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Monday, October 12, 2009

2009 is About Living to Fight Another Day

Lowell paints a pretty grim picture for us Democrats in this analysis, but I think he's spot on.

He predicts that Deeds will lose by 7 to 8 points and it will bring down some of the close races. Overall, if Lowell's analysis holds, we will still keep some seats and maybe have a few pick ups. But there could be some upsets for Democratic incumbents in districts where Republicans are out spending them. Two districts in particular are worrisome, the 34th, where incumbent Margi Vanerhye faces a very well-funded rightwing extremist, Barbara Comestock. Here, Lowell predicts that Margi will pull it out, though narrowly. Another worrisome spot is the 42nd, where Dave Albo has the cash-on-hand advantage. But Albo also is the one delegate most associated with the hated abusive driver fees from 2007. And Greg Werkheiser lost to Albo by only 4 points in 2005. Still, Werkheiser took the 2007 cycle off and you can't count on anger from two years ago still being that strong. Fact is it has probably dissipated, so Lowell puts this as "slight lean for Albo." But he also says "hang on..."

On a brighter note, Lowell also predicts Mark Keam will beat Jim Hyland in the 35th. Keam has run a strong campaign and has a cash-on-hand advantage here. And he remains optimistic about Scott Surovell who has run a very strong campaign in the 44th. That's a Democratic stronghold and Lowell rates it "likely Democratic retention."

Here is Lowell's overall prediction for this year's election cycle:
To sum up: I see a likely Democratic pickup in the 52nd (Torian), a pretty good shot in the 93rd (Abbott), a possible shot in the 86th (Miller), and a longer shot in the 13th (John Bell). On the other hand, I see possible Democratic losses in the 83rd (Bouchard), possibly even the 34th (Vanderhye), the 51st (Nichols), and/or the 67th (Caputo). On balance, it's looking like a wash on election day, maybe +1 or +2 in either direction, but probably more likely +1 or +2 in the Republican direction if Deeds loses to McDonnell by more than a few points.
I pretty much agree with Lowell. Indeed, I would make an argument that Lowell is being optimistic about our chances.

I'd love it to be different. I know so would Lowell. And I'd love to disagree with him and keep spinning it differently. But at some point, even while continuing to push for progressive change and supporting Democratic candidates as much as I can, as a blogger, I have an obligation - as does Lowell, Ben and every other blogger, to tell our readers the truth and to give them our best, honest analysis of a situation, regardless of how much we dislike that reality.

Bloggers are a hybrid. We are part journalist and part political activists and sometimes those two sides come into conflict. But one thing we should always be is truth tellers. And the truth, sad as it is, is that this is probably not our year. But I've been wrong before.

The best I can honestly offer, however, is that if we don't still get out and work our tails off, it will be much worse. The blow out will be bigger and the losses in the HOD will be bigger. Sometimes you just do damage control and live to fight another day.


vabreeze said...

How about we keep fighting until Nov 3rd?

I understand your argument but there are so many people who have barely begun to focus on the election vs many here in "blogworld" have been at it well before the primary.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

I don't disagree with you VABreeze. This is one time I would be delightedto be wrong. And certainly in the Lt Governor's and AG's race there are a large number of undecideds. I think we ought to be out there every chance we can doing GOTV. Upsets happen. But we can't sugarcoat the situation as it stands right now.

Anonymous said...

Karen im glad that you have seen the light. I have been saying for several months that this was going to be a bad year for the Democrats and you said i was wrong. The RPV will surely send Obama and Kaine thank you cards. Well The Democrats said last Nov. Yes we Did now i say Yes You Did now reap the harvest.

J. Tyler ballance said...

Many of us independent minded voters have been urging Creigh's campaign staff to do more to reach out to the same middle ground voters who put Warner, Webb, and Kaine into office.

Instead, the rented strangers and carpetbaggers who are mishandling Creigh's campaign, have resorted to the pre-Warner tactic of trying to get out the vote among the Trial Lawyers, Teachers, Unions and the most polarizing groups, such as the baby killers and the homosexuals.

Come on! This is Virginia (Vuh-gin-ya) and most voters don't like to talk about baby murder or homo-behavior, and they don't give a damn about Trial Lawyers (unless they need one).

There is STILL plenty of time to have Creigh do some photo ops with key cross over groups. Just a few appearances with the United Daughters of the Confederacy or Sons of Confederate Veterans could help gain the support of many of their 50,000-70,000 members and families. (Hint: George Allen took the UDC and SCV for granted and lost to Mr. Webb.)

Creigh should take a few days off and do photo-ops of him shooting, fishing and perhaps driving a NASCAR-style race car (or maybe even a racing pick-up truck).

From now until election day, the drum needs to be beaten long and hard with the message that Creigh Deeds is a real Virginian who has always stood-up for our citizens, and that Creigh Deeds is the right Man to steer Virginia back onto the road to prosperity, with jobs, jobs and MORE JOBS, for Virginians!

Anonymous said...

J Tyler ballance you are dreaming the Democrats lost the governors race the day Creigh(whats in your wallet)Deeds won the primary. Have you ever wondered how he came from behind to win ?

J. Tyler Ballance said...

Yes, as a matter of fact I have wondered how Creigh came from behind to win, Mr. coward who hides behind, "Anonymous" poster guy.

But that doesn't change the fact that Creigh is the better choice than Pat Robertson's boy, Bob McDonnell to lead Virginia back onto the road to prosperity.

Mr. McDonnell is beholden to the multinational interests. Creigh Deeds will be a Governor who will stand-up for the working Man in Virginia.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at VPAP and then tell me that BS about where the money is coming from. Deeds has gotten Millions from out of state. Creigh(whats in your wallet)Deeds will not be governor of Va in New York he might have a chance.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

This is a hard year for the Democrats. And about 8 years ago, when the Republicans held the Governor's mansion, they had some mighty bad years too. As soon as Bush got into the White House, they lost the state house.

There is a reason for this dynamic. It's because all presidents have a honeymoon period that inevitably comes to an end. Usually sooner rather than later.

The first year, especially for a new president, his administration has missteps, he can't deliver on every promise, and voters have a certain amount of buyer's remorse. But guess what?

An unpopular Bill Clinton won his re-election and was more popular by the time he left office than he was that first year.

I think Obama will be fine in four years when he runs for reelection. And I think Kaine's legacy will be favorable - especially as compared to Gilmore's miserable failure.

But for historical reasons, yes, this will be a tough year for Dems. I have always favored moving the gubernatorial races to an even year, usually to coincide with Senate races. And I've also always favored having fewer elections.

Virginia's electoral schedule virtually assures that the party which is successful at the national level will do poorly statewide. That's true regardless of the party in power.

Anonymous said...

Karen i said after last years election the Democrats were in for some bumpy roads. With the exception of Obama being fine by the next election i think you are right. Alot of people that voted for Obama last year are not going to vote at all this year.I have never seen people change so fast, only a year ago two people in my neighborhood were going door to door every weekend and they both have told me they will not vote at all this year thats quite a change.

Va Moderate said...

1.) Virginians are notorious contrarian voters. Living in the cradle of American Democracy seems to ingrain in us the tendency to want to maintain a balance of power.

2.) Three weeks is an eternity in a statewide race.

3.) If the exit polls are to be believed, approximately 25% of all Virginian voters decide in the last three days of a cycle whom to support. This has happened in every election since exit polls have been recorded.

In other words, generally speaking Virginia is one of the most thoughtful, centrist electorates in the nation. And also, to paraphrase the reports of Creigh's demise have been overblown. I guarantee you that the final result will not reflect an 8 point spread.

Anonymous said...

Va moderate Bob McDonnell will win but i think you are right it will most likely be a 4-6 point spread. The Democrats don't like to admit it but people are very upset over the BIG spending in Washington and its not just Republicans there are alot of Democrats that feel the same way.

Brian W. Schoeneman said...

Keam has run a strong campaign? I haven't seen a single mailer, a single TV ad, a single piece of literature, no door knocks, not even yard signs (other than a handful on Chain Bridge road), not a single robocall, nothing.

He may have a monetary advantage but he isn't actually doing anything, and I live in Monument precinct, which is Democratic.

I think Keam is in for a surprise on election day.

6p010536bc29f3970b said...

Brian, you're a Strong Republican in the VAN. Why would Keam waste time calling you, canvassing you, sending you mail, etc? You're not in his potential voter universe so you're not going to get any direct contact.

Jayant Reddy said...

If Creigh loses by 4-6 points, that means Virginia House Dems do extremely well. Most of the competitive seats are in NoVA and Hampton Roads, and in NoVA in particular Creigh losing by 4-6 statewide means he does REAL well in NoVA, with no negative coattails.

I'll sincerely be thrilled with that scenario at this stage.

Anonymous said...

Jayant Reddy get ready to be thrilled cause Creigh(whats in your wallet)is going to lose but don't get to excited about the house races some of the Democrats have dropped out and haven't been replaced.