What I would basically do is creating a ying-yang type of district. I would give some of the hardcore black parts of southside Chicago, which are in the 1st and the 2nd, to Weller. In the process I would then extend the 1st and 2nd to extend in narrow bands out into Will County and Cook County, taking up conservative areas.
The other thing is that the Democrats would have bee more ambitious up in the Bay Area had it not been for Condit's scandal. Pomobo and other Valley Republicans dodged a bullet because of it.
Also I think the Democrats could probably make life tough for Mary Bono by giving her Imperial County and parts of San Diego county currently represented by Bob Filner. However, I'm not sure if there are enough Democratic votes left over to protect Filner and Davis.
Otherwise I'm not sure what else could be done to make a more Democratic-friendly map in CA.
Well I've always thought that IL could easily elimiante several Republicans. Here is what I would do:
IL-6/IL-13: I would throw Judy Biggert and Henry Hyde into one super-Republican district entirely within DuPage County.
IL-6: I would then take what's left of IL-6 and borrow some precincts from Rahm Emmanuel and Luis Guitterez. That makes that seat Democratic friendly.
IL-8: To solidify Melissa Bean I would then have her take a few of Jan Schiakowsky's more liberal precincts and switch with her to give her some heavily Republican parts of Cook County.
IL-10: I would then dramatically change Mark Kirk's district. I would turn into a very narrow coastal district running from the WI to IN border.
IL-11: This district would become closer to Chicago. I would take precincts from Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Bobby Rush and throw them in this district while giving Rush and Jackson the most conservaitve parts of IL-11. Thus Rush and Jackson will go from 80% Democratic districts to 65% Democratic districts. In the process Weller is in a tougher distirct.
Thus, in one stroke, it might be possible to elimiante Hyde, Kirk, and Weller.
Downstate, I am not that sure about. However, I bet that they could also somehow throw Dennis Hastert and Don Manzullo into one district. The could probably also put Ray Lahood and John Shimkus into one district.
Thus, it might also be possible to eliminate one or two downstate Republicans. That could conceivably allow the Democrats to pick up 3-5 seats alone in IL.
I honestly disagree with you, Chris, when it comes to Chuck Pennachio. The man lacked the experience and the stature to be a US Senate candidate. He and Alan Sandals couldn't even muster 20% of the vote against Bob Casey.
Instead of running a postivie campaign, Chris, Chuck attacked Casey more than Santorum. His supporters here and at DKos were really shrill and self-righteous about Chuck.
There were plenty of offices in Bucks County that Chuck could have run for and been viable. He could have run against Mike Fitzpatrick in the 8th district. I think that all of Bucks County's state senators and representatives are Republicans. He could been a formidable candidate for one of those seats. It's a shame that he reached too high up.
I hope that Chuck stays around. I just hope that, in 2008, he tries for something more local. For if he invests time at the local level, builds up his name, then when the next statewide vacancy opens up, he could be more a competetive candidate.
Which, Nader confided to Outside in June, wouldn't be so bad. When asked if someone put a gun to his head and told him to vote for either Gore or Bush, which he would choose, Nader answered without hesitation: "Bush." Not that he actually thinks the man he calls "Bush Inc." deserves to be elected: "He'll do whatever industry wants done." The rumpled crusader clearly prefers to sink his righteous teeth into Al Gore, however: "He's totally betrayed his 1992 book," Nader says. "It's all rhetoric." Gore "groveled openly" to automakers, charges Nader, who concludes with the sotto voce realpolitik of a ward heeler: "If you want the parties to diverge from one another, have Bush win."
Nader had every right to run. He has been running for president since 1992. I never disupted his right to run. Anyone who files the paperwork and pays the final fees can run for president.
"If Nader did not run, there is NO GUARANTEE the Nader voters would not have found some write in to offer or just decided to stay home."
When Nader polled 96,000 votes in Florida, and the official margin separating Bush from Gore was 537 votes, I can reasonably argue that enough Naderites would have voted for Gore. And you also have to figure New Hampshire as well, where Nader's total was more than the difference between Bush and Gore. So while your argument would work theoretically, for it to make sense, EVERY Naderite would have had to stay home or go third party. But polls indicated that enough Naderites at least in FL would have voted for Gore had Nader not been on the ballot.
Nader ran to defeat Gore. He said as much in many speeches and interviews. Nader ran for the explicit reason of defeating Gore. So his campaign wasn't innnocent. From the beginning Nader's intent was clear: to defeat Gore.
"Gore had every chance to attract those voters. Those voters knew that there was a chance Bush could get elected. THose voters had no idea the democrats would get metaphorically raped by the Bushies the next 6 years and not offer much in the way of resistance."
This argument works for the naive, innocent college student or young professional voting for the first or second time. For the high profile celebrities, academics, activists, and enterainers who supported Nader--folks like Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehnreich, Phil Donahue, Corneil West, Tim Robbins, Ted Rall, and others I can't think of--it doesn't. They were all educated enough to know what Bush was going to be like. If they all didn't want Bush, they would have voted for Gore.
"Hopefully, the new movements which, ironically has come about because of Bush's putridness, include such movements as to threaten safe incumbents such as Lieberman. Do you seriously think we would have had the Deans and Feingold rise to prominence if we had 8 years of Gore-Lieberman? Instead of a drastic meltdown, the system would have continued a slow rot. I don't think Gore with Lieberman in tow could have done much to improve the system even if he wanted to."
I'm sorry, but this argument is extremely self-serving. Do you know how many people have suffered as a result of the 2000 election? It's great for you to argue that Bush's election helped "energize" the left, but what about those who have suffered? Bush et al have implemented policies whose damage will take years, if not decades, to reverse. I won't go in depth to explain the effects of what has happened since Bush took ofice. But I have a strong feeling that you aren't one of those who have been directly impacted. It's great to claim that "things will have to get worse before they get better" as long as you aren't the ones who have it "worse". For the rest of us we don't have the luxury of suffering for some long-term abstract political philosophy.
Nader's follwers claimed that by Bush winning there would be a "great awakening" where the "unwashed masses would beg for fogiveness and run to Nader and Greens expressing their 'Mea Culpas'". Given that it is now 2006, that is not going to happen. And frankly this argument works well if you aren't one of the people who will have it "worse".
"But when you blame GOre's loss on Nader, you are disowning that right to stand for election. That shows that you and likeminded people imply that Nader somehow snatched(metaphorically) votes from Gore that was due to him when you have no proof that said voters could have just stayed home. "
Again this argument, while tehcnically correct, is absurd. You can't truly know what every Naderite would have done had Nader not been on the ballot. However, in the case of Florida, I can make a strong argument.
The official margin between Bush and Gore was 537 votes. Nader polled approximately 96,000 votes in Florida.
(537/96,000) X 100 = .559375%
So let's subtract that from 100%-.559375 = 99.440626%
So basically the difference between Bush and Gore amounted to slightly more than .5% of Nader's total votes. While you can technically claim that there is no way to know what the other approximately 99.5% of Nader's voters would have done had he not been on the ballot, for your argument to make sense, ALL of these voters would have had to stay home. And frankly I can reasonably state that the odds are that enough of these voters would have supported Gore to change the final outcome. Polling did indicate that enough of these voters would have supported Gore had Nader not been in the race. So your original argument, while theoretically correct, doesn't make sense either. I can easily claim that more than 538 of Nader's voters would have supported Gore.
Again Nader had every right to run. But he ran under the pretense of defeating Gore. He didn't run for any other reason. And he did achieve his goal in the end.
I would be willing to forgive Nader if he honestly and frankly admitted that he was wrong. I would be willing to even tolerate Nader if he apologized to Gore. But he has done nothing to redeem himself since the 2000 election.
I read the book "Crashing The Party" that he wrote after the election. The book was an ego-trip that rationalized Nader's presidential run and attributes every progressive law advance in the last 30-40 years to Nader. He even made ridiculous explanations to rationalization his Florida campaign stops late in the campaign.
So my original point stands. Nader can go fuck himself. He is partially responsible for the mess that exists today.
With all due respect I'm sick of people trying to rehabilitate or make excuses for Nader. The man honestly stated that he wanted Bush to win. As for the "Democrats who voted for Bush in Florida" that is another intentionally misleading argument to rationalize Nader.
The "Democrats" who voted for Bush most likely haven't supported the party's presidential candidate since 1976, or maybe not even since 1964. They have been voting Republican for president for decades, although they may still vote Democratic at the local level. The only type of "Democrat" that would appeal to them is someone like Zell Miller. And so, to most people here, that type of Democrat would be unacceptable--and rightfully so. So frankly this is a misleading argument meant to somehow rationalize Nader.
What was Gore supposed to do? I think he exhausted every legal means possible. The process was stacked against him from the get-go. The courts and the media were against him. So he did the best he could to get a favorable result.
Nader is more than a "convenient scapegoat". He is partially responsible, if not one of the major reasons, why Gore didn't win the election. I'm sick of people trying to make excuses for him or trying to absolve him of any responsiblity for the 2000 election.
So I stand by my point. Nader can go fuck himself.
I don't have a conciliatory attitude toward him. The man still hasn't admitted that he was wrong. He is partially, if not significantly, responsilbe for Bush being president today.
The man is a dishonest hypocrite. He invests in the same companies through his mutual funds that he attacked Gore for owning. He fired his employees for trying to form a union.
Anyone who ever worked with Nader has parted on negative terms. Nader has made anyone working with endure long hours and crappy pay. When they can't take it any more and more on, he has treated them poorly.
So Nader can truly fuck himself. Maybe if he admitted that he was wrong and apologized to Gore, then I might change my mind. But Nader has done nothing to redeem himself. So he can fuck off.
If she is to win, Paccione is going to have to have to prevent Musgrave from dominating the plains. While most of the vote admittedly is in the Fort Collins/Longmont/Loveland/Fort Morgan/Sterling/Greeley area, if Musgrave can get 70% of the vote or more in the district's rurl areas, Paccione's lead in the urban parts of the district won't be enough to win.
CO-4 is home to some of the MOST Republican counties in Colorado. The counties on the eastern plains vote more like Western Kansas and Nebraska than Colorado. Bush polled margins of 70% or more in most of those counties. In one of two of those counties he polled more than 80% of the vote. If Musgrave racks up simliar numbers there, when these precincts report, the votes will wipe out whatever lead Paccione may have out of Larimer and Boulder counties.
If Paccione can keep Musgrave below 70% in the Plains, perhaps keepin her in the 55-65% range there, she can win. Otherwise she will lose.
But if the NE Democratic Party is going to become competetive as it was back when the state had Exon, Kerrey, and Zorinsky in office, it is going to have to win support of the voters and have a platform that the voters want.