Wednesday, November 09, 2005

As predicted, Bush is a loser

posted by Rob at 1:19 PM

Last Friday I posted that Dem wins in Tuesday's elections would be spun as a loss for Bush. Sure enough, the media is full of stories carrying this theme.

Best of the Web offers a strong rebuttal to the thoery:
It's normal for the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races to be subject to overinterpretation by political junkies, who go through withdrawal every odd-numbered year and are desperate for a fix. But in truth, they have not been reliable bellwethers, as evidenced by the preceding four
As a sample of the bias, consider the New York Times which reports "In Virginia, Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, defeated the Republican, Jerry W. Kilgore, sending a powerful message that President Bush's political standing had fallen in this reliably Republican state."

Memo to the Times - This "reliably" Republican state is exchanging one Democrat governor for another.

As The New York Post's John Podhoretz notes, "Bush won Virginia by eight points in 2000, too--and the following year Democrat Mark Warner became governor with a 5-point margin of victory. "

ABC News uses the election news to highlight a poll on the 2006 mid-term elections, which are now less than a year away. It notes that "if the election were today, registered voters would favor the Democrat in their congressional district by 52 percent to 37 percent."

Before your grab your throat in shock, note the next line (emphasis mine) - "That 15-point margin is numerically the biggest for the Democrats since an ABC/Post poll in September 1984 (they ultimately lost 14 seats), although about the same as a 14-point Democratic lead in one poll in 1996 (when they gained nine)."

Both elections cited - '84 and '96 - were "on year" elections and had a presidential incumbent on the ballot. That will not be the case in 2006. Also notice that, for the first time in a couple of generations, the 2008 election will likely feature candidates who have never been president or vice president.

The 2006 elections should - if the parties are smart - be used as a springboard to 2008. It will be a chance to build a campaign and a character. Issues will be debated. Policies will be advocated. It should be a national argument.

What will the Dems be arguing? Bush LIED!! Scooter leaked! Delay is mean! That's all they scream now and have been screaming for months.

It's nice you retained two "local" seats, but you're gonna need a message to actually win a new one.


Post a Comment

<< Home