WV-Sen: Raese's Residency Issues Continue

Cross-Posted on FDL Seminal 

The Republican candidate for US Senate in West Virginia is John Raese, a wealthy businessman who owns properties in Colorado and Florida in addition to West Virginia. Raese has received heat from his Democratic challenger, Governor Joe Manchin, for not being a true West Virginia resident, to which Raese denies vehemently.

However, CQ Politics released an official statement showing some very interesting news that will no doubt hurt the Raese campaign. John Raese’s wife, Elizabeth Raese, has been registered to vote in Palm Beach County, FL since 2001 and is unable to vote in West Virginia because of this. Raese continues to claim that he holds limited ties to the Sunshine State, however this news certainly doesn’t aid that argument in his favor.

Roll Call confirmed Friday that Elizabeth Raese is registered to vote in both states but has not voted in West Virginia since 1998. But in an interview this week with Time magazine, she indicated that she would be — and has been — voting in West Virginia.

“We are West Virginians,” Elizabeth Raese said, according to Time reporter Jay Newton-Small. “We live here, we vote here, people know that. We also have a home in Colorado, but we’re not residents there either.”

Raese campaign spokesman Kevin McLaughlin said Elizabeth Raese does not remember the conversation with the Time reporter, but he added that, “If she did say this, she obviously misspoke.”

Though John Raese’s campaign has repeatedly confirmed that he lives and pays taxes in West Virginia, an investigation by the nonpartisan PolitiFact.com showed that his wife has been registered to vote in Palm Beach County, Fla., since 2001 and voted there in 2008.

(Source: CQ Politics)

Raese is an outspoken critic of the Department of Education, and does not even enroll his children in West Virginia schools. His daughters attend private school in Florida. John Raese continues to distance himself from base voters in West Virginia and has failed to present anything about himself that relates him to West Virginians in general (besides flaunting his lifetime NRA membership and general disapproval of Obama). Raese has attempted to take advantage of his "residency" in the past by running for office against the like of Jay Rockefeller, Robert C. Byrd, and former West Virginia Governor Arch Moore. He has failed to gain the respect of West Virginia voters so far, and has continued to inadvertently distance himself in this campaign.

Expect Manchin to gain more of a lead because of this recent news.

The West Virginia Senate Race has been everything but typical, and the latest Marshall University poll perpetuates this. Joe Manchin (D), who was down by as many as 4 pts on the RCP averages earlier this month, is now up by 2.5. This was due to the Marshall University poll that has Manchin leading GOP opposition John Raese by 10 points. Granted this poll only had a sample size of 450.

The Marshall University poll shows Manchin taking 48 percent to Raese’s 38 percent, with 12 percent still undecided.

The new poll is the latest this week to show an uptick in support for the governor. The survey tested 450 likely voters on Oct. 11-12, just after former President Bill Clinton held a Morgantown rally for Manchin on Monday. The poll was conducted using live interviews and has a 4.6 percent margin of error.

Manchin, the popular two-term governor who Democrats expected would have an easy path to succeed the late Sen. Robert Byrd, has been a victim of a toxic political environment. Raese, a wealthy mining company owner, and national Republicans have spent heavily to tie Manchin to an unpopular President Obama.

(Source: Politico)

So this looks good for the Democrats right? Well… sort of. Joe Manchin is a popular governor and a conservative democrat. His recent ad touts his NRA endorsement and criticizes the healthcare bill (which he originally supported) and the cap and trade bill. Some are labeling Manchin as a DINO (Democrat in Name Only) and many will find themselves voting for 3rd Party Candidate Jesse Johnson (Mountain Party).

Joe Manchin would add another D to the list in the Senate, but may break with party lines on issues he is more right-leaning. Manchin has faced a ton of heat from the more liberal electorate in West Virginia, criticizing his environmental policies and lack of action against Mountaintop Removal mining.

The West Virginia GOP released this statement: (also found on Politico)

“This poll is from Obama’s and Manchin’s lips to your ears,” West Virginia Republican Party Chair Mike Stuart said in a statement Friday. “We are saddened that a beloved institution like Marshall University has been inserted into a partisan effort to advance the Obama agenda by electing Joe Manchin. Mr. Wilkerson needs to publicly apologize to Marshall University and the people of West Virginia for this obviously partisan poll.”

 

Running To The Right Won’t Work

Jay Cost at Real Clear Politics might just have the most absurd headline I’ve seen all month: “It's Time for Moderate House Democrats to Stand Up to Obama.”

I’m more conservative than most in the progressive blogosphere, and yet even I think this story is ridiculous. Cost writes:

If their constituents ultimately disapprove, moderate House Democrats shouldn't expect Barack Obama to give a damn. That's not his style. He likes to give lip service to consensus - but when you read the fine print, he inevitably defines any divergent viewpoints as out-of-bounds. He did it on the stimulus. He's doing it on health care. If moderate House Democrats don't stand up to him now, he'll do it on cap-and-trade, immigration reform, and who knows what else. Sooner or later, their constituents will elect representatives who will stand up to the President.

And those new representatives will probably be Republicans.

There are at least two things wrong with this argument. First, moderate House Democrats are ALREADY standing up to Obama: 24 House Democrats voted against both health insurance reform and cap-and-trade. Another 15 more voted against just health insurance reform, and Bart Stupak is threatening to stop the whole thing again because even Ben Nelson isn’t pro-life enough for him. In the Senate, Max Baucus almost destroyed health insurance reform’s chances by spending too much time pointlessly negotiating with Grassley and Enzi. Nelson joined with Mary Landrieu to even further slow the bill, this after working with Arlen Specter to drastically pare down the stimulus. How is this NOT standing up to Obama?

Second, despite Cost’s claim that this behavior is key to their re-election, none of this obstructionism has helped or will help the Blue Dogs politically. In fact, they’re in more danger than are liberals who supported every bill. Of the six Democratic Senators with disapproval ratings above 50%, two are scandal-plagued and four are moderate-to-conservative (Lieberman, Lincoln, Begich, and the rudderless, pro-life Reid). We saw this in 1994, too - of the 34 incumbent House Democrats beaten by Republicans, only 1 was in a district where Bill Clinton won at least 50% of the vote in 1992, and only 7 were from districts where he ran ahead of his 43% national average.  

The fact is, neither moderate nor conservative voters will say, “Hurrah, my Democratic Congressman opposed Obama!” They will say either a) “My Congressman is a Democrat, so’s Obama, how dare he!” or b) “I like my Congressman, but I just can’t support another Pelosi majority.

If Obama’s agenda goes down in flames, Democrats go down in flames. Let’s think about this: House Republicans are united, and they’re doing a great job spinning in the media and surging in the polls. They are in their best generic ballot position during a Democratic administration since 1946. Democrats, on the other hand, are splintered, and can’t gain much traction in the polls or correct the media’s record on either science or health care details.

Voters don’t hate progressivism; they hate the political process that encapsulates both parties. This election isn’t over, but if Democrats follow Mr. Cost’s advice, it will be.

The Trouble Republicans are in.

If anyone wants a superb analysis of just how deep the doo doo in which the GOP finds itself really is, they could do worse than go to the NY Review of Books which is carrying a review by Michael Tomasky titled They'd Rather be Right. If you want a short cut you can go to Real Clear Politics where they have listed it in today's offering under the title The GOP and its base. I'm not sure how you do links here but it's easy enough to find.

There's more...

NOT an Edwards Diary

Looks like the all Edwards all the time show is playing here at MYDD. That's OK I guess. After all, this site is driven mostly by the readers.

What I find intersting is that this site bears no resemblance to the reality of the Dem presidential race. Edwards is a distant third in 100% of the polls. You wouldn't know that looking at this site.

I finding myself expanding my universe when it comes to blogs. I am liking Marc Ambinder, The Caucus, The Plank, and others. They all provide a broader range of diarys, covering more of the candidates.

There's more...

Mason Dixon New Hampshire Poll

Online: Full results, http://www.mcclatchydc.com

Results for Democrats

Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York had 26 percent, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois had 21 percent, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards had 18 percent and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico had 9 percent. Sen. Joe Biden had 6 percent, former Vice President Al Gore had 2 percent and the other candidates had 1 percent or less.

Trendlines:

Poll Date Sample Clinton Edwards Obama Richardson Spread
RCP Average 05/04 - 06/07 - 33.2 17.2 20.4 9.0 Clinton +12.8

Mason-Dixon 06/04 - 06/07 na 26 18 21 9 Clinton +5.0

Franklin Pierce 06/04 - 06/04 424 LV 38 13 16 8 Clinton +22.0

American Res. Group 05/24 - 05/27 600 LV 34 18 15 9 Clinton +16.0

Zogby 05/15 - 05/16 503 LV 28 15 26 10 Clinton +2.0

SurveyUSA 05/04 - 05/06 589 LV 40 22 24 -- Clinton +16.0

Poll Methodology

Mason-Dixon Polling and Research conducted the polls Monday through Thursday, surveying 411 likely voters in the Democratic primary and 361 likely voters in the Republican primary. The Democratic results had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

My Analysis

Clinton's numbers have come down from the previous polls, but she is still the one to beat.  Obama and Edwards are showing that they still can catch up to Hillary if they work at it. Richardson is also showing signs that he is still in it.

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Diaries

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