Thursday, November 19, 2009

Election Moneyline Gubernatorial OPENS

With the midterm 2010 election cycle looming as well as the 2010 Census, it is worth assessing the odds of the OPEN gubernatorial election contests.

Alabama: Should be a GOP advantage, but if the polarizing Judge Roy Moore of Ten Commandment fame is the nominee it could become a toss-up.
1-5 Republican

California: Should be a Democratic win judging by President Obama’s 61% margin in ’08, but the money advantage goes to the wealthy Republican primary candidates (except for Tom Campbell). If Jerry Brown wins the election will he date Linda Ronstadt again (50-1)?
3-2 Democrat

Connecticut: With popular Republican Governor Jodi Rell not seeking re-election this contest slightly favors the Democrats. Will feature the return of Ned Lamont who slayed Sen. Joe Lieberman only to discover Lieberman can’t die.
6-5 Democrat

Florida: Republican primaries for governor and senator will make Florida a political hot spot going into August. This is likely to be a battle between State AG Bill McCollum and FL CEO Alex Sink.
1-1 No Favorite

Georgia: A crowded field in both primaries the state likely goes GOP as it did for John McCain in ’08 by 52%
1-2 Republican

Hawaii: A probably Democratic pick-up in a contest featuring HI political fixture Democratic Rep. Neil Abercrombie against Lt. Gov. James Aiona. However, if Gov. Lingle could win the state for the GOP then her running mate has a chance.
3-2 Democrat

Kansas: Senator Sam Brownback wants to be in charge and is probably the next governor.
1-5 Republican

Maine: A crowded primary field on both sides, but all for Republican naught as it is a solidly Democratic state although the angry lobstermen vote could be a factor that makes it more competitive than anticipated.
1-5 Democrat

Michigan: Obama won the state with 57% but the GOP can still mount a good challenge in this relentlessly economic disaster of a state that has been a gold mine for Michael Moore.
1-1 No Favorite

Minnesota: There hasn’t been a Democratic governor here since 1990, but crowded primary fields don’t make the picture any clearer.
1-1 No Favorite

New Mexico: Democratic Governor Diane Denish is the odds on favorite. Daughter of former 1970 gubernatorial candidate Jack Daniels, her chances are sobering for the GOP.
1-5 Democrat

Any state where McCain won in ’08 with 66% should elect a GOP governor, making this a likely GOP pick-up.
1-2 Republican

Oregon: There hasn’t been a Republican governor since a gallon on gas cost $0.89 and Culture Club was a chart topper.
1-5 Democrat

Pennsylvania: The GOP has strong potential nominees in Rep. Jim Gerlach and State AG Tom Corbett, but could also feature Rick Santorum (because the GOP really needs him back in action?).
1-1 No Favorite

Rhode Island: Democratic State Treasurer Frank Caprio is the favorite, but State AG Patrick Lynch (of the Station nightclub fire and Sherwin Williams lead paint prosecutions fame) will mount a strong primary challenge.
1-2 Democrat

South Carolina: Unclear if Mark Sanford’s “Appalachian Trail” behavior taints the GOP, but the advantage is Republican.
2-5 Republican

South Dakota: McCain only won the state in ’08 with 53%, but Republican have lived in the governor’s mansion since “What you talkin’ ‘bout Willis!” was a cool thing to say.
1-5 Republican

Tennessee: A likely Republican pick-up that features a GOP primary that will be between Rep. Zack Wamp and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.
1-2 Republican

Wisconsin: No stand-out Democratic primary candidates, but the Republican primary features Mark Neumann who has run competitively statewide and has something to prove.
1-1 No Favorite

Wyoming: Unless Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal seeks to overturn the state’s term limit law this leans toward a GOP pick-up.
1-5 Democrat with Gov. Freudenthal
2-5 Republican without Gov. Freudenthal

Vermont: This should be a Democratic stronghold, but Republican Governor Jim Douglas has defied the odds and his Lt. Governor Brian Dubie is popular and appealing and even makes his own maple syrup.
3-2 Democrat

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Palin Dismembers the GOP on a Whim

A reliable Republican congressional seat now belongs to the Democratic Party because Sarah Palin woke up one day and decided it would make for good Facebook content to sabotage the Republican Party in NY’s 23rd congressional district special election. Palin, whose sabotage was joined by Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), couldn’t have found this congressional district on a map before this election. It did not take long for her and Pawlenty to drop in from nowhere and have a huge impact on the outcome of the race only now to move on to another victim to feed their ambition; like a science fiction character devouring planets.

It clearly hadn’t occurred to the egocentric, selfish nature of Palin and Pawlenty that the Republican Party leaders in New York State knew what they were doing when they nominated Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava as their candidate in this special election. Intervention by the likes of Palin and Pawlenty was not necessary; the challenge was well in hand by those closest who knew best. It is hopeless to try and get Palin, Pawlenty and others like them to hear reason as they are so prejudice they refuse to listen. Palin and Pawlenty enabled the Democratic Party to increase its caucus size in the U.S. House, but they refuse to believe they are now standing in a pile of waste of their own making even though everybody else sees and smells it clearly.

The truth is Palin and Pawlenty stink. They reek of ambition, selfishness, prejudice and self-righteousness that destroyed the Republican Party in NY’s 23rd congressional district and will destroy it nationally if left unchecked. NY’s 23rd congressional district has been a cornerstone of the GOP in New York State represented for decades by Republicans very much like Scozzafava. Perhaps she is not as conservative as Palin and Pawlenty claim to be, but she still had solid support from reliable conservative coalition members like the National Rifle Association and National Federation of Independent Businesses as well as a 60% rating from the NY Right to Life Committee.

Republicans across the country of every stripe should be furious with Palin and Pawlenty and the other meddlers who have decided they own the imperious right to select and reject from afar who is allowed to represent the Republican Party on the ballot.

However, Palin and Pawlenty can now serve a higher purpose. Their shrillness and panic about a moderate in the Republican ranks may have in the end a positive effect by drawing attention to their prejudice and small-mindedness. Palin's and Pawlenty’s folly in NY's 23rd congressional district should awaken Republicans everywhere that if it could happen in upstate New York in can happen in their backyard. With the threat of Palin and Pawlenty showing up close to home to dictate terms, perhaps sensible Republicans, moderate and conservatives, will band together knowing that not to means inevitable destruction at the hands of politicians like Palin and Pawlenty who are driven by ambition, not principle.

The Republican Party requires now more than ever unity of purpose in the face of fiscal mismanagement by the majority party in Washington, DC, not a putsch by the self-righteous.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Election Moneyline

Being Election Day, some odds-making is in order.

New Jersey Governor:
Chris Christie (R)
His Sgt. Schultz campaign ("I know nothing!") was the perfect challenger campaign marred only by his driving record. Having said nothing, Christie will have no mandate in Trenton.

Gov. Jon Corzine (D)
With disapproval numbers over 50 since the start he's as popular as Swine Flu. A heavy reliance on Obama magic likely doesn't get him into the winner's circle.

Chris Daggett (I)
A newly arrived outsider runs a brilliant campaign. Despite the Democratic Party making phone calls on his behalf he has zero chance of winning but made a huge impact on the contest's competitiveness.

Virginia Governor
Bob McDonnell (R)
A Birch Society-like conservative will win wearing moderate GOP clothing.

Creigh Deeds (D)
Deeds starts with D, as does dull. He never figured out a message to excite 1of 4's and 2 of 4's (those who usually only vote in presidential and maybe mid-term elections).

Doug Hoffman (C)
Hoffman caught a wave and is riding the barrel to shore as a protest against everything and no opinion about anything important to district residents. His win invigorates the extreme-right into remaking the GOP in its image.

Bill Owens (D)
His best hope was a three-way contest that disintegrated over the last week, dimming his chances of an upset in this traditional GOP district.

Dede Scozzafava (R)
A terrible candidate who should have locked this contest up early showed poor form by endorsing the Democratic Party nominee - most likely done out of anger and disappointment. Her whine has a Mad Dog flavor.

John Garamendi (D)
CA's Lt. Governor and former Insurance Commissioner wins this traditionally Democratic seat without much opposition.

David Harmer (R)
Generous odds for a zero impact candidate who got no assistance from Washington, DC Republicans who saw him as DOA.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Hoffman Is No Friend of America’s Warfighters

Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman is riding a wave in NY’s 23rd congressional district special election that Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava couldn’t catch. Ability to catch and ride this wave was due to the Club for Growth’s effort on his behalf to define Scozzafava as a liberal. Scozzafava proved incompetent to the task of refuting this charge and defining Hoffman as an opportunistic sore loser.

Scozzafava is a moderate Republican whose congressional candidacy was endorsed by the National Rifle Association that accompanies her A rating from them. Scozzafava’s current National Federation of Independent Businesses rating is a 75 and her NY Right to Life rating is a 60 despite her pro-choice position.

Hoffman, on the other hand, has no record. Hoffman’s chief accomplishment in this special election was proper positioning to take advantage of conservatives looking for a place to assert themselves in Republican intra-party politics.

Scozzafava should never have allowed herself to be chased out of this race by Hoffman, and therefore she didn't deserve to win. As a fiscally responsible, socially moderate Republican, Scozzafava is a typical New York Republican akin to Rep. John McHugh who was the previous congressman from the 23rd district. However, the fact that she withdrew will only invigorate right wing conservatives in efforts to define the Republican Party as being exclusively the home of the pro-life movement.

A main Hoffman/Club for Growth criticism of Scozzafava was her support of President Obama’s stimulus package funding of NY’s 23rd congressional district projects, and earmarks in general. Earmarks for NY’s 23rd CD are largely targeted for Fort Drum. This is the issue that Scozzafava failed to leverage in order to beat back Hoffman’s challenge.

Scozzafava should have charged Hoffman as not being a friend of America’s warfighters. In the last ten years $114 million has gone to Fort Drum to improve the quality of life of America’s warfighters and their families, including funding for a family support center. Those funds were important to the preparation and support of our warfighters and their families, but to Hoffman and the Club for Growth it is wasteful spending. Hoffman would have countered with his veteran status, but that rebuttal would have been easily rebuffed by testimonials by active military families insisting on the importance of the Fort Drum earmarks that would accompany the accusation.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda – Scozzafava instead failed a test of leadership and her withdrawal is a shame to those intent on resisting the advances of right wing conservatives to redefine the GOP in their image. In this election Hoffman has proven an ability to see a trend and leverage it into a chance to become a congressman. This is the kind of ambition any candidate must have to compete and win. Unfortunately for the people of NY’s 23rd congressional district Hoffman showed no knowledge of district issues in his editorial board meeting with the Watertown Daily Times and has pledged his commitment to the Club for Growth to no longer support Fort Drum and the warfighters, their families and district residents who depend on its viability and services. With no record to back up his words but a heavy debt to the Club for Growth, it is a mystery what Doug Hoffman would do in Congress.