What's Your Excuse?

Monday, September 18, 2006
Don Surber has an interesting post up on whether the President can top FDR with regard to picking up seats in his second midterm. In closing, Don posited a rhetorical speculation:
"Still, as I watch Democrats complain about Bush politicizing terrorism, I cannot help but wonder if they are preparing their excuses for the day after the election."
I decided to take a look around and came up with this article in the SF Chronicle which makes the demographic case fairly well (but only in part) and this article at the WaPo, which provides more ammo for the "stolen election" meme so dearly loved by those who truly know how to steal elections.

I found another 'meme seed' this morning from CNN. Bushco's big oil allies have conspired to once again push down the price of gas just ahead of the elections! Boy, that's never happened before. The other factor which leads me to believe that a "we would have done much better except for" narrative is being developed is the current dearth of "Democrat wave" stories. Toss in the stories about contention between Emanuel and Dean and you have a nice broth stock to which various items will be added over the next six weeks so that the loser's soup which will be served on November 8th will be yummy and filling.

Returning to the SF Chronicle article - the author makes a decent case for the birth side of the demographic equation but neglects to mention that the primary cause was the Roe v Wade 'victory' so ardently fought for and won by the Democrats themselves. Nor does she mention the death side of the equation, which as fate would have it, also favors the Republicans in this cycle as it has since 2000 and will continue to do until 2012.

I'm not at all sanguine about the possibility of Republican pickups in this election. The opportunities just aren't there due to the efficiency of many state legislatures in bullet proofing districts. I am rather certain that the Republicans will hold the House, both because of the small number of districts which are actually in play and because the Republican logistical machine is humming along very nicely.

12 comments:

John Lynch said...

Rick,

I note also, with interest, that the various polls are showing either tighter races (less Dem lead) or slight leads by Republicans.

I have taken the position in earlier posts that the early polls (months in advance of validation) are in fact propaganda used to fuel articles, stimulate hopes, and drive fund-raising (among Dems;) but that the polls are over weighted Dems and are misleading. As the actual race nears, the pollsters cannot get caught to far from the actual results, so begin balancing the sampling and getting closer to what will really play out on Election Day.

David Thomson said...

“Bushco's big oil allies have conspired to once again push down the price of gas just ahead of the elections!”

Only an economic illiterate believes such nonsense. The odds of oil companies successfully conspiring to lower or raise prices are far less than my winning the lottery and humiliating Shaq O’Neal on a basketball court.

The Republicans will likely retain control of both houses of Congress. And yes, the existing gerrymandering agreements probably make it virtually impossible to significantly change things in the House of Representative. But what about the U.S. Senate? I’m starting to get optimistic and will bravely (or foolishly?) predict a pick up of two seats! The issues regarding the war on terror hurt the Democrats. They are in a no-win situation. Jim Webb, for instance, is currently enjoying a nice jump in the polls due to George Allen’s “macaca” moment. Still, he is ultimately doomed. Webb’s Democratic supporters will demand that he adopt positions which will irritate the independents. The current “torture” debate is a splendid example.

David Thomson said...

"I have taken the position in earlier posts that the early polls (months in advance of validation) are in fact propaganda used to fuel articles, stimulate hopes, and drive fund-raising (among Dems;)"

I agree completly. That's why I focus on the insights of Jay Cost and Michael Barrone---and ignore most of the others.

I stongly urge everyone to read "One Party Country: The Republican Plan on Dominance" by liberals Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten. They are very well aware that the odds are against the Democrats.

terrye said...

david:

People really believe that oil companies control those prices, nothing will convince them otherwise.

I don't know if there will be Republican pick ups or not, but I don't think the Democrats will gain either. They have been acting too stupid.

People like Glenn Reynolds think that spending is a big deal to most people, I disagree. Most people don't even think about that stuff, it is might as well be monopoly money you are talking about. As long as the Bush tax cuts are in force they will not care if the government is spending money.

Rick Ballard said...

John,

'Narrowing' doesn't usually come in until a month out and 'strong close' usually doesn't show up until the last two weeks. I agree that early polling is used for fund raising purposes but it is losing its effectiveness. The really ugly skewing of polling is now occurring with exit polls. AP's deliberate skewing of the early '04 results was a blatant attempt to influence turnout. I'll never forget the panic at NRO on election day. Skewed exit polling also drives the "we wuz robbed" meme. Ugly stuff.

I'm looking forward to the full scale food fight beginning in a couple of weeks. It should prove very entertaining.

Terrye,

I don't believe that the Dems have been "too stupid". They just don't have any cards to play. The Republicans got them in a clinch some time ago and they can't break free. The economy is doing well enough and the public still trusts the Republicans more than the Democrats on defense.

They need to get Miz Clinton to swap parties and start shouting about nationalizing health care.

David Thomson said...

“People really believe that oil companies control those prices, nothing will convince them otherwise.”

There are also people who believe the Bush administration is responsible for 9/11 and the LBJ murdered JFK. A price fixing scheme would probably require the involvement of a minimum of five of the largest oil companies. Not only the top executives would be involved---but numerous underlings. Oil traders spend their entire professional career monitoring oil prices. They would sense almost immediately that the prices were being fixed---and start screaming their heads off. It would be near miraculous if such a scheme could last even one week before the participants would be handcuffed and read their Miranda rights.

CF said...

Rick, you darling--Isn't it fun to watch the memes floating in? I can smell them almost as soon as they form in Shrum/Penn Bermuda triangle.

Saw an AP article that says the Dems have blown their money on consultants, etc.

HEH

terrye said...

Rasmussen had Bush up to 47 and then back down to 41 in one week. I wonder what it really is. I think it is closer to 50/50 than people realize.

Luther McLeod said...

I agree Terrye, probably somewhere around 51/49. Maybe a little better. There has been no sea change since 04, regardless of how things have been painted as such by the Dem's and their MSM enablers. Also, Terrye, I hope my last comment down below clarified my thoughts a bit more.

loner said...

Bush is in the low forties, that polling is sound, and the Democrats will pick up seats in both the House and the Senate barring something really extraordinary happening between now and election day. Whether they will pick up enough is the question.

Is it already late September?

Ed onWestSlope said...

I agree with terrye, “People really believe that oil companies control those prices, nothing will convince them otherwise.”

My part of the country, western Colorado, is home to a very large number of very good, reasonable people, reasonable until the gas prices are compared to Denver's. Amazing.

I believe it is this type of behavior which drives strange editorials, political headlines, polls and rallies. It is always a joy to me when people's conspiracies are shown to be unfounded. The excuses are lovely and make wonderful 'coffee shop' talk.

chuck said...

Saw an AP article that says the Dems have blown their money on consultants, etc.

If true it sounds like a replay of the Kerry campaign. Kerry may have lost but a lot of folks made good money in the process. Ummm, money, gotta get me some of that.