Massachusetts

Post primary polling data positive news for Democrats

As statistically indicated, the Democratic Party WILL lose seats in the upcoming midterms.  No one questions this - not now and not in any midterm election.  Cases where the majority gained seats in a midterm are aberrant.  But the picture improved for the Democratic Party given the results of the primaries, primarily because the Right elected a handful of candidates that, like them or not, have thrown a number of races that were a slam dunk for Republicans back into the "leaning Democratic" category. 

There are several other variations on this theme, but the bottom line is that in yesterday's Senate Rankings at fivethrityeight.com, the meta-polling picture improved for the Democratic Party, who now is more likely than not to hold onto 55 seats.  The Republican Party's chances to take the Senate remains at about 6%.  And a lot depends on which party Charlie Crist caucuses with should he win the FL seat (which looks increasingly likely). 

Here's the goods from the dean of polling data:  http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/06/senate-forecast-after-primaries-picture.html

Let's be Frank: We can beat Barney, but not the MA GOP way

Awhile ago I suggested it was time to focus on some high value targets for 2010 in the wake of the Scott Brown victory. 

Barney Frank comes immediately to mind.  He's vocal. He's liberal to the core. And he was wrapped around the failed financial regulatory agenda of the past decade that led to the collapse of the housing industry and the financial markets.

Really, If the public is outraged over Bailout Nation, it would seem they would have little use for the guy whose lax lending agenda created the necessity for bailouts and then was the architect of the bailouts themselves.

Frank's gerrymandered district was until January 19, 2010, thought of as a Democratic stronghold. Then something funny happened. It was carried by Scott Brown.

I also note Frank doesn;t seem prepared for a serious challenge as he only has $400K COH, an advantage one good moneybomb could quickly erase.

So the elements are there for a really hot fire. The problem here is upon review of the Brown performance, it was strongly due to an outstanding showing in a blue collar region 50 miles from Frank's home base. This should be an opportunity. But unless conservative or Republican activists jump in here and make something happen it will be a wasted opportunity.   

 The two candidates thinking now about challenging Frank are perennial candidate Earl Sholley and newbie Keith Messina.  

Neither's gonna get it done.

Sholley's tried before with dismal results. He got 24% in 2008, running behind John McCain even in his own hometown.  Morevover his persona--born in PA 60 years ago; owner of a horticulture business in a small suburb; known for lots of lawsuits--doesn't suggest he has a big upside in an ethnic Democratic district.  No matter how  revved the Tea partiers get over him; there's not enough of them to win here.

Messina lacks controversy, but his website offers little sense he's tied in enough to this district to unseat a 30 year incumbent.

We need a new candidate here

Someone who can exploit Frank's deficiencies and force him to play defense. Someone with sufficient roots here to "look" the part of an effective representative.

Here's where geography and ethnicity kicks in and we turn the gerrymandering of the 4th District against Barney Frank.

Frank's base is in the close-in, high-income towns next to Boston--Brookline and Newton.  Some of MA's wealthiest and best educated people live here and they would never dare vote for any rebellious Republican. In the Brown-Coakley election these town cast about 55,000 votes with about a 22,000 vote edge for Coakley 

On the other end of the district is the less affluent "South Coast" region around Fall River and New Bedford. The towns adjoining those two cities cast about 63,000 votes and Coakley barely carried the region, based on a 3,000 edge out of New Bedford.   Brown ran well ahead of Mitt Romney is this region, suggesting this area is swinging against the Democrats this cycle. While this area was once America's center of whaling,  it doesn't seem Republican candidates are playing the role of Captain Ahab anymore.

The remainder of the district was strongly pro-Brown, as he broke even in Wellesley, lost narrowly in heavily Jewish Sharon, and crushed Coakley elsewhere in Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth counties, with margins of 2,500 in Taunton, 3,000 in Mansfield, and 2,500 in Foxborough.    

So, we need to find a candidate who can play well on the South Coast.  This is a region that is unique. The largest ethnic group here are Portuguese Americans.  Providence TV covers these communities. And New Bedford and Fall River have their own daily newspapers and radio stations.

And this region and its major ethnic group are forgotten in MA politics. I can find no evidence of a Portuguese American ever winning a MA congressional election. And the last resident of Bristol County to hold a House seat was North Attleboro's Joe Martin who left office in the 1960's.    MA pols tried to address this in a failed 2002 remap to draw a new House district; but it would have caused an existing seat in the Merrimack Valley to disappear and the plan failed.

Back in 1982 a much younger Barney Frank campaigned hard when this region was added to the district and won their votes.  Can an entrenched incumbent explain that 28 years later this area is still economically troubled--and it's not his fault?  Can a an urban social liberal bring back ethnic blue collar voters to the Democratic line?

Can he do this if we run a young, appealing Portuguese American lawyer or businessman from the South Coast against him?

I know "what" the candidate here would look and sound like. I admit. I don't have a name.

That's where the MA GOP and the conservative activists need to step up. We need to find this person.  

I'm reasonably convinced that if we find my South Coast candidate Frank's numbers in the region will be held down sufficiently that we will have a reasonable shot of victory. (While Martha Coakley did many things wrong, leaving votes on the table in Brookline and Newton wasn't her problem; she pretty much topped out for a Democrat in a contested race there.) 

We will need to fund our target candidate  of course, and find a way to bypass Sholley and Messina. So inertia is not an option.   

And I'm not saying it's going to be easy. But Frank--due to his high profile, his atrophied campaign apparatus, and his acerbic persona--is going to be worth it.  

The question is: do we just want to kvetch about how Barney Frank burned down our financial house or do we want to do something productive to hold him accountable for his debacle.

I'm for getting to work. Anyone got a list of lawyers in Fall River for me to vet? 

Wrentham > Hollywood

Scott Brown was an obscure suburban lawyer/legislator.

Carly Fiorina was the former CEO of one of America's top corporations.

These ads--direct and authentic--are why Brown is getting sworn into the U.S. Senate tomorrow. Voters get a clear , unfiltered sense of what Brown's message is 

This art house web ad, is why Fiorina probably won't get to the Senate. To the extent it conveys useful information about her opponent, it's lost in bizarre metaphors.

This is part of the reason not to recruit self-funders; they seem enamored of expensive creativity that just doesn't work, like this nonsense from Ned Lamont in 2006.

We need a lot more Wrentham in our 2010 campaigns and a whole lot less Hollywood.

Implementing the "435 District strategy"--the High Value Enchanced Inquistion plan

In the wake of the Massachusetts Miracle we have achieved far more than even I dreamed possible. I had hoped for a serious scare and some recriminations on the part of the Democrats, not a shattering of party unity and confidence.  

Now what?

Well, I'm told that the GOP is going to "fight everywhere" this year. But not all fights are created equal.  Barring cash in an incumbent's  freezer, once a district gets to D+20 CPVI there's really no path to a Republican victory. And while some back bench incumbents may be weak reeds, it's rather likely that unlike Martha Coakley, they will go down quietly and with little notice from the public. A Zack Space meltdown in Zanesville, OH is not likely to make the national wires.

What the GOP should set aside some resources for is to call out the loudest, most partisan and least appealing leaders of the Democratic senate and house caucuses.  We know who they are. They are the ones who react like stuck pigs to being challenged. They are the ones whom we can readily point to a paper trail of advocacy for deficits, government intervention, and crony dealing.   And these are the people whom we can readily define as the Democratic party for swing voters.   

By their vociferous counterattacks, they will do our job of defining the opposition for us.  Their colleagues in swing districts and purple states will try to win their re-elections based on incumbency and alleged centrism; this plan is designed to make that strategy unworkable for any Democrat.

Some of these people are already "on the list"--Harry Reid and John Murtha.  My plan is to wxpand the list to folks in D+10 plus constituencies, since in the wake of Scott Brown, these seats are no longer locks in the present environment.

The chances that any of these seats actually "flip" to the GOP is still remote. I believe the recruitment of serious candidates and the allocation of resources is still wise for a number of reasons. It will drive the narrative in less high profile seats and force moderates to defend the leadership party line. It will conversely, cause the Democrats to hoard their cash to play defense and cause them to triage their less senior members in swing seats.  Finally, since these folks are easily identified villains to the Right, there's the possibility to drop moneybombs in these places.

Here's my list:

Chuck Schumer

Schumer defeated an obscure GOP assemblyman badly in 2004 in what was a non-campaign. Since then he's been enbolden to play partisan bomb thrower and is one of the  happiest Democrats to lambaste "teabaggers" for the temerity to question Washington.  Schumer is probably one of the most anti-gun and pro-abortion politicians ever elected to office, and has treated Wall Street as an ATM for his campaign warchest. Needless to say this isn't quite the agenda every New Yorker applauds--his recent poll ratings have slipped.

Schumer is still a heavy favorite, but two things make this more than an exercise in wish fulfillment. First is Schumer' arrogance, which may remind voters of disgraced former Governor Eliot Spitzer. Second is the demographics of the off-year NY electorate, where Upstate casts a higher percentage of the vote--indeed, nearly half.

Larry Kudlow (whom I thought was still a CT resident) is thinking about this race. But has anyone thought that an upstater associated with the Tea Party--like Doug Hoffman--might send Chuck into orbit?   

Steny Hoyer

Hoyer is Nancy Pelosi's second in command. Unlike San Fran Nan, he actually represents some Republicans in his suburban Maryland district which is only D+11.   As it is in the Washington, DC media market it's not a cheap district to run in, but any misstep by Hoyer will be promptly reported by the national press.  Hoyer will have to explain his party's agenda in a district which contains many of the same sort of outer suburban communities that were Scott Brown strongholds in MA. Good luck, Steny.

Barney Frank

Chris Dodd is gone, but the other architect of the ruinous subprime mortgage bubble, Barney Frank, thinks he's going to coast to re-election. Perhaps he'd best look at the voting results in MA 4 as it appears his district was carried by Scott Brown.  MA 4 is a D+14 district but it is a gerrymandered mess which includes areaas far from Frank's base inside Route 128. These communities--even the blue collar ones--turned hard against the Democrats in the special election.

I'll explain in more detail, but the key to making this seat truly competitive is candidate recruitment and pushing aside a perennial candidate who simply doesn't "fit" this district in favor of one who could peel off a critical region from Frank.  

Henry Waxman

Henry Waxman is probably the one member of Congress most directly responsible for the decline of America's industrial vigor.  As chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee he is single handedly responsible for pressing forward on a multifront regime of regulation and government edicts.   He also was foursquare for the government takeover of health care enbodied in the House's "public option" bill.

His district includes Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Malibu so we can be sure the entertainment industry will shell out to give him around. That said, money he gets can't go to Indiana or new Jersey.  His district also now includes large chunks of the San Fernando Valley where a political agenda based on middle class concerns might well receive a receptive response. 

It's pretty clear we would need a very libertarian minded candidate to get an audience here. That said, a "cool" Republican would draw attention to the party and draw attention away from older socially conservative white men in the Red States. And a credible campaign against Waxman--inagine Republican lawn signs on Brentwood hillsides--would be magnified in the national media.

I cna think of less notorious Democrats like New York's Gary Ackerman or CT's Rosa DeLauro who have baggage, atropried campaign skills and districts with appreciable Republican activity. But the bigger point here is to draw out the loudest and least  persuasive advocates for Democratic control of government.

The Democrats made sure they got Jesse Helms a tough race every cycle hoping for a meltdown. Now it's our turn.   

 

Implementing the "435 District strategy"--the High Value Enchanced Inquistion plan

In the wake of the Massachusetts Miracle we have achieved far more than even I dreamed possible. I had hoped for a serious scare and some recriminations on the part of the Democrats, not a shattering of party unity and confidence.  

Now what?

Well, I'm told that the GOP is going to "fight everywhere" this year. But not all fights are created equal.  Barring cash in an incumbent's  freezer, once a district gets to D+20 CPVI there's really no path to a Republican victory. And while some back bench incumbents may be weak reeds, it's rather likely that unlike Martha Coakley, they will go down quietly and with little notice from the public. A Zack Space meltdown in Zanesville, OH is not likely to make the national wires.

What the GOP should set aside some resources for is to call out the loudest, most partisan and least appealing leaders of the Democratic senate and house caucuses.  We know who they are. They are the ones who react like stuck pigs to being challenged. They are the ones whom we can readily point to a paper trail of advocacy for deficits, government intervention, and crony dealing.   And these are the people whom we can readily define as the Democratic party for swing voters.   

By their vociferous counterattacks, they will do our job of defining the opposition for us.  Their colleagues in swing districts and purple states will try to win their re-elections based on incumbency and alleged centrism; this plan is designed to make that strategy unworkable for any Democrat.

Some of these people are already "on the list"--Harry Reid and John Murtha.  My plan is to wxpand the list to folks in D+10 plus constituencies, since in the wake of Scott Brown, these seats are no longer locks in the present environment.

The chances that any of these seats actually "flip" to the GOP is still remote. I believe the recruitment of serious candidates and the allocation of resources is still wise for a number of reasons. It will drive the narrative in less high profile seats and force moderates to defend the leadership party line. It will conversely, cause the Democrats to hoard their cash to play defense and cause them to triage their less senior members in swing seats.  Finally, since these folks are easily identified villains to the Right, there's the possibility to drop moneybombs in these places.

Here's my list:

Chuck Schumer

Schumer defeated an obscure GOP assemblyman badly in 2004 in what was a non-campaign. Since then he's been enbolden to play partisan bomb thrower and is one of the  happiest Democrats to lambaste "teabaggers" for the temerity to question Washington.  Schumer is probably one of the most anti-gun and pro-abortion politicians ever elected to office, and has treated Wall Street as an ATM for his campaign warchest. Needless to say this isn't quite the agenda every New Yorker applauds--his recent poll ratings have slipped.

Schumer is still a heavy favorite, but two things make this more than an exercise in wish fulfillment. First is Schumer' arrogance, which may remind voters of disgraced former Governor Eliot Spitzer. Second is the demographics of the off-year NY electorate, where Upstate casts a higher percentage of the vote--indeed, nearly half.

Larry Kudlow (whom I thought was still a CT resident) is thinking about this race. But has anyone thought that an upstater associated with the Tea Party--like Doug Hoffman--might send Chuck into orbit?   

Steny Hoyer

Hoyer is Nancy Pelosi's second in command. Unlike San Fran Nan, he actually represents some Republicans in his suburban Maryland district which is only D+11.   As it is in the Washington, DC media market it's not a cheap district to run in, but any misstep by Hoyer will be promptly reported by the national press.  Hoyer will have to explain his party's agenda in a district which contains many of the same sort of outer suburban communities that were Scott Brown strongholds in MA. Good luck, Steny.

Barney Frank

Chris Dodd is gone, but the other architect of the ruinous subprime mortgage bubble, Barney Frank, thinks he's going to coast to re-election. Perhaps he'd best look at the voting results in MA 4 as it appears his district was carried by Scott Brown.  MA 4 is a D+14 district but it is a gerrymandered mess which includes areaas far from Frank's base inside Route 128. These communities--even the blue collar ones--turned hard against the Democrats in the special election.

I'll explain in more detail, but the key to making this seat truly competitive is candidate recruitment and pushing aside a perennial candidate who simply doesn't "fit" this district in favor of one who could peel off a critical region from Frank.  

Henry Waxman

Henry Waxman is probably the one member of Congress most directly responsible for the decline of America's industrial vigor.  As chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee he is single handedly responsible for pressing forward on a multifront regime of regulation and government edicts.   He also was foursquare for the government takeover of health care enbodied in the House's "public option" bill.

His district includes Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Malibu so we can be sure the entertainment industry will shell out to give him around. That said, money he gets can't go to Indiana or new Jersey.  His district also now includes large chunks of the San Fernando Valley where a political agenda based on middle class concerns might well receive a receptive response. 

It's pretty clear we would need a very libertarian minded candidate to get an audience here. That said, a "cool" Republican would draw attention to the party and draw attention away from older socially conservative white men in the Red States. And a credible campaign against Waxman--inagine Republican lawn signs on Brentwood hillsides--would be magnified in the national media.

I cna think of less notorious Democrats like New York's Gary Ackerman or CT's Rosa DeLauro who have baggage, atropried campaign skills and districts with appreciable Republican activity. But the bigger point here is to draw out the loudest and least  persuasive advocates for Democratic control of government.

The Democrats made sure they got Jesse Helms a tough race every cycle hoping for a meltdown. Now it's our turn.   

 

Winds of Change in Massachusetts

Scott Brown's victory last Tuesday was probably the greatest political upset in recent memory.  A Republican Party that was pronounced all but dead and an ideological movement that was said to have no appeal outside of Souther white guys was able to win Ted Kennedy's Senate seat based on the explicit disavowal of his greatest policy wish, a day before the one year anniversary of Barack Obama's inauguration.  While the result of the race was based mostly on a rejection of the Obama administration's health care plan, it is worth considering how much can be attributed to the state itself.  It is more interesting than it would appear at first because, secretly, Massachusetts isn't quite as liberal as it used to be.

The Avant-Garde of American Liberalism

As late as the 1950s, Massachusetts' Congressional delegation was majority Republican.  But what occurred over the past 100 years was a demographic transition where, over the course of decades, different areas of the state passed from a Yankee majority (and Republican) to an ethnic Catholic majority (and Democratic).  This transition happened at the turn of the last century in Boston, in the Merrimack Valley in the 1910s, Worcester, Springfield, and other industrial cities during the New Deal, the South Shore and university areas in the 50s, and the North Shore, immediate Boston suburbs, and rural Yankeedom in the 1970s.  The watershed year for the state overall was 1952, in which the Senate race pitted the top Yankee family, the Lodges, against the leading Irish Catholic family, the Kennedys.  Old Yankee Massachusetts died when JFK was elected Senator.

The twin pillars upon which Massachusetts liberalism was constructed were the massive, impressive higher education system and the Kennedy family.  Due to its strong commitment to education, Massachusetts had always been in the vanguard of promoting left-leaning change.  But when the middle-class began to flood the higher education system following World War II, a critical mass of liberal college graduates was reached.  These men and women transformed their old line Yankee communities towards embracing the culture of universities.

The Kennedys cast a longer shadow over Massachusetts than any other political dynasty in any other state ever.  There's no need to go into the whole Kennedy legend here, but its real political effect was to put the white, ethnic working-class behind liberalism in a way that didn't develop anywhere else in America.  While their long lost cousins were participating in Hard Hat riots and cheering on Archie Bunker, they lined up behind 60s liberalism.  The only difference between the Boston Brahmins and Joe from Worcester was the locution by which they expressed the common liberal faith.

Beginning in the 1970s, Massachusetts was the most left-wing state in the nation.  It was famous for being the only state to vote for the doomed George McGovern.  From 1960 to 2004, there were 12 presidential elections.  In those year Massachusetts ranked as the following in Democratic percentage of the vote: 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 5th, 22nd (John Anderson won 15 percent, his best state; was Reagan's 3rd worst state), 2nd, 4th, 6th, 1st, 3rd, 1st.  In this time, three Bay Staters were the Democratic standard bearer.

The level of success Republicans had at the governor's level paradoxically was damaging because it wedded them to an outdated Rockefeller / small-town Yankee hybrid Republicanism instead of a Northeastern middle-class conservatism.  It seemed impressive that William Weld won election twice, until you consider that he ran to the left of his 1990 opponent.  Weld even won Cambridge, which gave Coakley over 84 percent of the vote.  The conservative-moderate coalition that would represent the most viable way for a center-right candidate to win did not form, leaving the party with a shallow base.

When revulsion with the Gingrich-era Republican Party hit in the mid-90s, Rockefeller Republicanism was finished, with no suburban / working-class conservative element waiting in the wings.  This led to a crippled party with no Congressional seats and a veto-proof Democratic majority in the state legislature.  Thus, the Republican governor wasn't that effective as a break on liberal policies.  This led to another decade of Massachusetts leading liberalism their way.  Republican registration dropped to between 10-15 percent of the voter population.

Signs of Change

However, Massachusetts is not as liberal as it used to be, at least in comparison to other states.  In an age when liberalism is identified with youth and minorities, Massachusetts is a relatively old and white state.  The Scott Brown triumph was presaged by the Jim Ogonowski campaign in 2007.  In a very bad politcal climate, Ogonowski came within six points of winning a Congressional seat.  It's easy to imagine he would've won in better times for Republicans.  In 2008, despite the Kennedy clan essentially appointing Obama as their heir, Hillary Clinton won the state's Democratic primary by 15 points.  Come general election time, Massachusetts fell to only the 8th best Obama state.  While Kerry was a native, it was very interesting to see no Democratic trend during four years of strong Democratic electoral success.

There are encouraging signs that slowly--very slowly, control of the party is being wrested from 'me-too' bluebloods to moderate conservatives.  Every statewide winner in the past twenty years has been a shade more to the right of their predecessor.  Paul Cellucci was more conservative than Weld, Romney was more conservative than Cellucci, and Brown ran as more conservative than the Massachusetts Mitt.  It is striking how conservative a platform Brown ran on.  His two main themes were explicit oppositon to Obamacare and taking strong measures against terrorism.  His success means that there is no reason for any Massachusetts Republican to shy away from taking conservative stands on these issues.

Scott Brown's election may be nearly as important in ending the Kennedy mythology as in damaging health care reform.  The end of the Kennedy legend means that the electorate can finally adapt to modern left / right politics.  The amount of middle-class and lower middle-class whites who are Democrats is unnatural based on current party demographics.  Shifting these voters over to the right would finally secure the GOP on a firm base.  Massachusetts would remain a definite blue state, but it wouldn't be as overwhelmingly Democrat.  It would look more like Connecticut than Vermont.

Rebuilding

One useful measure of the results map is to figure out where Republicans can't win.  If Brown couldn't do reasonably well in an area, then no Republican has a shot.  Coakley ran not much behind 2008 levels in the Berkshires and the immediate Boston area.  These areas are dominated by ideologically committed white liberals.  They are unwinnable for a center-right party.

Brown's bases of support were in the center of the state, and the North and South Shores.  In MA-5, in which Ogonowski nearly won, Brown won every single city and town.  The district revolves around old industrial cities like Lowell and Lawrence and outer suburbs of Boston of the type that were strong Brown boosters.  Hopefully Republicans look into challenging Tsongas once again.

The Worcester area holds promise.  The second city is much more centrist than Boston.  Brown earned over 47 percent of the vote in the City of Worcester.  He then ran up huge percentages in the surrounding towns and countryside.  This is an area more engaged in industry and small business than high-prestige jobs.  The type of voters Republicans need to convert to full time Republicans are heavily concentrated here.

The South Shore was Brown's best area in the state.  It is the most Irish part of the most Irish of states.  It contains a large middle-class with blue-collar values even if most are not blue-collar themselves.  The receding legacy of the Kennedy family could free these voters up to become relatively Republican.   The 10th district, based on the South Shore, was likely Brown's best Congressional district.  The district has a PVI of D+5, the most favorable in the state.

i think there is some hope for conservatives in the state.  You can't over-interpret the results and declare Massachusetts competitive.  This really was a perfect storm of very favorable national conditions, a very good Republican candidate, and perhaps the worst major campaign in modern times for the Democrat.  But the victory nonetheless reveals a way forward for conservatives within a state that had been permanently written off by Republicans.  It is realistic to believe that a solid center-right candidate can win in some places.  The camapign showed that there is little penalty, and a lot more to gain, by running somewhat more to the right of previous Massachusetts Republicans (but not too far right).  The task now is to build on this potential breakthrough and expand the reach of the party. 

The "bad candidate" excuse

An instant explanation has been advanced by the Left to explain away the beat-down they received in Massachusetts Tuesday.

Well, what do you expect? Martha Coakley was simply a bad candidate

I'm not going to pretend Coakley did a stellar job. Indeed, the last week of her campaign was so full of bizarre gaffes as to wonder if this was Joe Biden after doing really, really bad peyote. But, we are talking about a 100,000 vote clock cleaning.  Prior to Martha deciding to turn her footwear into snack food something had gone wrong for the Democrats in Massachusetts.

The prominent polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies, offered this take on the Coakley collapse.

It’s not all her fault.  It’s the policies she supported that were more to blame.  She won the Democratic primary trouncing her opponents and was clearly the best candidate the party had to offer in the state.  She’d won statewide in convincing fashion.  She was a proven quantity.  And, yet this race wasn’t even close.

After watching Creigh Deeds, Jon Corzine and now Martha Coakley go down in flames, do you really think that the one thing they had in common was that they were below average candidates running sub-par campaigns?

The question I have is: when exactly did Creigh Deeds, Jon Corzine and Martha Coakley become "bad candidates"?

Certaintly not in the primaries. Deeds clobbered two better funded rivals (Terry McAulliffe and Brian Moran) in the VA primary.   Deeds had also faced Bob McDonnell before, and barely lost the 2005 AG race. He then lost to the same opponent for Governor in 2009 and the margin of defeat expanded by a factor of 1000.

 In New Jersey, Jon Corzine hardly broke a sweat dispatching his primary opponents. And while NJ Democrats may have considered swapping him out for Corey Booker, Richard Codey or Frank Pallone, in the end the completely venal NJ Democrats thought Corzine gave them their best chance of victory.

Now Martha Coakley. She was elected Attorney General in 2006 with 73% of the vote. In the Senate race ,she defeated a field of Democratic opponents --including a popular House member and a free spending businessman--convincingly.  

She entered 2010 with a million dollars cash-on-hand and an apparent wide lead in the polls.  So what happened to suddenly make her a "bad candidate"?

Seems the common denominator here is contact with the general electorate, now doesn't it?.

Once the calendar turned to 2010 and Martha Coakley couldn't fall back on the standard liberal bromides, well, she fell apart.  Perhaps she never expected  to be pressed in dark blue MA. But what part of the political environment this year won't inflict this damage on any Democrat whom the Republicans press hard?  

David Plouffe better have the "bad candidate" excuse on his favorites list this cycle. He'll need it. 

One final note. In all three epic losses the Democrats have pursued a strategy of victory by disqualification.  In Virginia, an ancient thesis was supposed to make McDonnell unpalatable; in New Jersey, the Corzine camp sought tp turn the election into a referendum on mammograms, and last week Coakley's thin straw was to allege Scott Brown hated rape victims.

I think even Ray Charles could see a pattern here.

Sure I know the argument about " well, we had to try and win ugly".  Message to Democrats: voters have noticed who's getting ugly. Perhaps that's why the results for your party have been...hmmmm, ugly.

 

United States Senator Scott Brown

 Coakley concedes race to Brown

I have to admit, what I posted sure sounds good about now.

Now back to sipping my Sam Adams Boston Lager!

 

Credit where credit is due

By midnight, we'll know exactly how well the Scott Brown surge worked out. But pundits are already trying to determine "who found Scott Brown". 

Well, I'll do my own chest thumping in due time. But the point is , I simply found what was already there.  So the first person who "found" Scott Brown was the candidate.  There are some things you can't coach, and the ability to do retail politics is one of them.  There may have been rocks lying around the Commonwealth; but it took a skilled candidate to throw them accurately.  Brown wasn't manufactured; he was prepared.

But why did I figure out Brown was up to the task?  Because the bloggers at Red Mass Group  persuaded me.  They spent little time on partisan hyperbole and more time explaining Brown's electoral history (winning a state senate special in 2004 against the national social issue Left) and the dynamics on the ground in MA. Most importantly they confirmed that this was a close analog to the 2007 MA 5 special election, which I was convinced at the time would have been won with sufficient resources,

So, Rob and RMG. you made a believer out of me and I spread the word. The "inside" person who sold Scott was his state GOP chair, Jenn Nassour.  She got people outside MA involved; including CT state chairman Chris Healy.  In mid December, long before anyone noticed, a robust voter contact plan had been formulated which was being executed outside the glitz of the media spotlight.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to have assisted Jenn on this project.

We'll let the voters speak, and hope ACORN doesn't pipe in, but the ball got to the goal line and maybe the folks who brought it down the field deserve a hand.

  

4 Web-savvy Ways to Fight Vote Fraud in Massachusetts

Its been said that Democrats have two growing electoral bases: trial lawyers and voter fraud.

For me, Vote fraud is defined as anyone who illegally casts a vote for a candidate that should not be allowed to vote.

A very common form of vote fraud is voter registration fraud ( Check these links out.  )

Also, John Fund has an excellent book that i highly recommend reading.

Republican candidates who get screwed in elections by Leftist-sponsored/encouraged  voter fraud is so common that its deserving of its own Wylie Coyote routine.

This year, its time we stand up and fight.

So, today we fight back.

And we fight back with Web 2.0.

Here are four simple ways to report voter fraud:

 

Twitter | use #votefraud hashtag

 

YouTube | visit http://www.youtube.com/group/votefraud09

 

 

Flickr | visit: http://www.flickr.com/groups/votefraud

 

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