I don't see a Congressional takeover as imminent. I think gerrymandering and deft message switcheroo can mitigate an unfriendly terrain for most GOPs.
I expect gains in '06, we'll pick off some vulnerables, but no takeovers -- barring a deeper recession or slowdown than the one i think we'll get. (I think we'll approach 0-1% GDP growth, with a deflated housing bubble.)
I'd love to be flat wrong. But getting people's expectations too high can lead to crippling disappointment later on.
Big question is, will there be a single anointed front runner? If so, this guy wins. Looks like Allen at this point. Would be Romney if he were Christian.
Does the GOP have the stomach for an internal fight? Giuliani wins only if the fundies split, and he peels some away while cleaning up among moderates. This is also generally true of McCain and Hagel (assuming they aren't anointed - yeah, right)
To avoid this, I can't see the party not congealing around an anointee. I think Allen makes sense; I think a dark horse, if that horse captures fundie hearts, could roar up out of nowhere and win, as Repubs flock to the winner on 'electability.' Roy Moore? Huckabee? Somebody like that. This is if Allen falls on his face and Romney freaks people out with his religion.
When you get into state by state it gets complicated. So will this be the first time in ages the GOP nomination is really contested and extends deep into the primary season?
People outside of the world of Dean-fans never really grasped this point:
Dean's appeal to people was pretty erratic. I met a lot of people who had visceral reactions to Dean before the scream.
His personality and campaign talents looked very different to people outside the Dean sphere. And, I see voters as voting on "electability" for a long time now; I think the last 20 years have cemented this. All the handwringing about electability is tantamount to annoyance over why people vote the way they do. Which is crazy. Bottom line: if you like someone, it doesn't mean others do.
I say this as someone who thought Dean was very flawed as a political talent, but has no enmity towards him. I think his campaign was a big net plus for the party.
Voter segmentation is a colossal advantage. I'm guessing that people here don't understand that because they don't understand what it is.
It's exactly what the private sector does when marketing to individuals. Think direct mail, or think why which TV commercials appear during certain programing. You can custom-match issues to voters. If Kerry did it, considering how close that election was, he might have won.
If Jerome is right about Democratic consultants not being on the segmentation bandwagon, then he's right that we have a serious problem with consultants. Otherwise I think a lot of (not all) consultant-blaming is really scapegoating and blog bloviating.
But Jerome, I'm thrilled you're with Mark Warner. I think Warner is a big talent, with a great bio and geography.
I agree it's astonishingly stupid. Evan Bayh must sincerely think the entire country is much further right than it is, and that he alone will find this precise ideological niche, outflank the rest of the field, and ride it to the White House.
He's really just not that smart, that's all. Too bad, would have been nice to have a strong midwestern candidate in the field. I don't see Vilsack or Feingold as being likely high-finishers, but anything could happen in 3 years.
You're missing the human dimension. Maybe Hafer once had the fire, maybe not.
But regardless, running for office is hell, most politicians hate running. It is far from easy to find good candidates anywhere.
And maybe Hafer, like a lot of people, is at a point in life where she needs some financial security, and is tired of living (Note: it ain't easy to make any kind of decent money in politics). If she's already rich, then this doesn't apply. I don't begrudge her or anybody else a shot at a decent retirement if they have it.
You won't vote for a warmonger. But for literally 99% of the population, votes on the war won't matter. They never do historically -
So you will be taking yourself out of the game by not voting for a 'warmonger' should one get the nomination.
But instead you taunt us all constantly "I'm gonna leave! I'm gonna leave!!!" Really, don't you have better things to do? Do you think we're hurt? Do you think politics will magically become about truth and justice and goodness and leprechauns and rainbows?
Why? How do you win a Prez election in 1992? Was there a clamor for Harkin or Jackson? Is politics not an arena where you have to try to be where the voters are? When did 'standing up for the economic truth' win national elections?
For these reasons I think such criticism of Clinton is wrong.
If looking back at the Clinton years you don't see a massive difference with the last 5 years, your glasses are smudged.
Granted, Clinton may not have been as left as you'd like, but this whole "Repub lite" label just really means "not as left as I want."