0 recs
realignment?

I think the DCorp poll you noted in BB is the best harbinger of realignment.  Seats where the incumbent leads by 20+ points (i.e. most Democratic seats) are seats the DCCC won't have to spend a dime on.  Conversely, seats within 4 points (most Republican seats) must be defended with dollars.  The Republicans will be tying up boatloads of money simply to defend every one of their seats--while Democrats can choose to concentrate their wealth on winnable districts from the other teams' territory.  

by Professor Foland 2006-04-24 07:44PM | 0 recs
Re: CA-50: 36, 35, 34, 33, 32... realignment?

If you want his numbers to remain low work at it.  It takes constant badgering.  We all need to do more.  Every story about GOP failures needs to make it to every eye in America, in Spanish and English.

So...let's do it.

by goplies 2006-04-24 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: CA-50: 36, 35, 34, 33, 32... realignment?

Anybody have any idea when we would see the new polls for CA-50?

Also isn't it the case the the GOP primary runner-up has not officially ruled our running as an indepedent? This would surely sink the GOP here.

by padcrasher 2006-04-24 08:11PM | 0 recs
The most important elections...

will be the ones for Speaker of the House and Majority Leader of the Senate, because they will determine who chairs the committees in Congress, which is where most of the work of the House and Senate is done.

No less a progressive than Saul Alinsky (famous organizer, author of Rules for Radicals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Alinsk y) complained that progressives had come to believe that "compromise" was a dirty word.  But if you have nothing, ask for 100%, and get 50%, you are a hell of a lot better off than you were to begin with, and you are in better shape for the next fight.

I have major problems with a lot of Senator Lieberman's positions.  If the Democrats were well in the majority, I would consider supporting a primary challenger.

But we do not have a comfortable majority and will have to fight tooth and nail to take advantage of the chance to grab a slim one.

I cannot imagine how staying in the minority without Senator Liebermanould be better than being in the majority with him.

If you look at the 2005 vote ratings published by the liberal Americans for Democratic Action, (the percentage given is a key measure used by the National Journal and project Vote-Smart to show how liberal an elected official is), you can see what a flip in control of the Senate would do at the committee level:

Agriculture Committee:
Control would go

From: Saxby Chambliss,  ADA 2005 rating 5%     
Chambliss defeated Senator Max Cleland by smearing the triple-amputee Vietnam Veteran as a friend of terrorism because he didn't enthusiastically support the rush to war.

To: Tom Harkin,  ADA 2005 rating 100%     

Appropriations (arguably the most powerful committee in the Senate; since it controls all spending)

From: Thad Cochran, ADA 2005 rating 0%

To: Robert Byrd, ADA 2005 rating 95%     
One of the most passionate defenders of the Constitution, opposed the war.

Armed Services
From: John Warner, ADA 2005 rating 10%     

To: Carl Levin ADA 2005 rating 100%     
Levin  opposed the war.

Banking
From: Richard Shelby, ADA 2005 rating 10%

To: (most likely)Christopher J. Dodd, ADA 2005 rating 100%

Budget
From: Judd Gregg, ADA 2005 rating 5%

To: Kent Conrad,  ADA 2005 rating 85%
Conrad opposed the war

Commerce
From: Ted Stevens, ADA 2005 rating 5%     
Stevens is one of the strongest supporters for drilling in ANWR, also famously refused to make oil executives swear to tell the truth at energy hearings.

To: Daniel K. Inouye, ADA 2005 rating 90%     
Inouye stood up to Oliver North during Iran-Contra, opposed the war, and has a Medal of Honor.

Energy and Natural Resources
From: Pete V. Domenici, ADA 2005 rating 15%

To: Jeff Bingaman, ADA 2005 rating 95%     
Bingamen opposed the war

Environment and Public Works
From: James M. Inhofe, ADA 2005 rating 5%

To: (most likely)Max Baucus, ADA 2005 rating 90%

Finance
From: Charles Grassley, ADA 2005 rating 5%

To:Max Baucus, ADA 2005 rating 90%

Foreign Relations
From:  Richard G. Lugar, ADA 2005 rating 10%

To:  Joseph R. Biden, ADA 2005 rating 100%

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

From:  Michael B. Enzi, ADA 2005 rating 10%

To:  Edward M. Kennedy, ADA 2005 rating 95%
Kennedy opposed the war

Homeland Security
From: Susan M. Collins, ADA 2005 rating 65%

To: Joseph I. Lieberman, ADA 2005 rating 80%
One chairmanship for him is a fair price for getting all the others listed.

Judiciary

From: Orrin G. Hatch, ADA 2005 rating 5%

To: Patrick J. Leahy, ADA 2005 rating 100%
Leahy opposed the war and is a constant fighter for civil rights.

Rules
From: Trent Lott, ADA 2005 rating 5%

To: Chris Dodd, ADA 2005 rating 100%

Small Business

From: Olympia J. Snowe, ADA 2005 rating 65%

To: John F. Kerry, ADA 2005 rating 100%

Veterans Affairs

From: Larry E. Craig, ADA 2005 rating 15%

To: Daniel Akaka, 95%
Akaka opposed the war

Intelligence
From: Pat Roberts, ADA 2005 rating 0%

To: John D. Rockefeller, ADA 2005 rating 100%

We need this majority.  After all, we are progressives because we want to make things better, particularly for the neediest in our society.  We they thank us for loosing with dignity or for winning with compromise?

by Mudshark 2006-04-24 08:48PM | 0 recs
can one be

loose with dignity? Julia Roberts pulled it off in "Pretty Woman"... I can't think of anyone else, though.

by NCDem 2006-04-25 12:49AM | 0 recs
I admit that must look a little strange.


To rephrase:  Will they thank us for losing with dignity or for winning with compromise?

In all seriousness, we have to think about what will best help the people we stand up for. Progress is more important than pride.

Things are too close to risk any seat out of ideological stubbornness. With control of the committees,  any Democratic majority will provide more oversight and investigation into this administration's corruption and incompetence than any Republican majority.  That alone is worth using every advantage we have, including the incumbency of members we disagree with.

by Mudshark 2006-04-25 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: The most important elections...

Personally I'd rather have Collins as chair(wo)man of Homeland Security. Perhaps if Lieberman goes Repub, Collins goes Dem? :)

by KainIIIC 2006-04-25 02:29PM | 0 recs
"Condemning" the ad...

 ...simply gives it free publicity.

 This is swiftboating, pure and simple. The media's  a big part of the problem.

 

by Master Jack 2006-04-25 03:47AM | 0 recs

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