How bad do you think you're going to lose if you concede defeat before you begin?
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Republican congressional hopeful Larry Diedrich is effectively conceding defeat in today’s South Dakota special House election before the polling booths even open.
The former state senator dramatically ratcheted down expectations during an interview with The Hill at his campaign headquarters, saying he would be happy to lose to Democrat Stephanie Herseth by only five percentage points.
He has trailed her by seven or more points in recent polls, and, if he loses, it would be the GOP’s second special-election defeat this year. In February, Alice Forgy Kerr (R) lost to Ben Chandler (D) in Kentucky’s 6th District; it was the first time since 1991 that a Democrat won a Republican-held seat in a special election.
The battle for the House seat will continue tomorrow because the winner of the
special election must face the voters for a second time, in November. Both Diedrich and Herseth will be running in the fall election, so today’s contest amounts to a precursor of their upcoming race for a full, two-year term.
“I think as long as it’s close, I don’t think I have a lot of opposition at all,” Diedrich said.
Pointing out that he was 30 points behind Herseth when he entered the race in late January, Diedrich said that as his name recognition has jumped, so have his poll numbers.
What matters, Diedrich said, is that South Dakotans see that momentum is on his side. If he loses by a narrow margin, he added, voters will think the June 1 election came too soon.
(via Kos)Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 01, 2004 to Election 2004 | TrackBack