Election

Managing The Expectations Game

Dick Morris needs to shut up.

University of Virginia Center for Politics Director, Larry Sabato, issued some insightful tweets on October 2nd that have gone largely ignored by many Right Wing Pundits, including Dick Morris.

1:15 PM Oct 2nd: Some GOP leaders need a refresher course in basic campaign strategy. Predicting R House pickups of +60, +80, +100 is just plain dumb.

1:17 PM Oct 2nd: (1) It isn’t going to happen;(2) It induces overconfidence;(3) If Rs win a narrow majority or just fall short, big gains look like a loss.

1:18 PM Oct 2nd: You’d think after all this time, people would’ve caught onto the polling game & wouldn’t take polls so seriously. And you’d be wrong.

Meanwhile, Dick is still out there claiming that the GOP will pick up 60+ seats in the house and regain control of the Senate as well.

Prediction: The Republicans will win the Senate, capturing seats in Indiana, Arkansas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Washington state, Illinois and Nevada. And they could prevail in New York, Connecticut, Delaware and California to boot.

The GOP will capture the House by a goodly margin, winning upward of 60-plus seats now held by Democrats. And it could go a lot higher!

To be clear, any combination that includes either a new Speaker of the House and or a New Senate Majority leader will be a victory for the GOP.  But predicting a sixty seat pick up in the house is not only silly, it sets up the Democrats with tools they need to marginalize their defeat.

Mini Revolutions

I’m temporarily living in a small Alabama town that’s still safe enough to allow my children to ride their bikes down the street unattended and to leave your door unlocked while you run to the store.  It’s quaint and seems untouched by the goings on in Washington, DC… and sometimes even Montgomery.  But of course, it’s not.  And conversations with the people you meet at the grocery store or the park reveal that.  People are angry.  Very angry.  Thankfully, they’re also becoming organized and that is starting to make a difference.

I’m not a whole-hearted Tea Partier.  I have my doubts about its long-term effectiveness, especially at a federal level if they continue to put all their efforts behind big-ticket races.  But I think their potential is almost unlimited when it comes to smaller, local offices.

Recently, our town had a street festival featuring music, crafts, vendors and of course, politicians running for office, busy greeting people and kissing babies.  I stopped to talk to one of the candidates who is running for a state house seat as he stood in the middle of the street handing out balloons.  Though my questions were asked with cynicism, the answers returned were thoughtful, sincere and refreshing.  Before too long, I realized I was talking to a real Tea Party candidate.  This guy was a true believer in the need to shrink government and his mannerisms were about as un-politician like as you can get.

But it got better.  As he told his story, it become clear that he had been the underdog in the primary, battling against a better-funded, establishment-picked candidate who hardly qualified to even be called a Republican.  But he’d won.  By a very large margin.

The Times They Are A Changin’

To quote the great Bob Dylan:

Come senators, congressmen

Please heed the call

Don’t stand in the doorway

Don’t block up the hall

For he that gets hurt

Will be he who has stalled

There’s a battle outside ragin’.

It’ll soon shake your windows

And rattle your walls

For the times they are a-changin’.

Last night’s primary election results came as a shock to many. Like Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, Sue Lowden in Nevada and Bob Bennett in Utah, Mike Castle was widely expected to win the Republican primary in Delaware. However, Delaware voters, like Alaska, Nevada and Utah voters, turned conventional wisdom on its head. Christine O’Donnell defeated RINO Mike Castle in a huge upset.

You would think that after seeing the primary results in state after state after state, the pundits, strategists and the GOP establishment would get the message. The Republican electorate wants CONSERVATIVE candidates. This message was sent in Florida, Utah, Nevada, Delaware, Colorado, Alaska, Kentucky, and potentially in New Hampshire, yet the NRSC still doesn’t get it. Karl Rove was on Sean Hannity’s show last night talking about the O’Donnell victory and how it diminished the Republican’s chances of winning the Senate in November. An unidentified, high-ranking GOP staffer is quoted in the Daily Caller bashing Jim DeMint and his Senate Conservatives Fund for derailing the Republicans attempt to win a majority.

Riding this ‘Wave’ Election Into Office? Here’s How.

Hoping your opponents continue to screw up is no way to run a political campaign, but Republicans across the Country have to wonder what they did to deserve a field of Democratic opposition that is so uniformly hapless, and led by a President so tone-deaf to public sentiment. While it is still too early to begin measuring drapes for new offices on Capitol Hill, every single piece of available data, every trend, and all of history indicate that November 2 will be a “wave” election that washes Democratic incumbents out to sea and out of power.

First, history: The party that’s not in the White House almost always gains seats in Congress –that’s nearly axiomatic. A 39 seat net gain for Republicans in the House of Representatives is as certain as anything can be 64 days before an election, though a similar, takeover-sized gain in the Senate is not as certain. Second, the data: Nearly every poll conducted in August shows a clear majority of the country feels the nation is on the wrong track, while a mere third (or less) believe that we’re headed in the right direction. President Obama’s job approval rating is abysmal: 54.5% disapproval to 38.7% approval –and that’s just among independents! Mr. Obama can take comfort in the fact that while his numbers are bad, America hates Congress even more. Current polls show more than 71% of the people disapprove of Congress, while less than 20% approve.

The Republicans Will Be Watching Us

The following was authored by Ron Davis, a conservative activist from Georgia and founder of FireSenator.com and FireJohnny.com.

The GOP will be watching the U.S. Senate race in Georgia very closely this year.  Johnny Isakson, disliked by many Republican voters, is expected to win the election in November and return to the U.S. Senate for another six years.

In the past few years, Georgians have been awakened to Isakson’s liberal tendencies, but they are scared to vote against him.  No viable candidate will challenge Isakson in a primary election, and he will win the general election because voters refuse to vote for a non-Republican out of a fear of being represented by a Democrat.

Isakson has spent his time in Washington – even his time in the Senate during the Obama administration – working to increase government spending and to justify the continued growth of our federal government.  Johnny Isakson is clearly not a good choice for the conservative voter.

There is a conservative on the ballot this year, his name is Chuck Donovan.  He wants to cut spending, reduce our federal debt, and limit our financial obligations.  I am convinced he would work tirelessly, without compromise, to meet these goals.

Not too many years ago, the GOP had a chance to stand against big government and increased spending.  That opportunity was squandered by the likes of Isakson, which caused them to lose the majority in Washington.  If we vote to re-elect those that wasted their opportunity to limit government the first time around, how ludicrous is it to think they will do better if given another opportunity?

Death Knell: Tea Party/Freedom Candidates Running on Pure Unfetterd Principle

Yesterday, Ron Paul purist and anti-war Republican Adam Kokesh lost 29% to 71% to an “establishment” Republican despite outspending his opponent at least 2 to 1.

There is a big lesson here for all Tea Party and “Ron Paul” Republicans: No Republican campaign can win by trying to woo Democrats!

Banking on Democrats voting for you is suicide.

White writing, I’ve received an email from Adams campaign:

The relative numbers do not fully reflect the energy and commitment of those who cast a vote for us.  We were an unconventional campaign running against a conventional candidate.  The automatic reaction of old-fashioned party-line voters was to vote for our opponent.  Every single vote for us was an informed decision and an act of courage by the voter.

I’d like to congratulate the Kokesh campaign on getting out the courageous and well-informed. (He’s to be respected and commended for donating a year of his life to further his ideas - this is something not many people have the gumption for. )

Quite simply, you can’t win by trying to educate voters, you have to find common ground and connect with a base.

Years of tradition and repetition will not be undone by your crusade or principle. In a PRIMARY, working Democrats will have no effect on your campaign (duh?). Voters simply will not cross party lines to vote for your message; the best you can hope to do is drive down voter turnout by appealing to Democrats on issues.

If you are running for the Republican nomination, do not run from Republicans - embrace them, embrace the party, and find common ground. This may not be a popular sentiment on UnitedLiberty.org, but it is the truth - and it is effective.

NV Senate: Harry Reid makes a comeback

I’ve often warned about the Nevada Senate race that Harry Reid had the money to make that seat competitive again despite polling that showed him behind by double-digits. Sure enough, a new Mason-Dixon poll shows that Reid is either statistically tied or leading his GOP opponents:

Forty-two percent of Nevada voters said they would vote for state GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden in a potential match-up against Reid, while 39 percent would support the majority leader, according to a Mason-Dixon poll released Friday.

By contrast, Lowden led Reid 47-37 in a mid-April Mason-Dixon poll, both surveys having been sponsored by the Las Vegas Journal-Review.

The new poll shows Reid making up ground against — if not overtaking — other potential Republican opponents.

Reid leads former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R), a favorite of Tea Party activists, 42-39 percent. The top Senate Democrat is also in a statistical dead heat with businessman and former UNLV hoops star Danny Tarkanian: Forty-two percent of Nevadans would vote for Tarkanian and 41 percent would vote for Reid in such a match-up.

Complacency is the GOP’s worst enemy at this point, and Nevada is evidence of that.

Rand Paul v. Trey Greyson Debate Reveals The Choices The GOP Faces In The Future

As I noted last night, C-Span broadcast the final debate between the Republican candidates for Senate in Kentucky, and it was quite a thing to watch:

Looking for an opening a week before the Kentucky Senate Republican primary, Trey Grayson used the final debate Monday night to hammer Rand Paul as weak on national security and unreliable on cultural issues

Grayson, who is trailing in the polls, was on the offensive for much of the hour-long session, saying Paul didn’t believe a nuclear-armed Iran was a threat to America, once backed closing the detention center for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and was insufficiently opposed to abortion.

Paul shot back by accusing Grayson of distorting his views and running a dishonest, failing campaign.

But the more fundamental disagreement on display throughout the forum, which aired statewide on Kentucky public television, was an extension of the central dispute that has defined the closely watched contest and is dividing establishment and insurgent Republicans nationally: should the party hew to a purist line on fiscal issues, slashing spending and reducing the role of Washington, even if that means taking political risks that may be unpopular with the general electorate?

The contrasts between the two candidates, and between the two strains of the Republican Party, couldn’t be more extreme:

Paul called for eliminating the Department of Education.

“If you send less money to Washington, you’ll have more in your state for education,” he said.

But Grayson said there was a role for Washington in education, citing both the capital needs of the state’s public universities and the students who need tuition assistance.

Masschusetts Senate Special Election Polls

In analyzing the data from the latest polls coming from Massachusetts with regard to the upcoming special election on January 19th, I have some things to note.

  • Rasmussen polled 500 likely voters on January 4, releasing their results the following day.
  • The Boston Globe polled 554 likely voters January 2-6, releasing their results this morning.
  • Public Policy Polling polled 744 likely voters January 7-9, releasing their results last night. (full .pdf of the results available there)

Beginning linearly with the commencement of the polls, the Boston Globe began first, though it concluded on the 6th. It was not released until this morning, but I think that its results were not influenced by Rasmussen’s numbers, as Rasmussen conducted their poll in the midst, releasing the results toward the end.  They also included Joe Kennedy as an option, whereas neither of the other polls did.  Who knows why it took the Globe four days to release their results, but I think for the time their polling spanned, it is likely accurate.

Election Night Live-Blog

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