If she led a couple of weeks ago by fairly wide margin, that should be enough to hold on. I'm never a prisoner to late overreaction. Las Vegas will teach you that in a hurry. The guys who scramble to the window based on the last bit of information are the ones who leave town on a bus within six months. Far better to step back and evaluate the big picture, the most valid foundational variables.
I've been burned by that approach in primaries. Late waves can carry over and produce a seemingly bizarre result that defies weeks old polling, particularly if it's an obscure race. This race does have some characteristics like that since neither is an incumbent and voters are forming new opinions of them every day. But since it's D vs. R and not a primary, and in a major D state in federal terms, I tend to put more stock in the edge of a week or more ago.
I wouldn't compare it to anything. Special elections of this type are so rare I think it's useless to scramble for a few dozen or a few hundred supposedly similar examples. How often do we vote for senate during the NFL playoffs?
I watched it live and knew it would instantly be heralded on lefty sites.
Markos didn't crush Tancredo as much as Tancredo forfeited. You would think politicians and pundits would realize that a high profile walk off never accomplishes anything, other than make yourself look weak.
Markos no doubt had that dig in reserve in case the opportunity presented itself, knowing Tancredo's background. As others have commented, I'm uncomfortable with the hoopla because I've seen relatives treated for depression and psychological issues for 40+ years, including high functioning professionals who no one sensed had a problem.
Every once in a while, Markos deserves a smack to the jaw. He's got plenty of talent and moxie but there's a whiny instability there, and too much glee when members of the other party get in trouble. It comes across that he'd prefer to have Republicans fail than Democrats succeed. He's certainly more agile and effective in ripping the other side than boosting Democrats, like tonight when he pulled off the Tancredo dig with ease but then wobbled through the subsequent point -- a very valid one -- that Republicans can't afford to have government succeed because it destroys their argument. You could tell that even Olbermann though Kos' closer was weak because he cut the clip off at that point.
A realigning wake-up belt to the jaw every once in a while would do it. That would be about as subtle as his site.
Like other netroots bigwigs, Kos thought he invented something in 2006 and 2008. He was playing with the wind at his back. Not exactly complicated. I stood on the 16th tee today knowing I could hit driver, 3 wood, 5 wood, hybrid, long iron, anything. Then on 17, playing in the opposite direction, I couldn't get there with my two best pokes.
No different in politics. Situational influence is never properly weighted. The guys who left this site to start the other one a couple of years ago likewise didn't want to believe all their energy and syllables were artificially floated by the climate. Kind of amusing, actually.
Post-1992 I sensed that Democrats had no energy, since the White House had been the elusive goal for more than a decade. It's similar this time, other than Bush and Iraq provided such a frenzied boost that we had two downwind cycles, with congress the first target, followed by the presidency, once the situational benefit was ours. We were never going to defeat an incumbent with his party in power only one term, Bush's situation in 2004.
This stuff is easily evaluated years in advance. In 2012 we'll be fine, with the incumbent/one term factor benefiting Obama, along with the demographic shift, down to 73 or 74% whites in the electorate. But next year we'll only pretend to care, kind of like sporting teams that say all the right things but simply don't need the game as much as their opponent. It's going to be a loss, regardless of anything Obama does in the next year. I hope we can save as many governorships as possible, because the only way the GOP can survive the negative demographic tilt is to fortify their bench with as many prominent and nationally electable governors as possible We downplay the governor races at our own peril.
It would certainly make for an unpleasant narrative. I can already hear Chris Matthews and others pouncing on a small sample and making it the theme for 6 months or more.
I'm not optimistic about Corzine's chances. The tight outcomes typically fall in line with the national trend, which seems to be pro-GOP right now, in terms of energy favoring the out party so soon after a landmark takeover.
Any Democrat would have faced hellish opposition on this issue. This is the way Republicans wanted to run in '08, outlandish misrepresentation and hecklers galore, but Obama was a teflon target and Bush's standing placed them in a weakened defensive.
Now the GOP finally senses a clean slate after four post-Katrina years of Bush anchor, and, to quote Denny Green, "They are who we thought they were."
I remember 1992 very well. Three things stood out, and attach to 2008:
* My apolitical-type Republican friends were immediately paranoid over losing gun rights
* My conservative friends from college days were incensed over Hillary and her health care plan
* There was a widespread relief among fellow Democratic friends, finally returning our side to the White House. I could tell immediately it equated to no energy toward 1994. Same thing this time. Kos and Nate Silver are correct to warn about the 2010 midterms and lack of intensity. Too many liberals, and lefty bloggers, don't grasp the situational benefit we enjoyed in '06 and '08. That's gone in 2010, although it will resurface in 2012, at least in Obama's case, incumbent with his party in power only one term.
I supported Hillary over Obama -- and would make the same choice again -- but I'm not going to pretend she'd be sledding this through. She'd be more forceful and likely would have prioritized it earlier.
Obama was always an overvalued upstart, with arrogant tendencies, and unfortunately part of that was false belief his popularity was not subject to typical steep decline in year one.
Good summary. Amateurs hook and slice. Pros draw and fade. If someone is watching televised golf, they'll hear primarily the more subtle terms.
Besides, the new golf balls don't spin as much, reducing hooks and slices. At least theoretically. :)
BTW, someone took issue with the OP mentioning Feherty's drinking problem. He's hardly alone in that regard among golf analysts. It has popped up many times. In fact, this week Mark Rolfing returned after a 60 day stint in rehab. He had an incident at Palmer's Bay Hill tournament and was whisked into rehab, with virtually zero details released.
I complained to CBS in very detailed fashion. I made sure to reference other CBS golf commentators and the style of coverage in general, so it didn't appear I was latching onto a story after previously knowing zilch about Feherty.
Frankly, I don't think Feherty will lose his job or face severe consequences. He didn't have the guts to frame his comment as something he'd like to do, although that's obviously what he was saying.
This story probably doesn't have enough legs. Olbermann made Feherty, "Worst Person in the World," but did not devote an entire segment to it. That would have been markedly more effective. Plus, CBS golf is off this week, which helps Feherty. In virtually any other week he'd be covering the tour at the time the story broke, forcing CBS to make a decision, and/or Feherty to say something on the air. But this is Player's Championship week, which is covered by NBC.
Yesterday I posted the Feherty story on a major golf website, GolfWRX. That site stays away from politics per stated policy but I couldn't let Feherty's comment drift without mention. Predictably, I received heated PMs from right wingers who stood up for Feherty and said Pelosi and Reid were guilty of treason or worse, and should be done away with. That's the mindset you find in the golf community. It is more radically right wing than any estimate would suggest. I've dealt with it on site after site.
Feherty is overstated to begin with. At one point he had a great subtle delivery and was a creative writer who posed intriguing visuals, like taking into account the curvature of the Earth prior to a shot. That was before his celebrity status, which went to his head -- probably via the bottle -- and veered Feherty into someone who thought he was expected to be humorous at all times. It leads to forced comments and analytical wobbles. Recently he's been totally in the tank for Tiger Woods, laughable apologist status regardless of Tiger's errors. Last week he literally praised two Tiger 3-putts as great 3 putts. Golf World took him on for it in the current issue, specifying an absurd post- round interview last Saturday when Tiger bogeyed 17 and 18 but Feherty marveled that Tiger had come fairly close, actually managing the correct line although his ball flew over the green.
I'm a golfer and have watched televised golf for 40 years. Losing Feherty would be no loss at all.
Ditto. Good summary. Jonathan's posts are always solid with specific detail. Left leaning, obviously and appropriately, but much more journalistic and informative than typical for a site like this, without blindly shoving a preference or agenda.
Very good diary, one of the most interesting concepts I've seen.
I feel fortunate to have made a profit on both the primaries and general election, since I certainly got plenty wrong.
* Right -- John Edwards, who I supported in 2004 and early this year, would be far less of a factor in 2008, not even close to the top two, regardless of how he fared in Iowa
* Wrong -- Hillary had enough foundational advantage through the women's vote and older voters to hold off Obama for the nomination
* Right -- in 2007 I posted that Obama had so much star power and enthusiastic supporters that he was probably understated in polling, and those numbers would soar once actual voting commenced
* Wrong -- I didn't think that star power would translate to 90+% among blacks against Hillary, and in the spring I partially fell for the nonsense that Hispanics wouldn't fully support a black candidate
* Right -- Hillary would win New Hampshire, courtesy of long term support. I always downplay late surges
* Wrong -- I was caught up with a family medical situation at the time, and didn't have any idea Hillary and Mark Penn were dense enough to essentially bypass all the par 3 caucuses and primaries. So after Super Tuesday I briefly still thought Hillary was in good shape
* Right -- I correctly wagered that Obama's primary surge was misapplied on Intrade in states like California and Ohio, where his percentage of success was severely lower than speculators wanted to believe
* Wrong -- I tried the same theory in the general election and missed narrowly on Indiana and North Carolina, wagering on McCain. I did win big on McCain in West Virginia and Georgia at bargain rates, but losing two state wagers still stings. I can't remember the last statewide wager I lost.
* Right -- Even when sites like 538 were briefly trying to pretend McCain was the legit favorite in September, I played Obama four times on Intrade, including at nice underdog rate. No chance the situational advantage toward Democrats in 2008 was that flimsy, flicked aside by momentum coming out of a convention.
* Wrong -- From 2006 through the bulk of 2008 I always believed the popular vote would be relatively close, within 2-4 points, since open races are historically tight. Not until the economic collapse did I begin to accept we could win handily, but I still expected closer to 5 than 7.
* Right -- My best assertion throughout 2008 was the extended primary was an overwhelming benefit. I'm still astonished it was handicapped as anything but that. Rachel Maddow whined for months that, "McCain is the beneficiary...it makes him the November favorite, blah blah, blah."
* Wrong -- I thought Obama would fare better among white women, losing 53-46. I expected a 2-4 point deficit
* Right -- Alaska and Georgia always overstate Democrats in pre-election polling. I've posted that dozens of times over the years including frequently this year. Imagine my hilarity when those two states, among all, were shouted at for supposedly spitting out suspicious results. Newsflash: they are only suspicious if you are dense enough to take their polling margins at face value without understanding the historical failures of Alaska and Georgia polling.
* Wrong -- I thought Reverend Wright would be oft exploited by the GOP during the fall campaign
* Right -- Even though I supported Hillary I always said Obama could win Florida, even when Obama's earliest supporters, including many native Floridians, were insisting he could not. That state is a classic swing state with roughly 21% liberals and 33% conservatives, mirroring the nation. That aspect easily trumps negative subjectivity stemming from 2000 and 2004.
* Wrong -- I didn't think the Party ID edge would be as wide as it turned out, 39-32. My Excel model used +5 for months and I reluctantly moved it up to +6 in the final few days.
Lastly, here's something RIGHT toward 2010. We need to prioritize governorships. That's still not properly understood by the netroots. There is too damn much emphasis on the senate on sites like this. Governorships may be less sexy, and not many governors are high profile like senators, but they build the foundation of the party. In 2010 the dynamic may be quite similar to 2002, when a lousy economy forced voters to reject the recent party holding the governor's mansion, if an incumbent was not there to state his/her case. Many big states are vulnerable on our end if that holds up again, like Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Intrade and elsewhere are a bitch since that jackass Frist stuck the anti-gambling bill to the must-pass Port Security bill at literally the last hour in '06. I don't want to say too much but there are workarounds. You can check the gaming forums at Covers.com for tips.
I have no idea how Hillary can sleep, knowing that Mark Penn's incompetent strategy, presumably approved by herself and her husband, forfeited the presidency. Nothing serious.
I'm a big fan of Obama now, but I would have loved for him to fall just short in the primaries. It would have been kind of amusing for all the energy and cash and netroots fanaticism to be narrowly denied. That's exactly how I felt in 2000, when you might remember Bush raised and spent surreal monetary level based on previous standards.
Actually, I neglected to mention a new variable, term limits within the legislature. The senators who won this cycle are safe for four years. But many senators are term limited out in 2010. That is newly significant here in Nevada, starting to have impact after being passed in '96. The limit is 3 terms of four years. This cycle several candidates were intending to run but the ruling came down late in the primary season that they were already term limited out. In 2010 we'll have to rely on new candidates to hold the narrow margin in the senate. Seven senators will be term limited out. I just remembered that. But at this hour I can't find the specifics, including the breakdown by party.