The muddled message from yesterday’s elections

posted at 8:48 am on May 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Both Republicans and Democrats had a lot on the line in last night’s primaries and in a special election in Pennsylvania, with both looking for some hint as to how the midterms would go.  Which party had the most to cheer?  David Freddoso says the Democrats dodged a bullet and may have reversed a loser narrative, at least temporarily:

Republicans will begin with a lead in the Senate races in Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Kentucky, and by chance they have an opening in Connecticut on the same day. But none of these races will be a sure thing. It should serve as a reminder to the GOP that large gains this year are not a foregone conclusion.

Meanwhile, President Obama’s ability to motivate his base voters is once again called into question. His heavy support for Specter proved ineffective. His backing of Lincoln might have been counterproductive. These two defeats follow his unsuccessful campaigns on behalf of Democrats Martha Coakley in Massachusetts, Jon Corzine in New Jersey, and Creigh Deeds in Virginia.

Well, maybe.  It’s worth noting that the Democratic establishment candidates had a tough time in close-fought races.  Arlen Specter had the backing of the DSCC and Barack Obama, was an incumbent who delivered key votes to Harry Reid — and still lost to Joe Sestak, who couldn’t claim any of those things.  Blanche Lincoln managed to survive to a runoff round with an almost-imperceptible lead over Bill Halter but not a majority.  The problem for both is that the Left is more energized than the center in this cycle, which made it hard for establishment candidates to keep support.

The larger problem for Democrats is that the entire Right is significantly more energized than the Left.  While Lincoln hashes out her runoff and Sestak tries to run to the center after beating Specter from the Left, Republicans are already positioned to generate turnout models that will handicap Democrats greatly.  There is a large difference between winning a closed primary and winning a general election, and the anti-incumbent fever that impacted both races will add to Democrats’ woes regardless of whether Halter wins or not — and it’s worth pointing out, as Pat Toomey undoubtedly will, that Sestak is an incumbent in the House.

Tim Burns’ loss was a disappointment, but not too much of a surprise.  After all, this is a heavily Democratic district that elected the same Democrat the last eighteen elections.  Their registration edge is in double digits, so an eight-point loss for Republicans isn’t a bad showing.  It does demonstrate some limits to the impact that the national mood will have in November; the GOP can’t expect to win open seats in heavily Democratic districts, but they may be able to topple some incumbents in others.  Burns will have another shot at Mark Critz in November, having won the simultaneous primary against William Russell, but that seems like a longer shot now than last night.  Unless Critz does something foolish between now and then, he’s probably safe.

The lesson for Democrats from last night was that the backlash against the establishment means a backlash against them in the general election.  For Republicans, the lesson is that they should not throw tons of resources at open seats in heavily Democratic districts this fall, but focus more on Democratic incumbents and open districts with narrower Democratic registration advantages.

Update: Laura Ingraham mainly agrees and adds some other good points:

- Critz ran an excellent campaign–he was no Martha Coakley.

- Critz also ran as a conservative: His TV ads are all about tax breaks, pro-coal and pro-jobs initiatives, supporting gun rights, opposing ObamaCare, and being pro-life. He talked about cutting congressional budgets, bringing down the national debt, and stepping up the federal government’s fight against illegal immigration.

- This is a seat that has been in Democratic hands since 1974. Yet the NRCC only matched the DCCC’s investment in the campaign, spending $947,720 on TV ads compared to the Democrats’ $950,241.

It certainly wasn’t a victory for the Left, at least ideologically, even if Sestak’s win certainly was.  Ingraham is also a little more optimistic than I am about PA-12 in November.


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Lesson #1: PA-12′s bitter, clingy, racist electorate is also full of morons.

Pablo on May 19, 2010 at 8:50 AM

i agree. The lesson should be to help us in 5th CD Va unseat freshman Pelosi-enabler Perriello. Our district is mostly rural (except for Charlottesville & UVA) & the size of Massachusetts.

Please don’t pour resources into Nancy Pelosi’s Congressional district just to make a point. Help us out here where we have a better than fighting chance. Perriello won by 727 votes 2 years ago.

kelley in virginia on May 19, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Lesson #2: PA-12′s gerrymandered district worked as it was designed to work.

WordsMatter on May 19, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Unlike Critz, incumbent Democrats can’t run against their embrace of the White House. Also, national-level Democrat resources will be a lot more diffuse. It also helped Critz that there was a hotly-contested Democrat statewide primary, and most of PA-12 would have dried up and blown away without the pork Murtha brought in.

Sekhmet on May 19, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Back in the late 90′s I was living in PA and I cast a vote for Specter. It has haunted me for years and last night I was partially absolved.

I don’t care if the Democrats pretend that today is their day of jubilee, because we all know better.

myrenovations on May 19, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Tim Burns’ loss was a disappointment

Yup, a bummer. But at least Critz is not Murtha.

petefrt on May 19, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Well I think that just about solves any more bills being signed into law.
A vote with Pelosi, Reid, or Obama is an automatic retirement ticket.
Watch for REID to take his 25 + MILLION dollar war chest and sya ” I have done accomplished what I came to Washignton to do ” and run back to Nevada and live like a king .
How is this different than being a member of the royal family in Saudi or IRAQ?
Fleece the citizens and live in a MANSION with gold everything ……

ELMO Q on May 19, 2010 at 8:56 AM

We should take up a collection to have Obama campaign hard for every Democrat. It will keep international embarrassments to a minimum and guarantee victory for our side. That’s a double win!

search4truth on May 19, 2010 at 8:56 AM

and it’s worth pointing out, as Pat Toomey undoubtedly will, that Sestak is an incumbent in the House.

And Sestak’s voting record is pure Pelosi agenda – when he voted.

forest on May 19, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Rand Paul: Because no one is more anti-establishment than a sitting Congressman’s son.

It's Vintage, Duh on May 19, 2010 at 8:58 AM

now we place Specter in his newly constructed coffin.

moonbatkiller on May 19, 2010 at 8:59 AM

AAAAHAAAAHAAAAA!!!!!!
Maybe Obambi will turn Republican!!!!!!!!

Cybergeezer on May 19, 2010 at 8:59 AM

By November Critz will be an incumbent. The only hope there is that more stuff would come out about the corrupt Murtha. Pa 12 was a real disappointment. Maybe Murtha was right about his constituents.

BetseyRoss on May 19, 2010 at 8:59 AM

http://realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/2010/05/14/overreading-the-tea-leaves-in-pa-12/#footnote-1

It’s important to remember that:

1) 2/3rds of Murtha’s district hasn’t had a Republican representative since the 1930s…

2) Yeah McCain(barely) won that district, but Bush lost it…

3) Critz ran as rather conservative… and accused Burns of wanting to raise taxes with the “Fair Tax”…

4) The Sestak-Specter race had to of boosted turnout for the Dems…

5) How often to “indy” voters vote in primaries? How about special elections with only 8 or so months to go?

5) The GOP hasn’t won a special election to win a Dem seat since 2001…

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/ending-the-gops-losing-streak-10-house-special-elections-in-a-row-92537369.html

6) Polls suck… again…

ninjapirate on May 19, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Tea Party: “I won”

faraway on May 19, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Oh, and Bill Russell’s people may have been kneecapping him a little bit since this was also a primary… hopefully they get behind him for the general…

ninjapirate on May 19, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Lesson #1: PA-12’s bitter, clingy, racist electorate is also full of morons.

Pablo on May 19, 2010 at 8:50 AM

The main source of employment in that district is the federal government. If they vote against porksters like Murtha and Critz, they vote themselves out of a job. That’s the way it is. Murtha made his district into a company town: Murthasville.

Wethal on May 19, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Eh, conservatives are waiting on November, let’s see what happens when the real advertising begins.

Bishop on May 19, 2010 at 9:03 AM

5) How often to “indy” voters vote in primaries?

ninjapirate on May 19, 2010 at 9:00 AM

In PA, they can’t as we have closed primaries. Indies would have to change their registration and then change it again for the general.

Wethal on May 19, 2010 at 9:03 AM

The GOP Establishment should choose wisely where they throw OUR money. They missed it in NY with Scozza and Hoffman. But Brown’s victory in blue MA proves that Republicans can win in unusual places.

conservative pilgrim on May 19, 2010 at 9:08 AM

It’s all meaningless, just table arranging.

tarpon on May 19, 2010 at 9:09 AM

The main source of employment in that district is the federal government. If they vote against porksters like Murtha and Critz, they vote themselves out of a job. That’s the way it is. Murtha made his district into a company town: Murthasville.

Wethal on May 19, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Huh? What federal jobs are in PA-12? To my understanding, it’s primarily union and blue collar jobs.

conservative pilgrim on May 19, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Lesson #2: PA-12’s gerrymandered district worked as it was designed to work.

WordsMatter on May 19, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Absolutely, and I think it was Republicans that made it into a “sacrifice” district. Losing it would be a super double-secret disaster for Democrats. But whatever the history of that strange shape that favors Democrats 2-1, it makes the neighboring districts more winnable for Republicans. Put targets little fluffy bunnies on the map in the districts held by Democrats Altmire and Dahlkemper. And Tim Holden’s district and WV-1 (next door where Mollohan got bounced in the primary for good measure (although they aren’t really impacted by the gerrymander).

Let’s lighten up on the “PA-12 people are idiots” talk. Anybody could end up in a crap district like that next time the lines are drawn, which is soon BTW.

forest on May 19, 2010 at 9:09 AM

This may be a good thing…..give them a false sense of hope, heh heh heh.

thebrokenrattle on May 19, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Well,ahem,Obama inherited,the infamous,
Bill Clinton Political Kiss Of Death!!

canopfor on May 19, 2010 at 9:12 AM

It does demonstrate some limits to the impact that the national mood will have in November; the GOP can’t expect to win open seats in heavily Democratic districts

Good point…Scott Brown never happened and therefore can never happen again…I get it…

winston on May 19, 2010 at 9:13 AM

As I read about Critz- Burns they said Critz ran against Obamacare, etc. sounded more conservative than most Republicans plus had the “machine” backing him. Can he do same in November? I’m not sure.

Herb on May 19, 2010 at 9:13 AM

For Republicans, the lesson is that they should not throw tons of resources at open seats in heavily Democratic districts this fall, but focus more on Democratic incumbents and open districts with narrower Democratic registration advantages.

What if you have an unpopular Democratic incumbent, but the Democrat registration advantage is double digits. Is that winnable?

parteagirl on May 19, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Let’s not forget PA had a very high profile Senate primary that helped GOTV for Democrats in PA-12. It’s an uphill battle in November there but it’s not over.

Hopeless Future on May 19, 2010 at 9:15 AM

In a previous thread about the PA-12 District, I had said not to underestimate the vote-fraud factor there.
I don’t doubt there’s a majority of registered Democrats in PA-12, but they are NOT the kind who would support the ideology and actions of this current group in the Whitehouse and Capitol Hill combined.
That is, except for downtown Johnstown.

listens2glenn on May 19, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Does anyone know the turn out in the Murtha District? When Democrats are unhappy will they actually vote Republican or just stay home?

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Music theme for Obama Campaigning for future Liberals!
======================================================

The Police- don’t stand so close to me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UW3QDs2Qi4&feature=related

canopfor on May 19, 2010 at 9:18 AM

listens2glenn on May 19, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Yeah, it’s a little suspicious that the polls are always way off there. Remember some polls that showed the Republican close last time, and Murtha won 2-1 anyway?

forest on May 19, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Huh? What federal jobs are in PA-12? To my understanding, it’s primarily union and blue collar jobs.

conservative pilgrim on May 19, 2010 at 9:09 AM

-Johnstown airport
-defense research center
-Waynesburg University (which has a Murtha Center for research)

Wethal on May 19, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Lesson #1: PA-12’s bitter, clingy, racist electorate is also full of morons.

Pablo on May 19, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Probably, but from what I understand Critz ran as a conservative and Burns didn’t do enough to counter that, or differentiate himself from him. And I guarantee we’ll see that again this fall…it’s what they did in ’06 and ’08. They know many districts will reject full-blown liberalism when given the chance, so they don sheep’s clothing.

changer1701 on May 19, 2010 at 9:21 AM

As I read about Critz- Burns they said Critz ran against Obamacare, etc. sounded more conservative than most Republicans plus had the “machine” backing him. Can he do same in November? I’m not sure.

Herb on May 19, 2010 at 9:13 AM

He also ran as a “pro-life Dem.”

Wethal on May 19, 2010 at 9:21 AM

O/T heads up…HR 2499 will have its hearing today here:

http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.LiveStream

Like I said, I don’t think it will pass; I believe it will die there. I hope not, but my sister and I understand how it works here. I just read a news article from my local paper and got this link from Pedro Pierluisi. Dunno if it will be broadcast-ed on C-SPAN but I hope so b/c I have errands to run and I can’t record online.

All three parties will speak and have representation from their delegates and there’s been heavy lobbying on everybody’s behalf. Lots of pro-statehood students knocking on doors. Heritage Foundation continues to state that this is skewed towards statehood, which is not true. I wanna get a hold of one of these folks so they explain to me HOW can this be.

That’s it, carry on…

ProudPalinFan on May 19, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Something occurred to me last night – what are the chances that Obama is challenged by another democrat, or decides not to run again in ’12? It doesn’t seem implausible to me, given the messages being sent by people.

BobOfTexas on May 19, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Back in the late 90’s I was living in PA and I cast a vote for Specter. It has haunted me for years and last night I was partially absolved.

I don’t care if the Democrats pretend that today is their day of jubilee, because we all know better.

myrenovations on May 19, 2010 at 8:55 AM

I moved here in 2004, just in time to vote for Specter in the general election. I almost changed my registration to vote against him in the primary, but Mr. rockmom is a Democrat and voted against him for me.

Republicans are still likely to pick up 4 and possibly as many as 6 House seats in PA in November (one of which will be Sestak’s), plus the Senate seat, the Governor and Lt. Governor’s office, and a ton of state legislative seats. Then we can do something about the gerrymanders that produced that horrible 12th District and win that one too.

rockmom on May 19, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Does anyone know the turn out in the Murtha District? When Democrats are unhappy will they actually vote Republican or just stay home?

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2010 at 9:16 AM

I think the turnout was mediocre considering there were two big races to vote in. But the Democrats in that district do and will vote Republican. McCain beat Obama 50-49 in PA-12, and he really hammered Obama in the neighboring districts. There is hay to be made in W-PA and WV.

forest on May 19, 2010 at 9:23 AM

PA 12 voted on the same day as a Dem Sen primary.
In Nov Toomey supporters will be out in full force in PA 12… I hope.

mjbrooks3 on May 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM

The muddled message from yesterday’s elections. All politics are local.

TheBigOldDog on May 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM

For Republicans, the lesson is that they should not throw tons of resources at open seats in heavily Democratic districts this fall, but focus more on Democratic incumbents and open districts with narrower Democratic registration advantages.

Or, get an already motivated tea party AND other conservatives off their collective butts and have a registration drive that rivals the Dems in ’08.

Rovin on May 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Lesson #2: PA-12’s gerrymandered district worked as it was designed to work.
WordsMatter on May 19, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Yep. In my state (Ohio), we have counties and Congressional districts that lock-step vote for incumbent Democrats no matter what. There was a contested Democratic primary for a judicial seat where the incumbent judge had her chambers raided by the FBI, and the judge won in a landslide.

It’s really disheartening that Democrats don’t expect more integrity and basic honesty from their elected leaders. I don’t think the Republican base would ever knowingly elect a crook like Murtha, or Jefferson (or that judge, or whomever), which is why Republicans who get into trouble resign their seats.

Outlander on May 19, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Let the MSM have their “narrative” of Democratic success last night.

Put the Dems back to sleep. GOP peaked too soon and Democratic voters were starting to get reenergized. Let them sleep again … until after the November elections.

HondaV65 on May 19, 2010 at 9:26 AM

BTW, I ran into two friends at the polls yesterday who both told me they had switched parties, back to Republican. This is in Bucks County, a bellwether suburban county where Democrats had made a lot of headway in recent years. It’s going to be a slaughter for the Dems here in November. There was a contested ballot for county Republican committee for the first time in years. People are coming out of the woodwork to volunteer at GOP headquarters.

rockmom on May 19, 2010 at 9:27 AM

BTW, Barone has the best analysis of this…

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Republican-lesson-from-Pennsylvania-12-special-94219379.html

The GOP is going to have to have to have a strong pitch to indys and some conservative dems who pretty much vote only for general elections out of duty… and I’m not sure the Tea Party stuff is what they’re looking for…

ninjapirate on May 19, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Back in the late 90’s I was living in PA and I cast a vote for Specter. It has haunted me for years and last night I was partially absolved.

I don’t care if the Democrats pretend that today is their day of jubilee, because we all know better.

myrenovations on May 19, 2010 at 8:55 AM

No you weren’t. You have Obamacare on your hands.

The GOP marketers kept you in line didn’t they? You supported a socialist and you got what they wanted – Socialism.

True_King on May 19, 2010 at 9:28 AM

There was a contested ballot for county Republican committee for the first time in years. People are coming out of the woodwork to volunteer at GOP headquarters.
rockmom on May 19, 2010 at 9:27 AM

That is absolutely critical. These state and local Republican parties are oftentimes chock-full of RINOs. Why do you think the NY GOP put up that Scozzafava? Or why Crist received such heavy backing in Florida?

The tea party groups should focus their energy on taking over the machinery of the Republican Party by getting on the central and executive party committees at the state and local level. It’s a longer-term project, but one we need to accomplish to purge the RINOs.

Outlander on May 19, 2010 at 9:30 AM

forest on May 19, 2010 at 9:23 AM

So is Burns the candidate? Can he change his campaign enough to win a second time? I would think that Critz will now have to put his anti-Washington rhetoric into practice and vote against Speaker Pelosi to keep his credibility.

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2010 at 9:31 AM

It’s instructive that Critz ran as a conservative who is opposed to Pelosi. Oliveira beat Mollohan in WV by running as a conservative. Outside of the very blue areas on the coasts and scattered about the country, most districts are populated by conservative and center-right populations.

The lesson of the health care debacle is that there is no such thing as a conservative or pro-life Democrat. They can posture all they want during elections, but when push came to shove they uniformly crumbled and did what Nancy told them to do. Any Democrat who cast a vote against Nancy should be assumed to have done so with her permission.

I don’t believe that Critz would vote against Nancy any more than I do that Bart Stupak is an honorable man.

obladioblada on May 19, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Yep, Burns won the Republican primary. If Critz votes with Pelosi on anything controversial, he’s going to get hit on it after all his conservativish posturing. And Pelosi is really, really disliked.

forest on May 19, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Not as muddled as you might think. Last night’s results might just be a seismic warning in advance of November’s earthquake.

kingsjester on May 19, 2010 at 9:37 AM

i agree. The lesson should be to help us in 5th CD Va unseat freshman Pelosi-enabler Perriello. Our district is mostly rural (except for Charlottesville & UVA) & the size of Massachusetts.

***

kelley in virginia on May 19, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Another example: 1st CD Ohio. Unseat freshman Steve Driehaus. He voted for stimulus, cap-and-trade, and (even though Catholic in a heavily Catholic district) Obamacare. His opponent, Steve Chabot, held the seat for several terms before losing it in 2008. Driehaus’s signature pitch was that Chabot wasn’t a bad guy, he’s just been in Washington too long. I suggest Chabot turn that on Driehaus by citing Driehaus’s liberal votes and pointing out that Driehaus has been in Washington long enough. We’ll see.

BuckeyeSam on May 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Does anyone know the turn out in the Murtha District? When Democrats are unhappy will they actually vote Republican or just stay home?

Cindy Munford on May 19, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Cindy Munford:)
=========================================================

Democrats Hold Murtha’s Seat

In a special election to fill the seat of John Murtha, who passed away earlier this year, Democrat Tim Critz, one of Murtha’s staffers, beat Republican Tim Burns 53% to 45% in this R+1 district, the only one in the country that voted for John Kerry in 2004 and John McCain in 2008. Critz is fairly conservative and may vote with the Republicans from time to time, but in a one-on-one race, the fact that he is nominally a Democrat means the Republicans can’t brag about taking over a long-time Democratic seat. But otherwise, it does not change the balance of power in Congress.
====================================================

http://www.electoral-vote.com/

canopfor on May 19, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Looks like a theme.

Run against Pelosi. Everyone knows who she is and what she does now, and they don’t like it.

forest on May 19, 2010 at 9:43 AM

The Smallest Crying Violin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi1npkqifnE

canopfor on May 19, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Here a map,move the mouse over zee particular State,
and you’ll the percentage!!
================================

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2010/Senate/Maps/May18-s.html#2

canopfor on May 19, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Ugh,butchered that post!
===========================

Should be heres a map,and you’ll get the percentage!

Need more tea!

canopfor on May 19, 2010 at 9:51 AM

True_King on May 19, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Boker tov, it’s always a pleasure to see your sweet words.

myrenovations on May 19, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Beware of over-confidence this November. Republican turnout will be high but the great Bodily Resurrection of the Democrat faithful will more than balance that advantage.

lonesomecharlie on May 19, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Rand Paul: Because no one is more anti-establishment than a sitting Congressman’s son LIBERTARIAN.

It’s Vintage, Duh on May 19, 2010 at 8:58 AM

There, now it’s fixed.

fossten on May 19, 2010 at 9:53 AM

The larger problem for Democrats is that the entire Right is significantly more energized than the Left.

Did you see the turnout in Ky? Alot more Dems voted yesterday than R’s

jp on May 19, 2010 at 9:53 AM

My takeaway? WORK HARDER!

JusDreamin on May 19, 2010 at 9:57 AM

Rand Paul: Because no one is more anti-establishment than a sitting Congressman’s son.

It’s Vintage, Duh on May 19, 2010 at 8:58 AM

really speaks to the pyschosis of the times, sad state of affairs.

Not just a sitting incumbent congressman, but a huge Porker congressmen who refuses Term limits

jp on May 19, 2010 at 10:01 AM

What I want to know is when we get all of the media pieces telling the Democratic Party that they are too extreme, and need to moderate themselves.

I mean, if a moderate Democrat like Specter can’t even win…/

Abby Adams on May 19, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Jennifer Ruben on Contentions has a good run-down on the elections, also.

Dhuka on May 19, 2010 at 10:33 AM

A missing element in this analysis is time. How would have Burns done against Crist one month ago? Or how about next month? And next November? Even heavily democratic voters in Pennsylvania will not endlessly endure the assault on our lives, economy and values by the Obami. Time is not on Obama’s side.

rrpjr on May 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM

I’ve posted this before, but I think it is worth repeating:

“The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to an electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails us. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The republic can survive a Barack Obama. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.”
— Author Unknown

Now, apply that to the congressional races.

Mirimichi on May 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM

The odd thing is, in the special election, Critz lost fully 1/8th, or 10,000, of those who voted in his primary, while Burns gained fully 1/4th more people (15,000) than voted in his primary. That turned a D+28 to a D+8.

Since I doubt that those 10,000 would vote in the Dem primary and then turn around and vote for Burns, assigning their votes to Critz would have made the margin D+14. Not exactly encouraging for those who aren’t in very-heavy Dem districts (cough, WI-8, cough, WI-7, cough).

steveegg on May 19, 2010 at 11:21 AM

PA-12 is doable in November, for a couple of reasons:

1. Dem turnout in the whole state of PA was higher yesterday than Republican turnout, due to the Specter-Sestak race. It stands to reason that with more Dems in the state turning out, the Dem in PA-12 will get significantly more votes.

2. GOP turnout in PA should be very high in November, including in the 12th district. That will help Burns quite a bit.

That said, it’s a tall order to win the district. Not impossible, but a tall order.

crushliberalism on May 19, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Yup, a bummer. But at least Critz is not Murtha.

Excuse me? Wait till Nancy gets her hands on the callow young lad.

victor82 on May 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Excuse me? Wait till Nancy gets her hands on the callow young lad.

victor82 on May 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Critz, to his credit, campaigned as being AGAINST the health-care bill, cap-and-trade, and deficit spending, although he has never had to VOTE on them in the House. Once he’s IN the House, he will have to deal with Pelosi’s arm-twisting, and decide whether he will keep his promises or become a loyal Pelosicrat.

If Critz drifts left, Burns can attack him in November on his votes. Pelosi is still Speaker until next January, regardless of what Critz does, but Burns can still campaign on “do you want Critz to vote for Pelosi for Speaker next year”?

Such a tactic might have more effect in November, when the whole House is up for election, and the political balance of the rest of the House is unknown, than in a special election which decides whether the Dem majority is increased or decreased by one vote.

Steve Z on May 19, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Tim Burns’ loss was a disappointment

Yup, a bummer. But at least Critz is not Murtha.

petefrt on May 19, 2010 at 8:56 AM

..and (AND!) Critz only has the seat for three months before he has to start campaigning again against Burns. Plus he has a huge target on his back. Any (ANY!) vote, move, or sentiment from him that can be construed as being against his campaign promises or as acting as a puppet of The Pantload or Pelousy can be used against him.

The War Planner on May 19, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Ed- you left out Critz had help from Big Dawg, DLC still has pull with blue collar Dems, Obama? heh not os much

ginaswo on May 19, 2010 at 12:33 PM

I disagree with most of you. It’s a fairly obvious message.

The only one to win a real election promised to vote against the Obama agenda.

And the GOP machine failed in KY.

Checkmate.

AnninCA on May 19, 2010 at 12:47 PM

And I have no interest in any blog story any longer about Romney.

He’s so out of the picture that it’s absurd to push him.

So, Allah/Ed……you’re going to need to get over it.

AnninCA on May 19, 2010 at 12:48 PM

- Critz also ran as a conservative:

so the GOP theme in Nov should be ‘he’s running AS a conservative, so why not vote for a REAL conservative?’ Make him run against the turncoat reputation of the blue dogs like Nelson.

I don’t know enough about Burns to know if his record will hold that line or not though.

Fighton03 on May 19, 2010 at 1:20 PM

The only one to win a real election promised to vote against the Obama agenda.

And the GOP machine failed in KY.

Checkmate.

AnninCA on May 19, 2010 at 12:47 PM

You’re talking about Critz promising to vote against Obama, right? And yes, the establishment party guy lost in KY, which isn’t a bad thing in my book. I Don’t see where we’re disagreeing or who’s being checkmated. The whole thing does not bode well for Obama and Pelosi.

forest on May 19, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Well,ahem,Obama inherited,the infamous,
Bill Clinton Political Kiss Of Death!!

canopfor on May 19, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Funny thing is I was just ready to write the opposite.

I think the real difference was made for Critz because the Big Dog flew into Murtha Airport and asked all these PA-12 folks to vote for the Democrat – keep the seat.

Hillary carried all this area with ease – some counties by 80%+. They loves them some Clintons. ;-)

Greyledge Gal on May 19, 2010 at 2:12 PM

The Final Wisdom:

Rob Gleason . . . is chairman of both the Pennsylvania GOP and the Cambria County GOP. In the wee hours at the lobby bar of the (posh) George Washington Hotel, Gleason’s name was mentioned quite a few times by local grassroots Republicans — and not in a good way.
Mark Critz carried Gleason’s Cambria County by a margin of more than 5,000 votes, 57% to 41%. If Gleason can’t even deliver his home county for the GOP in a key special election, why the hell would Pennsylvania Republicans put a loser like Gleason in charge of their statewide party operations?

Dump Gleason. And if you’re ever in Johnstown, try the chili dogs at Coney Island Lunch.

The Other McCain on May 19, 2010 at 3:51 PM