August 04, 2005
Building on Hackett's success

Now that Paul Hackett acheived Very Serious Warning status with his close electoral loss in OH-02, what happens next? Let's start with the Charlie Cook view (as articulated by Amy Walter) of the current landscape:

Republicans in 49 states should take note that the "don't send a rubber stamp for President Bush to Congress" argument very nearly worked in an extremely Republican district, something that should be cause for concern. In Ohio, the lesson should be that virtually nothing is safe given the current climate, and that the climate is unlikely to change before the 2006 election. While it would be a mistake for Democrats to read too much into this special election result since things in Ohio are much worse for the GOP than elsewhere. At the same time, it would be a grave mistake for Republicans to read too little into what happened, as there are plenty of seats that they could lose in Ohio and that some of what happened can be reasonably extrapolated to the rest of the country.

I need to figure out how Team Cook calculates its Partisan Voting Index ratings, since none of those Ohio Congressional districts appears on its face to be particularly competitive. On the other hand, if OH-02 is any indicator, then pretty much all of the Republican-held seats there are potential pickups. One can only hope.

Newt Gingrich, a man who knows a thing or two about Congressional landslides, looked at what happened in Cincinnati and is sounding a warning to his fellow Republicans.

"It should serve as a wake-up call to Republicans, and I certainly take it very seriously in analyzing how the public mood evidences itself," Gingrich said. "Who is willing to show up and vote is different than who answers a public opinion poll. Clearly, there's a pretty strong signal for Republicans thinking about 2006 that they need to do some very serious planning and not just assume that everything is going to be automatically okay."

That article later on refers to a spat between Bob Brigham of the Swing State Project and John Lapp of the DCCC. Lapp posted this diary on MyDD, which generated quite a bit of feedback, some positive and some not, including a vociferous response from Brigham. I've got a lot of respect for the work Brigham did in this race and for the mission of the SSP overall, but I have a hard time taking seriously any argument that begins with an f-bomb carpeting and gets angry from there. Frankly, Lapp was a heck of a lot more civil than I'd have been in his position.

One of the voices of sanity in that thread was Archpundit, who gives a big picture look at the Illinois Congressional races for next year, and also notes that the DCCC dropped a reasonable chunk of change on a Midwestern media firm in the Hackett race. You can see the FEC filing for that expenditure, among others. Looking at it, I'm reminded that while the netroots can generate a very decent amount of money over a few weeks, it's nowhere close to being able to put $250K on a race all in a day. Can't we all just get along here, folks?

Anyway. Time to talk horse races. Here's one Kos diarist's view of the 75 best Democratic pickup opportunities in the House, and that same person's report on the 25 most Democratic districts that elected a Republican last year. The latest Democracy Corps memo (PDF) suggests voter groups to be targeted. And Josh Marshall has set up a thread to discuss vulnerable incumbents, if you just can't get enough. Happy reading.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 04, 2005 to Election 2005 | TrackBack

It was shocking to read that thread over at MyDD and it reminded of why I don't read MyDD much anymore. The problem seems to be that they spend all their time talking to themselves and for that reason make the following errors:
1. they assume they represent the 'netroots'
2. they assume they represent the grassroots.

Both assumptions are as wrong as they are utterly arrogant.

Posted by: liberalDem on August 8, 2005 1:43 AM