We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, February 25. 2010
California Republican Senate Primary Playing Into Democrat Hands
California Republicans are a minority. Start with that reality. Then see what allows a Republican challenger to a Democrat US Senate incumbent to win.
1. A disliked or tepid campaigner Democrat incumbent.
2. A liked or respected star-quality Republican challenger.
3. Dire economics impelling desire for change.
4. Deemed political chicanery by the incumbent.
5. Enough money to campaign in a big population and area state.
The shape of the Republican primary campaign, thus far, is lacking in taking advantage of favorable factors and is even frittering them away.
Enough said that incumbent Barbara Boxer is one of if not the most liberal among US Senators. That hasn’t stopped her election before.
Still, in this election season of voter revolt against more of the same, and greater agreement with the Republican theme of more government restraint, the early polls are encouraging to Republican chances.
The latest Rasmussen poll has Boxer leading the three Republican viers, Tom Campbell, Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore, by four or five points. Seen as more important than Boxer’s narrow lead is that she is seen as weak, unable to break at or above 50% support in repeated polls.
Credible polling analysts, though Democrat, Nate Silver and Mark Blumenthal examine the worth of depending on that 50% early polling threshold for winning. Silver, looking at the early polls and actual election results for Democrats and Republicans, finds that incumbents usually go on to win even if their early polls are between 45-50%, as are Boxer’s. Blumenthal backs Silver’s analysis.
Re: the points above, Boxer is widely disliked, but she is an avid and able campaigner and able to rely upon a much larger Democrat registration base. There’s no reason to doubt she will garner the many tens of $millions needed for a
That leaves the sorry state of the economy, the most powerful predictor of election results, as tilting against her.
That requires the Republican challenger to be deemed as the viable alternative, not distracted by side issues nor burdened by an offsetting credibility issue.
Out of the blocks, all three qualify. But, they’re all stumbling around the first curve.
DeVore, a state legislator, is knowledgeable, personable, and a reliable conservative. He, however, is in the deep shadow of the better known and well-financed Fiorina and Campbell. His only chance for the nomination is if Fiorina and Campbell destroy themselves or each other. However, the last such challenger to Boxer, former California Secretary of State Bill Jones, was beaten 58-38% in 2004, a wider margin than John Kerry’s 54-44% California win over President Bush. Although Scott Brown won the US Senate seat on January 19, 2010 in liberal Massachusetts by 52-47%, he was not viewed so much as a reliable conservative as a center-right alternative to an inept non-incumbent Democrat. Having the same national issues at work, DeVore is not as strong or appealing to centrists nor facing as weak a Democrat.
Fiorina so far largely relies upon her own money, and she or Campbell may be able to come closer to Boxer’s resources in the general election if seen as real contenders. Fiorina’s political worth is dubious, however. Her self-vaunted tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard actually ended in her being fired for not producing adequate results. Her foray into politics as one of John McCain’s advisors in 2008, ironically saying on MSNBC that “I don’t think John McCain could run a major corporation,” resulted in “Carly will now disappear.” Fiorina issues foreign policy pieties, but a quibble of her practice is her furthering of H-P’s loophole sales to
All that Fiorina has managed to do is show herself as able to be nasty, as she did in the demon sheep attack ad against Tom Campbell, accusing him of being a fiscal conservative in name only. Boxer is, also, a nasty campaigner. Democrats will side with their nasty above Fiorina’s nasty. There is little reason to believe that Fiorina being nasty will appeal to independents who are swayed by accomplishments and civility.
Campbell actually is rated a strong and knowledgeable fiscal conservative, a social issues moderate, and firm on national security, plus speaks in civil tones, with the long record to demonstrate it. These strengths should be and are appealing in current
He has also, however, strayed in a few instances, which is being highlighted by Fiorina (DeVore echoing) and other foes. Although
In 2009, Campbell – who served as
As a Congressman,
As a civil libertarian, and legal academic,
In my observation, Campbell is sometimes excessively swayed by academic concerns over the bottom-line practicalities. Compared to other Republicans, he is no worse and usually better, not to mention better than almost all Democrat politicians on the issues that matter, including Israel.
In particular, it might also be pointed out that Barbara Boxer, Jewish and strong on
Long story short, the way the Republican primary race is running, and its delighted exploitation by Democrats, is detracting from what should, instead, be greater use of the prime economic issues and the many negatives in Boxer’s record and personality. Indeed, it’s worth emphasizing that it is among Boxer’s Democrats that support for
It’s time for the Republican candidates to focus on Boxer. Those who see a greater advantage in retiring Boxer need to as well. Otherwise, the election will be served up to Boxer.
Posted by Bruce Kesler in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects, Our Essays at 17:44 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Tracked: Feb 26, 08:00