CA-50: On partisan benchmarks
by Chris Bowers, Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 02:34:49 PM EDT
To develop a better sense of why 44% is a very good total for Busby in the primary, and why being tied in the latest poll is also good news, look not at the presidential partisan indexes, but at more local partisan indexes in CA-50. In 2004, the Senate partisan index in this district was RNC +19.9, ten points higher than the presidential index. In the 2003 Gubernatorial election, it was RNC +25.6, more than fifteen points above the Presidential partisan index. In the 2002 Gubernatorial election, it was RNC +23.2, thirteen points above the Presidential partisan index. Republicans also have a 14.8% advantage in party registration in this district. Given these numbers, Busby's current performance in an even more local election is not bad at all. In fact, a 45-43 Bilbray "lead" indicates a swing of anywhere form 6.5% Democratic to 11.8% Democratic in this district. That is hardly "terrible."
Swallowing the Kerry performance in this district as the appropriate target for Busby is exactly what Republicans want. However, it simply is not accurate. Local and national partisan voting tendencies are not identical, as anyone with a campaign background can tell you. It does not take a lot of research to discover that the local partisan indexes in CA-50 a much more favorable to Republicans than the national partisan indexes. We ignore that research and accept Republican spin on this election at our own peril.