Florida Race Dividing Democrats
The Florida Senate race is causing
for the state's Democrats.
On the one hand, some of them (especially black voters) feel loyalty to Kendrick Meek, a young
black congressman trying for a promotion to the Senate. The problem is that he trails both
Gov. Charlie Crist (?-FL) and Marco Rubio (R) badly in the polls and few people think he
can win. On the other hand, some Democrats think that Crist might caucus with the Democrats
and at least has some chance to win. They argue that a vote for Meek is a wasted vote.
Former Representative Robert Wexler, a Democrat, strongly endorsed Crist
yesterday and told his many supporters to vote for Crist.
So while some people thought Crist's independent candidacy would split the Republican vote,
what has happened is that he divided the Democratic vote.
A similar pattern seems to be developing in Alaska. When
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) refused to give up after losing her primary
and decided to run as a write-in candidate, many Democrats thought
she would divide the Republican vote and thus give Democrat
Scott McAdams a chance. But Murkowski is drawing much of her support
from Democrats and thus hurting, rather than helping, McAdams.
In both Florida and Alaska, what Democratic voters seem to be
saying is that they do not want a tea partier in the Senate and
will sacrifice the local Democrat and vote for a moderate Republican
to deny the tea partier a victory. In a sense this becomes a self-fulfilling
prophecy though. If most Democrats refuse to vote for the
Democrat, then the Democrat won't win, but if all the Democrats
vote for the Democrat, at least in Florida, he might win.
Democrats Forced to Triage Candidates
With Democrats in trouble in so many races, the DSCC is having to decide which
candidates to support and which to cut loose and let sink or swim on their own.
Tough Senate races are underway in at least eight states:
Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin,
and DSCC chairman, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has to decide how to spend his limited budget.
Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Florida as lost causes.
No doubt Menendez is polling the eight states where all is not yet lost like crazy to see
which ones he might be able to save with a big injection of money. At the moment, the
Democrats' best prospects appear to be Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, and West Virginia, but
that could change in the coming weeks.
The chance of winning is not the only factor Menendez has to consider when drawing up his
budget. Some states, like Nevada and West Virginia, are cheap to advertise in and others,
such as Illinois and Pennsylvania, are expensive. A milion dollars goes a long way in
West Virgina but not nearly so far in Pennsylvania. Also to be considered is the color
of the state. It doesn't take a lot to convince people in Illinois to vote for Democrats;
they normally do it without much urging, whereas West Virginia is a harder sell. Finally,
some candidates, like Alexi Giannoulias (IL), are already badly damaged whereas others, like
Joe Manchin (WV) are very popular. From all these factors, a decision has to be made about
where to put resources.
Whitman to Debate Brown on Spanish-Language Television Today
a confusing jumble
fresh in everyone's mind, the debate tonight between
gubernatorial candidates Meg Whiteman (R) and Jerry Brown (D) could
be the decisive event in the governor's race. Many Latinos have become
suspicious of Whitman, who called her maid "family" and then
unceremoniously threw her out on the street at the start of her
campaign when it was clear she was going to be a liability. Tonight
she will get her one--and perhaps only--chance to redeem herself
in the eyes of Latino voters, who comprise 21% of California's
voters. It is generally accepted that a Republican candidate needs
at least 30% of the Latino vote to win statewide here.
One has to wonder if Whitman ever heard the name
(Bill Clinton's first nominee for Attorney General who was shot down
for having employed an illegal nanny).
Whitman has spent $120 million on television ads so far. It might
have been wiser for her to have spent $119 million on ads and $1 million
to buy Nicky Diaz Santillan's silence. Probably there will be a poll
within a few days of the debate and we'll have a better idea of how
much damage has been done.
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