Monday, January 4, 2010

campaign 2010:Remember NY23 special

When you read or listen to commentary about what to expect from the 2010 elections, remember all of the conventional wisdom from the NY23 special election from last year.
President Obama nominated a Republican Mchugh to be in his administration as Army secretary, and the theme quickly settled into a "Republicans are splitting their vote" narrative.
But the announced Republican exited the race and the storyline quickly changed to:

Hoffman has big commanding lead

This is just days before election day. It's true the liberal republican Dede Scozzafava wound up splitting the republican base, dropping out of the race, and then endorsing the Democrat Bill Owens. But this was a Republican seat. The Conservative Doug Hoffman with the help of the "Tea Party" movement was on the rise.

...And then they lost.

So with all the "Obama is in trouble". "Obama hurt the New Jersey and Virginia Democrats". In the one race where the winner would actually either help with Obama's agenda or work against it, the voters voted with the President.

Elections are determined by the dynamics in the election district/state, the candidates, the money, the voters' mood, strategy, and implementation of that strategy.

I agree with the conventional wisdom that Democrats will have an uphill climb just to maintain their current numbers and in the absence of some event to change the atsmosphere we will lose seats in both houses, but plenty can/will change.

About 70% of the factors are in our hands as a Democratic party. Normally, that number is higher probably around 85%.

As the campaign season gets hotter, I will try to offer the best insights regardless of whether it is CW or seemingly off the wall.

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