House - Cook & Rothenberg; VA CD's

I have been wanting to jot down a post here about having attended the ASPA a week ago, and some of the sessions I went too. One was a lecture by Cook and Rothenberg, about the upcoming election.

Their latest projection of the House:

Charlie Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report, rates 85 total districts as competitive -- 77 of which are currently held by Democrats. Stu Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, puts the House playing field at 93 seats with 81 of those controlled by Democrats.

At pointed out in the post below, the real "drop" of Obama was in 2009, from May, when he was at 66% to September 2009 when he landed at 50% approval. That's all about not finishing HCR by July as promised, the Tea Party summer, and the reaction of the Obama team and his supporters to those two prolonged events. yes, the economy factors in, but not as the triggering event.

From then on, as Cook pointed out, it was a slow long drag to the point where the Dem's mantra became "we're gonna sell HCR" and the advocates saying "passing HCR will turn it around" before the mid-terms. They were wrong on both points.

Cook or Rothenberg:

The Republicans are not popular. True. Its still boggles my mind that they could become the congressional majority with such a low preference. The Republican brand is in the tank.

The election is about Obama and the Democrats. Cook, a week ago, had the Republicans at nearly 40 takeaways. The DNC/Obama strategy, rather than running on the record, is to make it about Tea Party Republicans the continuation of Bush (quasi 4th term?). This strikes me as a very lame Democratic strategy.

Three wave elections in a row. This is becoming the norm now. Cook suggested a Independent Presidential candidate in 2012 might happen.

If no change by October 1st to localize the elections then its national. This is an interesting point. And it speaks to races like those going on with this list that Chris Cillizza compiled.

As I read through the list, I'm inclined to think that some of those Dems, in McCain CD's, might actually win, because they are tough incumbents that know their CD's and what it takes to win. Take Virginia, as I think it shows the gamut of Democrats, both long-time incumbents and newly elected Representatives.

9th CD: In southwestern Virginia, Appalachia in much of the CD, Democrat Rick Boucher is in a very red CD, but he's been winning that district for a while. If this is a national wave election, then the Dem Boucher should be losing a 59% McCain performing CD. Nobody see's Boucher losing to the little-known Republican Griffith.

8th CD: NOVA, mostly inside the beltway. Jim Moran has normally only been sen as vulnerable in a Democratic primary. He should be winning with above 60 percent. In the mid-50's or lower, and it signals real trouble.

Now we get to the seats where Dems could lose:

5th CD: Tom Perriello, from Charlottesville to the southside, this is a big CD, hard to buy TV for, and difficult to reach voters. The Perrillo approach is to go aggressive after his Republican opponent. Perrillo has more money, and is running as a populist in a 51% McCain Red CD.

2nd CD: In contrast, Glenn Nye is running as an independent, having voted against pretty much everything substantial. He's also not running much of a negative campaign in this Virginia Beach CD that went for Obama slightly in 2008, 51-49.

Democrats are expected to lose both the 5th and the 2nd, and they are running entirely different message strategies, so if one or the other wins, it will be telling.

VA 11th CD: This is the seat that, if Democrats are going to lose the majority, is considered vulnerable. NoVA, but outside the beltway. Obama won easily, with 57 percent, but Bush won this CD in '00 and '04 with 52 and 50 percent. Gerry Connolly is running against Wall St. The battle is likely to be in Fairfax county, so that's where OFA is focused. 

The problem with the Cillizza list is that it needs to be about 100, not 50 (or at least 83). Because its entirely possible that one of any combination of the 5th, 2nd, and 11th CD's are lost by VA Dems in 2010. Having seen firsthand how pathetic Democratic turnout has been in Fairfax recently, I wouldn't take anything for granted.

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by rhea 2010-09-13 08:44AM | 0 recs
Some good news out of Delaware

Not directly related to the situation in VA that you outline, but I've been so anxious for some good news lately I've got to pass it on. A PPP poll out today shows that Christine O'Donnell now leads Mike Castle, 47-44%. If this ethically challenged moron manages to win tomorrow, there's a seat previously counted as an R pickup that will stay Democratic. Kind of like the East Coast version of Sharron Angle vs. Harry Reid.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-09-13 05:33PM | 1 recs
RE: Some good news out of Delaware

We'll all have fingers crossed tonight... would be even better than NV, imo.  PPP's now previewing numbers that show Coons doing 26 points better against O'Donnell.

by bruorton 2010-09-14 12:05PM | 0 recs
RE: Some good news out of Delaware

I've concluded that half of those on the far right are simply delusional, as they actually believe this freak O'Donnell can be elected. Given that W never broke 45% in Delaware---either 2000 or 2004---I don't see where this "conservative surge" is going to come from. Plus, this woman has played so dirty, e.g, her whispering campaign against Castle, that most Castle people will cross over and vote for Coons come November.

The other half, e.g, Erick Erikson at RedState, are a strange breed, and imo, are mentally unbalanced. They call for the defeat of Castle, admitting that O'Donnell can't win statewide, but that it would still be better for the GOP. Go figure.

On the other hand, I figured that Sharron Angle would be plummeting into the 30's by now, but a new Ras poll out this AM has her and Reid tied at 48%:

Fortunately, Delaware ain't Nevada.......


by BJJ Fighter 2010-09-14 02:08PM | 0 recs
RE: Some good news out of Delaware

They call for the defeat of Castle, admitting that O'Donnell can't win statewide, but that it would still be better for the GOP. Go figure.

I sorta get this thinking. Maybe DeMint sees his denying a moderate into the Senate as more powerful for ther minority bloc of Senators. But, a lot of these folks, for oppositie different reasons, are just as disgusted with the Republican Party as are progressives and pragmatists.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-09-14 05:48PM | 0 recs
Thank you for the great summary / info

I don't think things are as bleak as the media is saying.

The corporate media is still scared shitless of Republicans in general and therefore is more apt to pile on Democrats, and or, over estimate Republicans chances.

I remember back to 2006 when it was late summer and Dems had held a double digit generic lead in most polls for months, and Cook was out there saying not enough seats were in play and they might wing 10 or 12 or something like that.   Plus, it was him or someone like him late in the game said, "democrats can still find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory"

That is a little of what we see today.   Underestimating dems, over estimating the GOP.

by RichardFlatts 2010-09-17 11:42AM | 0 recs


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