Who really wants a campaign fought on TV anyway? I'm all for levelling the playing field for no other reason than why must I in California have to suck it up and never see a candidate in person? Why can't these pols figure out that retail politics, debates, and using established social networks like churches, unions, and clubs combined with the Internet can help eradicate the big money in politics schtick.
New Hampshire has it right...campaigns should be fought on the street at eye-level. This might be the only way to end the Permanent Campaign bullshit which has affected us since Carter.
Don't look at generic polls. Find districts currently held by Republicans where the Democratic challenger's lead is not inside the margin of error. Count the districts...right now I am not finding 15...maybe 10 but not 15...
Yes, the Republicans are closing the gap. And they are doing it because they have the best political machine in history after Tammany Hall.
But it's no secret that Charles Schumer, Rahm Emmaneul and Howard Dean can't get along in strategy. And why should they, all these men have very big goals from Dean potentially running again in 2012 after Hillary flames out in '08 to Rahm imagining himself as Speaker of the House after he finds a way to pin electoral defeat on Nancy Pelosi.
The "culture of corruption" was something Rahm was totally pushing for a long time...telling people...."what we want to talk about in '06 is Jack Abramoff". But what he wasn't counting on was a) William Jefferson apparently being on the take to equal Bob Ney and then the Black Caucus arching their back over it...and b) that Iraq was going to collapse this badly.
Suddenly the antiwar Democrats have all the momentum and that's bad news for Hillary and hence...Emmanuel has kept his yap shut. Also complicating things is that the high gas prices, the immigrant marches, sunspots, etc. all have abated leaving much of the debate on security and Iraq.
And no one is running on reform here, the position of the Democrats beforehand was just to go "P.U." when looking at Michael Scanalon, Abramoff et alia.
The Democrats are going to do well at the state level this year and help continue to build momentum and promise for real progressive change that is needed. But the effort because of the Rahm/Dean feud (which really goes back to Terry McAuliffe's envy of Dean's incredible fundraising prowess with small donors) for the federal level might be futile this year.
And if so, most of the posters here are right including Sirota: it's because the Dems won't use confrontational tactics and ads to question the GOP Congress. And perhaps that unwillingess to spill milk is same reason we are bogged down in Iraq, seemingly forever.
It's a bit of a reach though to use 1994 as a comparison.
Don't forget that the Republicans have been very consistent in gerrymandering districts over the past 12 years. The other thing is that most of the socioeconomic upheaval has not been within states but between the coasts and the heartland. A few states are having significant realignments like Virginia but otherwise...it's a like Rahm says...they are picking a lock.
Oh and don't forget the "HillaryCare" fallout in 1994. By extension, Bush would have to push a policy that the Republican Congress would have to repudiate directly not simply abandon. As of yet...that hasn't happened.
I'm struck by how few seats the Democrats actually have outside the margin of error. Moreover, Cook's polling indicates that the pick up in seats would be 13....two short of a majority in the House.
However, Chris is right to smell that something is fishy with the 94% Caucasian number. I suspect it is because (as others have mentioned) there may be no accounting for Latinos as being anything but Caucasian. It's not surprising that in some of these districts the population of blacks and Asian-Americans might be low enough to justify the 94% number.
But I'd also venture that in districts like VA-02 you probably have a lot of blacks who are barred from voting because of convictions on drug charges solely by virtue of being younger. You see, the black electorate is actually pretty old...and part of the reason it doesn't get replaced quickly is that blacks stopped having children in the 80s and 90s at the pace they did earlier in the century. But it's also clear that disenfranchisment through drug convictions has been enormously effective.
Therefore it's not that the white population is magically growing across America...it's that the electorate in real terms in shrinking, but that younger voters tend to be much more Caucasian than they were 20 years ago. Given Kerry's giant edge with young people, this seems to make even more sense: if population growth is coming from disenfrachised parts of society (either because of criminal law or immigration law) it's only natural for whites to have a near monopoly on votes in these swings districts.
This is just more evidence that America is set for a decline in population and a host of political and economic concerns heretofore never seen in the US before, but relevant nonetheless.
I love these people who think Clark is there to win it all. He's HRC's running mate and nothing more. Warner and Feingold are likely the most viable characters with Hillary in the mix because of her money.
Hagel is a real Republican. That is the Democrats' problem in '08. He has the fo-po creditenals to offer an alternative to Bush but he's not exactly a dream for progressives. This is guy I would be most worried about...more than McCain.
The thing is, we had an age of "World War" which really didn't invovle the whole world. Then an age of "Cold War" which often included lots of hot conflicts in the developing nations. And now we have a "War on Terror" which is not really about terrorism as much as it is about American supremacy in the world.
Sure, Islamic extremists are very well funded at the moment and have been doing a great job of attacking our economic and political interests here and abroad. But it's not like they are the only ones who feel this way, and it's not like getting rid of them really fixes the problem.
That being, America is finding out just how uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.
Uh Antonio and Newsom are brawling for the Statehouse in '10. However, my guess is that it doesn't happen because Angelides wins in '06. Newsom is young enough to wait, Antonio might try for the Sentate but his problem will be that if Schwarzenegger is kicked out in '06 he might challenge Antonio for mayor of LA in '09.
Hawaii is a machine politics state. There is no need to motivate voters. The partisans show up punch tickets and leave. The problem is that immigration by whites into the state allowed Lingle to organize them around her idea of what the state should look like. The Dem machine lost.
This is why Akaka and Inouye have been around for so long, without effective bosses, machine politics doesn't work real well.
When you have a close race and the insurgent candidate wins-- oh baby now suddenly people who aren't sure if voting against the war as a strategy would work think it's possible.
People who didn't think the campaign could be won in '02 or '04 now think opportunity knocks.
Simply put, the Democrats are in good shape by dumping Lieberman. If the message is "throw the bums out" careerist, meandering politicans are going to have the roughest ride as incumbents. The hard core ideolouges with clearly defined messages will survive. Lamont is just another bullet in the clip to decimate the Republican "do-nothing" Congress.
None of the Republicans in office are losing their primaries, they are afraid of making the party's position stronger than themselves. Lieberman didn't do willingly, but his defeat may in fact redeem the Democrats and ressurect their fortunes. Tester is the same way.
I lived in Hawaii at the time of the governor's race in '02. Essentially, Case did not have the backing of the labor unions as strongly as Maize Hirono did. However, and this will surprise you, the Republican victory by Lingle was an accident. Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris got his huge political capital tied up in a scandal and Case suddenly ran for it.
Before the election though, Patsy Mink, who then represented the areas outside of "town" central Honolulu died. But her condition was kept secret so as to prevent the need to name a new candidate on the ballot who might have also lost. Case ran and won in a special election.
Case has always been an upstart because he fears that many of Hawaii's decaying politicians like Akaka and Inouye will die in office without successors. Obviously, that's Lingle's bet and why she has sought re-election this year for governor instead of challenging Akaka outright.
However, Republicans haven't been too successful statewide office in Hawaii outside of Lingle, so it's hard to say that this primary means much of anything.