Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hillary Spotting (10/4/07)

Yes, that title is a concession that even I cannot come up with endless pithy headlines for Hillarian posts. It's either that or Blogger upgrades their platform to Movable Type quality so I can have subject categories. I guess you really do get what you pay for.

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After two terms of a white liberal as their mayor, the voters of Oakland, California opted for a black Marxist instead - and, incredibly, they're already developing a galloping case of buyer's remorse:
After less than a year in office, the bloom appears to be fading fast on Mayor Ron ["Red"] Dellums' rose - with a new survey finding Oaklanders deeply divided over his leadership and only modestly confident in his ability to stem the city's crime problem.

When five hundred likely Oakland voters were asked by pollster David Binder to rate the mayor's performance on key issues on a scale of 1 to 10 - with 10 scoring high - Dellums scored a 3.8 on crime, 3.7 on improving education, 4.2 on providing housing and 4.3 on economic development...

... A troublingly high 42% believe the new mayor is all talk and no action.

And while 58% still have a generally favorable view of Dellums, just 45% of those surveyed said they would vote for him today.
Hmmm; if Dellums had spent this year as a man of action more than a man of talk, would Oaklanders view him more favorably, or, given the disastrous results his city soviet would be generating, would they be gathering torches and pitchforks to lynch him instead?

You know what they say: a gutless radical is a dead radical. Politically speaking, in Dellums' case.

Which means that Hillary most likely purchased his endorsement at a substantial discount.

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Polling continues to roll in indicating that Mrs. Clinton will be a huge down-ticket drag on vulnerable "red"-state Democrat congresscritters:
Another item to add to our discussion of the Hillary effect on red state and vulnerable Democrats in lower offices: this poll from the Latino Policy Coalition, discussed on OpenLeft, of voters in 31 House districts with freshman Democrats....

The Democratic House members still lead against generic Republican challengers, 51% to 32%. That’s neither great news nor bad for Democratic incumbents; as usual, it will depend on the quality of the challenger....[but] asked a question that begins with [an] anti-Hillary argument, the numbers shifted some, with 47% preferring the named Democratic incumbent to 41% for the unnamed Republican challenger.
The strategy for Republican challengers in these thirty-one House districts - actually, in pretty much ANY congressional race - suggests itself: run against Hillary. Hard. And try your damndest to tie your opponent to her big, fat ass.

This gambit especially applies to Dixie:

...any Democratic ambitions for bigger Southern gains are tempered by the fact that they will have to play serious defense in a few of their own districts. These include at least three held by Democratic incumbents who took over Republican-held seats under highly unusual circumstances in 2006: Tim Mahoney, who captured Florida’s 16th District seat after long-entrenched Republican Representative Mark Foley’s career collapsed in scandal; Nick Lampson, who won the strongly Republican-leaning 22nd District of Texas after its once-powerful Republican representative, Tom DeLay, resigned under an ethics cloud; and Ciro D. Rodriguez, who narrowly ousted Republican Representative Henry Bonilla in Texas’ 23rd District after a court-ordered redistricting made it more favorable to the Democrats.

Democrats also will again have to go all out to protect two of their incumbents from neighboring districts in Georgia, Jim Marshall of the 8th District and John Barrow of the 12th, who won by the smallest margins among all Democratic House incumbents seeking re-election across the nation in 2006.
"Bigger Southern gains"? With Hillary topping the ticket, try "minimize their Southern losses while trying to offset them elsewhere."

"Elsewhere" may not include the mountain west:

The New York senator and Democratic front-runner was by a wide margin the most unpopular of 13 potential presidential candidates in Montana, according to a June survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research for the Billings Gazette; 61% said they would not consider voting for her, compared with 49% who would not vote for former North Carolina Senator John Edwards and 45% who would not vote for Illinois Senator Barack Obama. The most unpopular Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, was rejected by 51%.

Recent polls in Colorado, Nevada and Arizona have found similar distaste for Clinton."

She's carrying huge negatives out here," said Floyd Ciruli, an independent Colorado pollster who said Democratic congressional candidates would have to highlight their differences with the national party to be successful next year. "It's that liberal East Coast image that is so hard to sell in the West."

All the GOP needs is sixteen seats to take back the House. With numbers of prospective "in-play" seats bouncing around in the thirties with her Nib as the Donk standardbearer, 2008 starts looking a little less bleak.

These mountain west polls also suggest that our man Mitt may be suffering from that same "liberal East Coast image." Presumeably Rudy Giuliani would as well, although probably not as much due to his high national profile. Whereas Fred Thompson would seem to be ideally placed to run the table in both the West and the South.

Just some food for nominatory thought, the garnish of which is that there is no advantage so overpowering that Republicans still can't figure out a way to squander it.