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What Does It Mean?: Miss. Special Election (Pt. 3)

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Read The Fix's response

Dear Fix:

Thanks for responding to my e-mail. I know you're a busy, busy man.

Before we move on to the Obama and Tom Cole questions, let's stick with this "wave" topic for a moment. You wrote, "It's too early to predict a wave but something is going on in the water out there." I would agree, except we get paid to make highly speculative predictions, right? So here goes: Republicans will lose A LOT of seats in November unless they can figure out how to completely divorce themselves from President Bush's record and legacy, and if they can figure out some way to run more populist campaigns (like Democrats' constant drumbeat against "Big Oil") without completely abandoning the GOP's fundamental principles.

Can Republicans pull this off? It seems like for the GOP it may have to be every man for himself this November. Any centrally-managed campaign strategy emanating out of Washington appears unlikely to work out there in the hinterlands. After all, the Democrats who won in Louisiana and Mississippi did so by running away from many of their party's positions on things like guns and abortion, and they definitely didn't embrace Nancy Pelosi or other party leaders.

Now, on to Obama. Democrats are spinning that their wins in Louisiana and Mississippi prove that Obama won't hurt downballot, and that linking their candidates to the presumed nominee just won't work. But to play Devil's Advocate here: Didn't Travis Childers, the Mississippi winner, basically say he never met Obama? It's not like these Democratic candidates have been embracing Obama, they've just managed to avoid being successfully tied to Obama

So will Democratic candidates in tough districts welcome Obama in the fall? Or will they have to run away from him in order to remain viable?

Capitol Briefing

By Ben Pershing  |  May 14, 2008; 1:43 PM ET
Categories:  What Does It Mean?  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tom Cole Watch, Day 1
Next: What Does It Mean?: Miss. Special Election (Pt. 5)


Great back and forth between you and Chris. I envision exciting times ahead for you both. Oh, and I hope you had a nice wedding.

Posted by: diper | May 14, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans will lose A LOT of seats in November unless they can figure out how to completely divorce themselves from President Bush's record and legacy, and if they can figure out some way to run more populist campaigns without completely abandoning the GOP's fundamental principles... Can Republicans pull this off?"

What did they sing about Dumbo? "Did you ever see an elephant fly?" I recall a catchy song, but have to remind you that cartoons are not reality.

The question you're really asking is: Are voters as gullible as politicians think they are? I suspect us rubes out in the general population can (evidence to the contrary exists, I know) actually learn from our mistakes.

Or, as President Bush once put it....

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me, fool me twice... Won't Get Fooled Again."

Posted by: bsimon | May 14, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

lost in the equation is that it is precisely the additional Black voter turnout (via Obama) that doomed Davis and got Childers 8% point win.

There's a new math going on.....and it's the new voters (again, via Obama) that is changing the political map.

So, the Repubs can keep playing like it's 1968............but, it just ain't! Via Obama, there's a lot of new Democrats, and it's going to affect the general elections BIG TIME!

Posted by: kl | May 14, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I would vote Republican if it were not for their support of the Iraq war. I think McCain's support for the war will kill his chances. Don't the Republicans realize how sick the
American people are of this stupid, wasteful, endless war? I guess the voters will have to show them how the country feels.

Posted by: Harold | May 14, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: MsSwin | May 15, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

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