Dessert Mirage: In his weekly "Off to the Races" email, everybody's midterm elections expert Charlie "The Confectioner" Cook insists on putting the 2006 vote into a traditional local vs. national framework:
In short, all the major diagnostic indicators that analysts look at to determine what kind of year it will be point to something that looks nothing like the "all politics is local" dynamic that was pretty much the case in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004. This dynamic holds sway in roughly 80 percent of all midterm election years and 90 percent of presidential years. This year looks much more like 1958, 1966, 1974, 1982, 1986 and 1994. In those cases, politics was anything but local. [Emph. added]
Were 1998 and 2002 really "local" years? I remember 1998 being colored by reaction against the zealous Republican prosecution of Bill Clinton in Monicagate. I remember 2002 as being all about national security. Those who refuse to ignore the past are condemned to think it will be repeated! Are there really "local" elections anymore? ... P.S.: "Local" in this year's election has an especially skewed meaning, since the only way the GOP seems to feel it can raise one of its most powerful nationally-appealing issues, immigration enforcement, is by individual House candidates bringing it up in individual races--i.e. locally! If Bush hadn't decided that he loves his semi-amnesty proposal more than he loves Speaker Hastert, that might be different. But as things stand, "local" in 2006 is a term of art often meaning "national"--or rather, meaning "an issue that would have been a national issue if we didn't disagree with our party's leader." ... Which means you can't necessarily use the low national favorability ratings of that leader--or even, maybe, of the Republican party generally--to predict the outcome of the election.... 5:34 P.M. link
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Republicans-- On the March to Stop Bush! It looks as if immigration hard-liner Randy Graf has defeated National Republican Committee favorite Steve Huffman in the Republican primary for Arizona's Eighth District. ... Here's what the Wall Street Journal news account said about the race beforehand:
A victory by Mr. Huffman would signal that even voters concerned about illegal immigration can be persuaded to support a more moderate policy. It would also be a triumph for business groups that are pushing for expanded legal immigration and are accustomed to the business-friendly Mr. Kolbe, who supports a guest-worker program, along with increased border security and a worker-verification system
Sorry! I guess voters concerned about illegal immigration can't be persuaded to support a more moderate policy! (And Huffman even denied he supports the Bush/McCain semi-amnesty "path to citizenship".) ... . ... P.S.: MyDD's Chris Bowersis happy, figuring the conservative Graf will lose in the general, and the seat (currently occupied by Republican Jim Kolbe) will be a Dem "pickup." But if you look at the broad national picture, it's not clear how happy Bowers should be. Isn't this more evidence that opposition to Bush's immigration plan is a powerful base-mobilizer for the GOP? (And not just the base ...) ... Update: Tom Bevan notes the appeal of non-comprehensive immigration reform to rural Democrats in AZ-08. ...11:35 P.M. link
Tellingly Defensive Paragraph of the Day: "I don't have a major reputation for sucking up."--Andrew Sullivan. ... 3:13 P.M.
Jeez, those 9/11 page view counts are off the charts. I should have plugged the magisterial Bloggingheads 9/11 Retrospective. But no, that would be too obvious ...2:22 P.M.
The Couric Conspiracy: As Katie Couric's newscast sinks back into third place, here's a thought: Maybe CBS isn't disappointed. Maybe the hiring of Couric had nothing to do with boosting the ratings for the CBS Evening News, attracting new demographics, blah, blah, blah.Maybe Couric was hired by CBS solely to screw NBC's highly-profitable Today Show! After all, CBS's Les Moonves could somehow get his network back into the lucrative morning-show game--by depriving the dominant competitor of its star--wouldn't that mean a lot more to CBS' bottom line than whether it gets an extra point or two in the shrinking evening news market? ... Wait and see how the Couric-less Today does before you decide whether she was worth $15 million to CBS. ... 1:17 P.M. link