Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

What would be nice- really  really nice -- is that people should start googling and researching the issues rather than coming to a position based on candidate support. Do presidential coattails still exist? On this topic, because I was challenged with a similar "well coattails don't matter anymore and haven't mattered in 20 years" (yes, he added 20 years) comment by a candidate supporter, I decided to do a  little research.  What I provide below should put to rest the question of whether there are presidential coattails. The real question which I don't answer here or try to answer is which candidate will have a negative, positive or neutral impact because honestly- sometimes you have to settle the basic question first so the debate isn't always based on denial of the basic facts.

I am writing this diary because of the tendency of some here to deny that there is even a such thing as a presidential coattail. An argument which seems silly on its face given that the Presidential nominee and the eventual President is the face of the party. Just as Bush is the face of the GOP, so will whoever is our nominee become the face of the Democratic Party. No amount of spin will change this. I suppose it is useful to pretend that such a relationship doesn't exist. But its not very helpful or fair to the undecideds. This diary is for them.

It's by no means thorough. It was actually written in response to a question in another diary. I am just posting it here so that if people are interested, they can do further research on the issue rather than listen to the spinmeisters.

Here are a list of articles for the mid terms in 2002 about Presidential coattails: beyond.pdf 02/may02.php

The map here again matters- toss up races where they occur.

Here are a list of article regarding 2004 presidential coattails: 4711909/The-2004-presidential-election-t he.html

Bush coattails were limited- I might argue due to the nature of where we were running. Many of the states he would have impacted, etc had been impacted in 2002 already.

Here an article regarding 2006 presidential coattails.

expectations on paper: ball/2006/senate/

I've got to go back to my real work, but here's at least one that shows the outcome but-for the Bush factor was expected tob e different last year.

The conclusion: Coattails matter in the swing districts that are tossups or leaning but not quite are GOP strong holds. It matter at the margin. What no one is discussing is that several of the districts won last year, in an off Presidential year, were tight races won by small numbers. We were helped by the fact it wasn't a Presidential year. I am no even going into whether Clinton, Edwards or Obama will help with messaging, polarization, race, gender, regionalism etc, but on the simple question of: are there still presidential coattails? The simple answer is yes.

Honestly, most diaries on this subject are not well written because they assume the basic question. It allows for peo to turn this into a partisan discussion rather than first establishing whether coattails matter so that others can pretend there is some debate about whether it does or does not matter. The debate is not whether it matters (it does), but instead, where and whom it will impact. If you want to argue that Clinton will not have a negative- please explain how. If Obama or Edwards- please explain in detail how? But to argue that she will not have any coattail is just false. The same is true of the others.

Incidentally, what's interesting is that much of the literature, if you go through it is amusing, in the sense right before elections there are always these articles predicting the death of coattails, and then afterwards, many discuss how indeed Presidential coattails impacted races. This veiw of no effect seems to happen in cycles and reflect a lack of historical memory from one cycle to the next of how these things occur. Similar I would add to the arguments made here.

Finally,for what its worth here is the artcile written on the concerns over Clinton several months ago (I didn't look for the original Roll Call article so I assume this one is correct): 7/07/roll-call-considers-hillarys-revers e.htmlds

I wish the article had gone into much greater detail about presidential coatttails in general so that people would have a background beyond mere opinion. The thing is this is extremely fact specific. A good diary on the subject would have to literally go state by state, find the expected toss up races, and then use that data to determine whether Clinton will impact the race. Neither this diary or any other has done that detailed analysis. However, neitehr has the other side done anything but denied the potential impact. Both are wrong.

If you are curious- here are some additional articles: ndex.html letype/archives/2006/04/midterm_balanci. html ball/article.php?id=LJS2006060101

One other by the way. the other concern is 2010 as well. What's clear is that if Clinton or anyone else goes into office without mandate and plays it cautiously so that the American people have no contrast with what went before - the result willb e what is called the balancing act. What people may do- and this is also a theory from the research- is elected the other party as a general condition in the swing districts and in senator races. Now, this is a somewhat flawed theory since people tend to vote for their incumbent, but to the degree that the general environment is shaped- it can move small enough percentages in the swing districts and states to effect outcomes.

Tags: Barack Obama, coattails, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, politcs (all tags)



Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

Just another Clinton hit-piece.  One would think that the daily repetition of the same talking points gets a bit boring, but it never does to those who incessantly obsess.

Now, it would ultimately be more rewarding if the hit-artists made concise and strong arguments FOR their candidate, but that is in short supply these days.  Instead we get "Clinton electability - hand wringing" piece # 18 for the week, which comes from people who are known for a very long time to have an intense dislike for Clinton (not someone unbiased) with the idea being that if enough of these hit-pieces show up that the sheer number of them is supposed to makes one go "Hmm, if SO many people dislike her and think of her as problematic for downticket races, there must be some truth to it."   Of course, those who blog her for a long time know the "usual suspects" and expect nothing better from them than hit-pieces like this.   What I have predicted a few weeks ago when well-known bloggers like Kos, Matt Stoller, Chris Bowers actually DEBUNKED the "electability" myth (better: blew it to smithereens) has come to pass.   The final canard of the Hillary-detractors is the "downticket races"  canard, which will be jumped on, now that "electability" is no longer an issue.    Here we are treated to more of the same.  

Of course, it does nothing to help THEIR candidate get elected, just continues the usual "I don't like Hillary, so I must write posts and diaries to express that dislike, regardless whether it makes any logical sense" stuff.  

by georgep 2007-09-09 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

As I said else where, I understand its your sole goal to prevent what you see of as any counter narrative to clinton on A list blogs. As I said there- I get it. I am just really  not interested in it.

Of course, you would interpret a broader discussion of presidential coattails as a Clinton hit piece because you really don't want people to think too much about issues in broader terms other than clinton.

I can assume you didn't read the links because I know that you don't care about the discussion- just the narrative you are trying to build. Really, I get it at this point. It's your sole function, and that of hwc, already and a few others. I am just not interested in the game.

by bruh21 2007-09-09 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

How many COATTAILS discussions do you want to have?  Do you want that discussion to DOMINATE the blog?  Why?  I understand what it is you are trying to do, but those of us who have been here for a while know where you are coming from, so any "discussion" is tainted by major bias.  Nothing wrong with that, but don't we already have THREE OTHER coattails discussions already going on?   It is a canard, now that electability has been debunked, but you already knew that.

by georgep 2007-09-09 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

He's offering up scientific research rather than just his opinion. Do you have studies that counter what he's mentioned or is your arguement limited to the facts and science not suiting you and your goals so you'll just pooh pooh it like republicans do with say global climate change and evolution?

by Quinton 2007-09-09 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

Pretty much what you say is why I don't argue with them anymore. I am just going to present the evidence,a nd let others decide for themselves.

On another thread, in response to what I wrote, this person has written a response that offers nothing more than "well but it's clinton." I am grossly summarizing the person statement, but not really because its core there isn't one iota of facts in the response.  How will we handle down ticket concerns? Clinton is a good campaigner. How will we handle issues of contrast? because clinton has the ability to contrast  unlike any other candidate. I gave that poster the benefit of the doubt by responding, but honestly I would suggest not even wasting your typing strokes with georg.

by bruh21 2007-09-09 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

I don't mind your extreme bias, bruh.  Just don't pretend that it is anything but.

by georgep 2007-09-09 09:58AM | 0 recs
hopefully, you will do the same...

it's not merely that you are not objective, or even that you cherry-pick facts.  you actually build strawmen arguments in order to rebute people's comments and are willing to lie about what people say when that doesn't work.  so these kinds of comments, when put in perspective of your posting history, and not just laughable, they are insulting.

we get it, you like hillary and you can't imagine other people not -- nor imagine why others would actually want to pursue an effective strategy instead of accepting their place in your little bin...

by bored now 2007-09-10 03:51AM | 0 recs
Re: hopefully, you will do the same...

Laughable.  Well, we'll never reach a consensus, but the ultimate lie I have seen on this board  came from you, which makes your post so the more hilarious.  Remember that little ditty about "thousands of respondents, not a single one claims that Clinton brings "positive" feelings out in them."  As preposterous and laughable a claim as you claiming that the earth is really flat and everybody who does not agree with you just suffers from "narrow view-ism."    I was stunned and, frankly, disgusted by the callousness with which you attempted to sell readers of this site for fools.   No attribution, no link, no proof, just you making a statement that does not sync with anyone else's findings, proposes to claim the exact opposite of what we have seen all along multiple times.   I think if you make sweeping claims about surveys, particularly the kind that makes claims that no other survey has made, you have to show proof that it even exists, provide links.  Otherwise it looks like mere vapor from a rabid "detractor," nothing else.  

by georgep 2007-09-10 04:05PM | 0 recs
it's funny that you would think i would put work..

on line.  that you can't imagine it's not true doesn't make it not true...

by bored now 2007-09-10 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

by the way-here's a link to my response: 152/28570/68?mode=alone;showrate=1#68

by bruh21 2007-09-09 09:59AM | 0 recs
This is not a hit piece

It's a well argued diary. Don't let your Hillary infatuation blind you to reality. I am not saying that the dairist is right, I'm saying that you should raise the level of your discourse and get back to reasoned argument. Hillary supporters bear the burdens of showing that she will not hurt the Democratic Party in red states.

by Populism2008 2007-09-09 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: This is not a hit piece

Actually- all candidates bear that burden. That's my point. That we need to be looking at each of them. The reason why we aren't is that we are dealing with a faction of clinton supporters who want to deny that the issue even exist. Someone correclty compares this to the global warming deniers. It may prove an effective short term strategy, but that will never the less kill  us in the general. We shall see. What's clear however is that this isn't about just clinton- all three candidates must give some sense of their coattail effect.

by bruh21 2007-09-09 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: This is not a hit piece

I looked at some of the links provided here, and they don't hold what is "promised."  So, I can't really agree.  This is just another "electability/coattail" piece, and we have seen how many of those lately?   Isn't there any new twist, anything cool, that some of these posters can bring about THEIR candidate (in this case Edwards)?   Posters like this one have completly abandoned talking about their candidate in any way, their focus is entirely on Clinton.   Somehow that does not give me the impression  that the candidate who is being supported here has the person's confidence.  

by georgep 2007-09-09 10:05AM | 0 recs
The poster is not talking about Clinton.

That would be the primary weakness with your argument.

by BruceMcF 2007-09-09 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: The poster is not talking about Clinton.

If one is a shill, then all roads regardless of whether its trying to establish an objective understanding of a concept like coattails because people have denied it exists, is per se about the candidate/s. Hence george's response is quite predictable and expected. What I wanted to do is to look at this through a lense that wasn't about our candidates. but instead about the concept of coattails. Bush seemed like a good benchmark because we have seen the full range with him- both on the positive end (2002) and negative (2006). What's interest is it was somehwat neutral in 2004 which to me suggests that despite his victory his coattail may have been waning. Of course, all George hears from this is "well I think this issue is a negative for Clinton"

by bruh21 2007-09-09 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: The poster is not talking about Clinton.

I don't think you will ever learn, bruh21.  Can you make a point without the cheap attacks?   I call this "poverty of argument," as you seem incapable of blogging without insults, which reflects poorly on you as a poster.   I see a lot of shilling for Edwards, but that gives me no right to call you a "shill" any which way.  It would be very poor form on my part.  

by georgep 2007-09-09 11:01AM | 0 recs
You need to make a substantial argument ...

... before its possible to subject it to a substantial critique.

by BruceMcF 2007-09-09 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: The poster is not talking about Clinton.

The only thing predictable is that every time I see your name, I know it's going to be some attack on Clinton and it's pretty pathetic.

by reasonwarrior 2007-09-09 04:48PM | 0 recs
Re: The poster is not talking about Clinton.

considering i see your name predictably involved in exchanges like this- thats certainly a case of the pot talking about a kettle. and for the record, multiple other people here are agreeing with me. a choice between you and them- you lose because you  might as well be george with a different screen name. i dont believe i've once seen you write something thats a thought of your own

by bruh21 2007-09-09 04:50PM | 0 recs
Re: The poster is not talking about Clinton.

Notice, he still does not respond to my actual points or the diary itself . Just calls it a cheap shot, and rates it a 1. This is so much like the cable news shows I am amazed I didn't see it until recently.

by bruh21 2007-09-09 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: The poster is not talking about Clinton.

The diary was not rated.  What was down-rated was a personal attack in one of the posts.  Keep it above board.  

Therefore, this comment:  "not respond to my actual points or the diary itself. Just calls it a cheap shot, and rates it a 1" is factually incorrect.   I did not rate the DIARY a 1, but one of your personal attacks.  Big, indeed huge difference, despite your attempts at blurring the differences here.   It is a nice try, in a way, but ineffective, since the facts are plain for all to see.  The facts don't sync with your version of them here.    

by georgep 2007-09-09 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: This is not a hit piece

Note contrast of my response to you and his.

by bruh21 2007-09-09 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: This is not a hit piece

Actually- one other point. I would suggest just whenever you can contrasting how they approach discussions versus others. They (many of the Clinton supporters here) view this as an opportunity to talk about issues as if we are talking heads on cable news. Note his style and strategy and approach to discussions. It fully came home to me the approach when Fla Dem tried to discuss the impact of early state races, and had decades of data and research on hand to back it up. Pretty much Georg did the same thing he's doing with me now- pretending its all opinion or that the facts are wrong, etc. here's a link to that diary. 42/944

This is why Ive slowly come to understand they don't care what the arguments or discussions are. Only that its a perceived threat to clinton. That's it.

by bruh21 2007-09-09 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: This is not a hit piece

You know, I thought it was a typo at first, but you constantly refer to me as "Georg."  Is there something wrong with your keyboard?  You can't even get a name right?  Please show at least of modicum of respect when you talk to someone here, even if it pains you.  

by georgep 2007-09-09 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: This is not worth reading

This is a tedious and boring thread. I guess that is the idea of it. So congratulations georgie, you have completely derailed any discussion of bruh's points and reduced the entire threat to the old familiar he said/she-said/I said that already. ugh.

If I wanted to read georgie making a comment to every other comment on the thread, then I might be happy. I imagine that georgie is happy. Perhaps is mother is happy. For the rest of us, it's past time to log off. Bye.

by Woody 2007-09-09 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: This is not a hit piece

Yes, you are precisely right about georgep and some of the other Hillary supporters. There's no interest in engaging on the issues, facts, or science at hand merely on muddying the waters and jumping all over things calling it unfair and wrong. He's not once addressed the science or studies you brought up, just merely taken pot shots at you and said you're being biased and unfair. How exactly the science and studies are unfair isn't at all clear or addressed. The quality of discourse has really gone down over the last few months that some of these Hillary supporters have come here and carried on this way.

by Quinton 2007-09-09 01:18PM | 0 recs
george has a long history of strawman arguments...

if he can't refute your point -- or doesn't like it -- he'll will create an argument that he thinks he can refute, ascribe it to you, and then act as if you made it yourself.  he's doing it here (again)...

by bored now 2007-09-10 03:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

I responded in the other diary that you are offering pretty thin gruel with these cites.

by dblhelix 2007-09-09 03:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

Half the time the links bruh provides come up with "Page not found."  Other times the links don't provide what is advertised.   I don't get the idea behind the linking here.

by georgep 2007-09-09 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

actually what you did was to deny my claims by making assertions. did you provide one link? no becuase let's be honest - you can't

all you managed to do was to say one of my links didn't work, that one paper wasn't published and that the other data - according to you- wasn't relevant. why? because you decided it wasn't relevant. oh,yeah, and add that you would love to hear about 20 congressional races, but the data and positions that is tricklin g in doesn't prove anything. did i sum up your 'analysis'?

here's the deal- my position doesn't require my having to prove that clinton will be negative or not, it just requires showing that there is an issue of coattails or not. your position requires you to pretend as you did- that "there is no evidence" of coattails.

as i wrote- are you seriously claiming that in 2006 bush wasn't a negative coattail on teh GOP. I mentioned before that would be a shock to the Democrats, but I must add that it would be a shock to teh GOP as well. It would also be a shock to CLinton since part of her strategy is running on Bush's negatives. To now read you and others say- well but coattails don't matter in toss ups when it comes to clinton is on its face asburd. I tmatters with all the candidates.

Nice trying to respond- next time provide something more- like how about this foronce- some fucking links to prove your position because right now and as of this moment like others- I am done with assertons.

by bruh21 2007-09-09 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

a couple of other points

let's be clear- there have been peo grumblign these concerns behind the scenes for a while, several articles if you were trully interested have been written andyou could clook them up. have you?

on top of that you are placing the burden on me to prove absolutely that clinton will not have a negative impact- i think it should be the reverse- once you are shown that coattails do exist- and you haven't proven despite your assertions that it does not, it's on you to prove that clinton will not have the impact that peo like mudcat, kos and multiple others are saying that she will have. that would require some work in your part, but its a little bit more substantive than posting your denials and assertions.

by bruh21 2007-09-09 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

sorry, my response is here.

by dblhelix 2007-09-09 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

one other point- this is probably my last with you unless you provide real data.

i gave you the benefit of the doubt but given your choice of approach- i'm  assuming  you are just like the rest ie, georg, hwc, already,e tc that post on here

i notice you didn't comment on georg's post which provide no research data at all. georg for example has been directly proven wrong by folks like fla dem, i provided him a link the other day to and open left which he claimed were false or didn't prove his assertion wrong and even claimed that clinton has a chance to win tx. a

one of the links by the way that he claims prove nothign all all is this one regarding early primary election: 42/944

it was liked so much by bowers over at open left that he elevated it to the front page and has cited it. but according to george- it proved nothing.

i don't feel the need anymore to argue with folks like that. hence why i am ignoring him here. if you can post data- real- serious data, that refutes the coattails effect as a real concern- i will read it. but bare assertions? no, you are just wasting my time.

by bruh21 2007-09-09 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

didn't comment on georg's post which provide no research data at all

I don't know which post you are referring to, but I can tell you that I commented on yours precisely because you offered links, i.e., something to evaluate.

by dblhelix 2007-09-09 04:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

the majority of the comments on this thread outside of myself are by george, and you don't know what i am referring to?

by bruh21 2007-09-09 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

on top of that you are placing the burden on me to prove absolutely that clinton will not have a negative impact

This happened ... where?

little bit more substantive than posting your denials and assertions

Not mine. They come directly from your sources. Overwhelmingly, the scholars/pundits cited point to evidence of presidential favorability having a measurable effect during midterms but the lack of same empirical evidence during presidential election years. In fact, one of your own cites states:

Much of the literature on congressional elections suggests that incumbents are immune to presidential coattails.

I'm not the one running around making general statements about coattails for 2008, hence my "research" ends at an evaluation of the sources you provided -- which indicate the lack of a consensus view on the topic at hand.

if you were trully interested have oncerns behind the scenes for a while, several articles if you were trully interested have been written andyou could clook them up. have you?

Sure there are people grumbling behind the scenes -- I am the voter -- they need to persuade me; I don't need to validate their grumbling.

by dblhelix 2007-09-09 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

You place the burden, but providing no data yourself. All you do is simply say you are unconvinced by the data because it isn't conclusive. Much of the rest of your post repeats the same "prove it" argument you made before without providing anything more than your own spin on what I link.

You are the one denying coattails by spinning the research data to mean no coattails. Again, my only point has been that it exists- not its degree. Can you provide data of your own refuts that it exists? Do you understand the data?

That last question isn't a dig. it's an honest question. Because either you don't or you are spining.

For example, this part is choice "Much of the literature on congressional elections suggests that incumbents are immune to presidential coattails."

Well yes, if we were talking about about a) just incumbents and b) coattails were the only concern- that would matter.  it would also matter in terms of incumbents if we didn't know of races such as RI where indeed the CW is that it did matter. It would be more convincing if we didn't have several Democratic officials in individual states saying they are concerned. Your position wold be more convincing if folks like mudcat weren't mentioning this concern.

But- let's play your game. As I said, you and georg act like we are on cable news where you can spout innnanities and hope for an ignorant audience. I imagine there it may even be effective.

Most districts are gerrymandered to make certain that incumbents aren't going to affected by Presidential coattails. The issue regarding incumbency alone would matter but for the fact we are talking about whether coattails exist at all, not what the parties have done to hedge against the risk of greater seat losses. But how does that apply to toss up seats? How does your response answer the totality of my point besides cherry pick?

We are again- talking about TOSS UPS and DISTRICTS THAT LEAN CONSERVATIVE THAT WE BARELY WON LAST YEAR. I feel the need to captialize because you seem to gloss over my point evne while pretending to address it. Are there coattails there?

I can three diaries with 3 different races where people have said it will matter, and each was told that their diary on that particular race proves nothing.

On the issue of redistricting. It was one of the consideration discussed at length last year, including here by Bowers, in the lead up to the mid terms because many though the districting would protect the GOP, and many still do, from the full impact of Bush's negative impact on the races.  The Democrats still picked up 30 seats and the Senate- arguably due the coattails you claim do not exist.

Do research of Larry Sabatto's analysis on the subject of coattails.

More importantly- answer the fundamental question I raised- are you claiming that Bush had no coattails in 2002 or 2006?

by bruh21 2007-09-09 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

You are the one denying coattails by spinning the research data to mean no coattails. Again, my only point has been that it exists- not its degree. Can you provide data of your own refuts that it exists? Do you understand the data?

More importantly- answer the fundamental question I raised- are you claiming that Bush had no coattails in 2002 or 2006?

2002 & 2006 are midterm elections, are they not? That's exactly what I said -- that your links convey the impression that there is consensus on coattails existing for midterm elections. That is not the case for presidential elections, at least not according to the sources provided.

Well yes, if we were talking about about a) just incumbents and b) coattails were the only concern- that would matter.

That was the point of the original diary, remember? An incumbent congressman in WI and coattails were the only concern. And it may be that for that one particular case, Edwards or Obama are preferable at the top of the ticket (I do not claim to know, and the diarist provided no quantitative data), but if you seriously want to discuss this, you have to look at the optimal outcome over all targeted districts (and that does include the ones in NY, OH, FL, etc).

But how does that apply to toss up seats? How does your response answer the totality of my point besides cherry pick

The totality of your point was based on the links you provided -- I don't know how I can be any more clear than that.


If we take that 2% figure cited above, we are talking about 9 seats. I'm fine with expanding it to the 20 or so seats cited by the original diarist -- the GOP target list.

With respect to modeling and forecasting data -- that's what I do for a living. My phd is in physics, specifically, the statistical mechanics of complex physical systems. I am no stranger to fitting models -- this is exactly the reason why I  raise an eyebrow at a conference proceeding not subject to peer review concerning the 2000 election, a presidential, not midterm year: the details on the model, the selection of variables, actual processing details and model validation have not been vetted, so to speak. This is not 'cherry picking,' as you describe it, but SOP in the field.

Moreover, even if the author makes the case for 2000, a case for trend, ergo predictive strength, hasn't been made. If this coattail effect existed in 2000, are the conditions the same now that make this a reliable predictor?

Next, the author's analysis is based on assessing the "quality" levels of the Republican presidential candidate. If you follow this model, you will be making a prediction based on the relative quality of the GOP nominee vs George Bush in 2000 and Dole in '96.

What is extremely interesting is that the model does not incorporate the quality of the Democratic candidate, period -- so how useful is it in gauging the outcome of swing districts according to who we have at the top of the ticket? He is saying that for the swing voters in Republican-leaning districts, the perceived quality of the GOP nom is a principle factor, not of the Dem nom. Note that I'm not going for the easy 'score' here in using this to "prove" that the Dem candidate at the top of the ticket is irrelevant.

Generally speaking, I would be particularly cautious about relying on history when the conditions for the 2008 election may set up a historical "first" -- a woman or black man at top of the ticket.

Both Clinton and Obama campaigns have made claims on generating additional Democratic votes from (1) single women (2) restoring the votes lost from white women from Kerry levels to Gore (3) African American turnout (4) youth turnout. Obviously these claims are untested, but any model for swing districts would have to forecast their effect -- and there's little google-able data upon which to do so -- in addition to perceived negative effects (the sole topics of these diaries) concerning potential Clinton backlash or voters not comfortable w/ voting for a woman/minority.

I could work on a model, but with the research that needs to be done & the data that needs to be collected that I may not have access to, I'd expect months of analysis, frankly speaking.

by dblhelix 2007-09-09 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

a) Race and gender will almost certainly have a negative impact as much as any positive.  There have been again diaries with actual data on both of these.  But more importantly, google the topic of just race with regard to candidates running and you will see the race gap- that is what people say they will vote is by about a 5 percent difference less than they actually vote. We can possibly over come them,a nd they shouldn't be a basis of whether we choose a candidate, but pretending they will per se help is false.  we also can not assume new voters will show up. its not happened before. Its been promised with other women candidates who were more exciting and it didn't happen. gender is as likely to turn out a percentage as it is to entice others.

b) The concensus is that there are a coattail. When and where it happens is unclear. The basic position of several Clintonite when I brought up the issue of coattails or when others have done so is to claim we who bring up coattails are just making shitup. Ie, as one poster wrote to paraphrase "you are stuck in the past. coattails have no matter in a race in 20 years."  What impact it will have next year is unclear, but what is clear is that we won several disticts by less than a few thousand votes. Small enough margins that any slight percentage shift of even 2 to 3 percent can mean increasing, maintaining or losing part of our majority. This is also all inthe context of a wider discussion. ie, in 2010, we are expected to be on the defensive because ofthe map. More than that, the question must be raised- if all candidates are progressive, then which one will build the party? which will hurt the party? When i ask that question i am told simultaneously that clinton campaigns well, but when i mention that she hurts us in the swing districts because of her unfavorables some say "well but she won't campaing there." which raises the same question- who will help or hurt or remain neutral down ticket.

more importantaly the data about coattails is more important with regard to the swing states and districts. its fact intensive. many of the states we are trying to pick up next year for senate for example are deep purple states like CO, VA etc. Our candidates there are good, but nothing should be based simply on that we are in a good environment. What happens again in 2010? What can we glean from Clinton's strategy right now about how she will govern? When I asked that question George and other Clinton supporters here say that is a laughable question.

there is by the way much more research on this than i provide. i provided what i found first because frankly it was a quick search because I was arguing with peo who acted as if the very issue was somehow partisan against clinton and a made up argument rather than a real concern. some of that research in the polical journal is published. as i said check out sabato. a noted political scientitist. read read realclear politics. read for that matter previous post here by Bowers before he left.

The clinton backlash would not be simply because she is a woman. the concern is the backage she cares. her negatives have remained since the mid 1990s in the mid 40's range. with some fluctation as high as 50 percent and as low as 40 percent depending ont eh facts on teh ground.

the question becomes again- why should we take the chance on one canddiate when we have other choices- either obama or edwards or dodd who don't come with the baggage? when we know that her likeability ratings aren't that good. even now. and likeability is a big factor for swing voters. there is much more of this. most of which is often glossed over or treated as crazy person talk.

by bruh21 2007-09-09 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

We can possibly over come them,a nd they shouldn't be a basis of whether we choose a candidate

Well, see, I agree with this general sentiment. The difference here is that you're willing to work for Edwards, Obama, Dodd in the GE, and not for Clinton. That's your personal decision, and I wouldn't dream of trying to convince you of otherwise, but I don't hold your position.

by dblhelix 2007-09-09 09:08PM | 0 recs
it's actually uncommon for people who are...

passionately committed to a candidate to "work for" the person that beat their candidate.  you could very well feel differently about this if clinton was at 12%...

by bored now 2007-09-10 04:01AM | 0 recs
Re: it's actually uncommon for people who are...

bored now,

I can appreciate this sentiment.

Nevertheless, the diaries that decry Clinton at the top-of-the-ticket are essentially pleas to Clinton supporters to abandon her in favor of more "electable" candidates. They largely take advantage of the fact that yes, the others are running well behind at the moment, and as such, are not generating as much ire -- although, I looked at Kerry's fav/unfavs, and was surprised to see that Obama's favs/unfavs are sometimes poorer than Kerry's numbers after he clinched the Dem nomination.

When poll after poll indicates that the # willing to vote for (white male, black male, white woman) always reflect that order, I find it difficult to believe, as so many here would like to, that a chunk of her unfavs aren't coming from good, old misogynist views. Where's the Edwards nutcracker? So if Dems nominate her, I'm up for the extra effort that might be required, and I feel the same way about Obama. With Edwards, I think it would be the flip side of misogyny -- they will try to 'feminize' him.

Ward Connerly is working to get anti-affirmative action initiatives on ballots in states like CO, AZ, MO. I just don't see that Clinton will generate additional Republican voters on top of that. It's always something to boost the base. They will come up with their drivel for Obama or Edwards as well. One of the reasons I support Clinton is her top-notch campaign which I think is best-equipped to counter the onslaught.

by dblhelix 2007-09-10 01:35PM | 0 recs
Re: it's actually uncommon for people who are...

no they are letting you know what impact she will have on the party, and they are for  undecideds. like many you assume everyone is decided because you are. this diary had nothing quite frankly to do with cli nton supporters. it was for as i mentioned above- the undecideds. you are irrelevant to me although i do entertain your questions.

by bruh21 2007-09-10 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: it's actually uncommon for people who are...

The most recent dkos straw poll put undecideds at 4%.

Anyone undecided after the daily ABH efforts during the past eight months is probably looking for a new argument.  

by dblhelix 2007-09-10 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: it's actually uncommon for people who are...

thats not a scientific poll and there are a lot of soft supporters from the actual polling data. including in teh early states, including peo who still would like a candidate of gore's stature to enter.  most candidates have,including cliniton, about 20 percent hard core support, the rest is soft. honestly you come to this site too much. spend sometime at the actual polling sites. read peo who aren't interested in spinning numbers. many peo come here as lurkers- and never post. in the diary i wrote there were several lurkers who chimed in saying that i was right about the level of discourse decline here. hence the spin you see by a lot of peo trying to convince by substrifuge- like i said by claiming for example that tail coats have not existed for 20 years. who do you think they are doing all this for? you the supporers? come on. be realistic just on teh common sense level. its for peo who they know are unconvinced.

by bruh21 2007-09-10 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: it's actually uncommon for people who are...

by the way- its just a little bit of hubris to think everyone is decided and this is about convince the clintonites. in another diary i wrote on the decline of this site, several posters said that they had ceased to come here on a regular basis because of the perception that this is a spin zone rather than an active discussion of strengths and weaknesses. my commentataries are for them- not y ou. ie, they should know that for example here there real is such a thing as coattails despite the clinton supporters claims that there are not. what they do with that information is up to them. i don't like disinformation. and claiming there is no such thing as coattails at all anymoer (again one poster claiming that it hasn't existed for 20 years) is something thats about disinformation. when i've posted links for example regarding healthcare for those interested comparing all three candidates, plus discussing polling data, etc, guess which of the three groups here called the discussion laughable? in short, if you want to understand this diary- think out side of your candidate- i only used her as example because of the pretense that coattails do not exist. the undecideds amongst us, need to know there is.

by bruh21 2007-09-10 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: it's actually uncommon for people who are...

i've notice a general trend with  you by the way . in which you seem to think these things are here for your general amusement. they aren't. they are here for a wide selection fo people and you should realize that.

by bruh21 2007-09-10 02:11PM | 0 recs
i was merely making a historical observation...

only dean in 2004 convinced his loyal partisans to hit the streets for the guy who defeated him, iirc.  my point is that it's unrealistic to expect partisans for losing candidates to work for the winner.  it's more likely they will go to other campaigns, or drop out of political activism altogether.  it's a natural cycle...

by bored now 2007-09-10 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: i was merely making a historical observation..

I was a Dean supporter. My impression of the Kerry transition was that the primary objective was getting rid of Bush, regardless. This general sentiment also played a role in '06; I was an active Mfume supporter in MD-Sen, and yes, it was annoying when the Cardin supporters would shout "On Sept 13 we are all one," but pretty much everyone I know played ball b/c of the stakes.

As far as '08 is concerned, it's a shame if Dems 'drop out' if Hillary wins, but in a sense it's neither here nor there. The ultimate 'electability' argument is that we have lost 5 times out of the last 7 attempts -- time for something different. If the party activist base changes somewhat in '08, no big deal. I've seen a lot of new people here get involved very early, despite not being an early state -- so in the long run, it's all good.

by dblhelix 2007-09-10 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

And by the way-t he last line indicates why I will not waste time with you anymore. Its clear you are just another Clinton disruptor on this site. I mean- yeah- most voters come here to discuss issues like presidential coattails. Full of shit response if I have ever seen one.

by bruh21 2007-09-09 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Presidential Coattails Still Matter?

Bruh, don't make this into "they" and "us."  Too much "enemy-list" creating.   I thought the diary was yet another hit-piece in a line of many (about 15 this weekend alone) that tries to "talk about" electability, downraces, etc.  Nothing wrong with bringing up issues, but does one "downrace" diary have to chase the other?  Maybe some more info on the candidate you prefer instead of all this other stuff?   But, whatever the case may be, why so agressive?  I stated that I thought this was a hit-piece.  So what?  That is my opinion.  I am entitled to mine, just as you are to yours.  I certainly expect that if I write a diary on Obama or Edwards and it is in a negative vein that someone would consider my diary a hit-diary.   I would not lose sleep over it.  Let others have opinions that perhaps don't match yours.

As for the links you keep touting:  It is PERSONAL OPINION.  The Mike Lux piece was pretty well written, but offered nothing but one person's personal opinion, and in the way of evidence he did not even use hard data, but anecdotes of meeting some people.  I am supposed to take WHAT from that link?  That Lux (I have seen some of his other posts and he certainly dislikes Clinton) believes that the race is open?    A couple of other times you offered links that did not work.  I alerted you to the fact that two links showed "Page not found," but you never rectified the problem.

Try to relax a little bit.  We all have our personal opinions.  Nobody's is better than the other's.  I believe that we are headed into the primary season with a certain alignment based on what I have seen, what I have heard (around me,) the internals I have seen, etc.  You can certainly claim that not to be so.  Then I show data that I believe supports my claim, etc.   No need for all the vitriol.  Just make a case based on your opinion.  Without the actual ELECTION having taken place, we don't KNOW for certain how it will play out.   Although I think we have a pretty good idea...  :-)

by georgep 2007-09-09 05:52PM | 0 recs
you don't really like the grassroots, do you?

too uncontrollable?  too independent?  not willing to fall in line with your pre-conceived notions?

trying to play diary-police is pathetic and desperate...

by bored now 2007-09-10 04:03AM | 0 recs
Re: you don't really like the grassroots, do you?

I love the netroots.  Unfortunately for you it is not what you want it to be (a homogenous sheep herd) and neither you nor bruh21 represent it properly (although you do certainly represent a fringe group within it.)   That is why your handwringing about Clinton's electability is not matched by the well-known bloggers, who have thus promptly all been accused of being sellouts, in Clinton's employ, stooges, tools, etc.  by the more rabid posters.  

This "development" in the netroots, accompanied with moans and groans of "what has happened to the blogosphere?  Where are the endorsements, bla bla bla" sucks for you, but is great for America.    

by georgep 2007-09-10 11:31AM | 0 recs

i love the diversity of the grassroots.  i'm not the one trying to impose my will upon them; rather, i've spent a good part of my life helping to empower people so that they could be a diversity of political opinion.

yes, i wish that the democratic party was more disciplined, but that has nothing to do with the netroots (or grassroots).  it's a function of the broad coalition that the democratic party has represented for a long time and the functional dilemma of how to deal with a fast-changing world with that coalition.  it may also be a legacy of some of the crap that mcauliffe did while dnc chair, but that's quibbling.

the path to greater message discipline is first, to develop a message and that requires greater communication.  the blogs allow for communication amongst democrats, but we don't have the kind of horizontal communication structure represented by grover's wednesday morning project.  repeating my desire for greater message and organizational coordination is not an attempt to impose my specific will but a desire that we become more effective.

i, of course, don't share your opinion -- doesn't suck for me at all! -- but you knew that...

by bored now 2007-09-10 01:20PM | 0 recs


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