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Why the Murtha special election is no sure thing for Republicans

At first glance, the special election to replace the late Rep. John Murtha (D) in Pennsylvania is a golden opportunity for House Republicans looking to build momentum heading into what is widely expected to be a very good midterm election for the party.

Murtha's 12th district, located in western Pennsylvania, was the only seat in the country that went for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 and switched to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008 -- this in spite of the fact that Kerry won the state by three points while Obama carried it by 10.

Add that demographic trend line to the fact that the national political environment is tilted away from Democrats -- as evidenced by Sen. Scott Brown's special election victory in Massachusetts last month -- and it would seem as though Republicans enter the race as clear favorites to score a takeover.

But, as (almost) always in politics, there's far more to the story.

Here are five reasons why the Murtha seat is something short of a sure thing pickup for House Republicans.

1. Primary politics: Gov. Ed Rendell (D) has yet to set the date for the special election but it is widely assumed that he will choose May 18 -- the day already reserved for primaries around the state. Democrats will have two extremely competitive statewide primaries for governor and Senate, contests sure to drive excitement (and turnout) among the party's base voters. Republicans, by contrast, seem set to nominate state Attorney General Tom Corbett and former Rep. Pat Toomey in the gubernatorial and Senate races, respectively, without much fanfare. Add to that likely turnout gap the fact that Pennsylvania holds closed party primaries -- meaning that crossover voting within the parties is impossible -- and it looks likely that whoever the Democratic nominee is will start the contest with an edge in the shape of the electorate.

2. The selection process: As the Cook Political Report's David Wasserman notes, the last special election in Pennsylvania -- Rep. Bill Shuster's 2001 victory in his father, Bud's, old 9th district -- saw the candidates picked by county conventions not a primary. That sort of selection process is similar to how state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava was picked as the Republican nominee in the special election in New York's 23rd district last year, a decision of disastrous proportions for the GOP. With the most conservative wing of the Republican party already expressing their dissatisfaction with party leaders -- and many of them defecting to the nascent tea party movement -- the idea of a small group of people selecting the GOP nominee in PA-12 has the potential to provoke a redux of the New York brouhaha, fracturing the party and leading to a Democratic win.

3. Bench depth: Murtha ruled -- and we do mean ruled -- southwestern Pennsylvania for better than 35 years. In the process, he helped build a farm team of ambitious pols who Democrats will look to draw on as they seek to keep control of his seat. Among the names mentioned on the Democratic side: Murtha chief of staff John Huyga, Murtha's son John, former Lt. Gov. Mark Singel and state Sen. John Wozniak. The leading Republican names are Bill Russell, who took 42 percent of the vote against Murtha in 2008, and businessman Tim Burns.

4. Money matters: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee continues to hold a wide fundraising edge over its Republican counterpart. At the end of 2009, the DCCC had $16.7 million in the bank as compared to $2.7 million for the National Republican Congressional Committee. That massive financial gap means that the DCCC can drastically outspend the NRCC in the district, providing substantial air and ground cover for their eventual candidate. ((In New York's 23rd, the DCCC spent roughly $200,000 more than the NRCC on independent expenditures.) Another complicating financial factor for House Republicans is the pending special election in Hawaii's 1st district. The GOP believes they have a chance to win that one and must make sure they have enough money to make good on the opportunity.

5. Track record: The DCCC has won the last five competitive special election in locations as varied as suburban Chicago, northern Mississippi and Upstate New York. While each special brings its own unique opportunities and challenges, the fact that the DCCC has pulled out wins in five straight competitive contests should not be undersold. It means that the committee understands the nuts and bolts of how you win these low turnout, quirky affairs. And, it means that until Republicans crack the code, Democrats will enter every special election with a little extra shot of confidence about getting to their win number.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 9, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: Republicans close trust gap with Democrats, President Obama

Comments

So they have the election in May? They're on vacation from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Then they have to campaign again when they get back for the 2010 elections?

Posted by: RoseKelly | February 10, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Best Fix analysis I've read in quite some time. THIS is what I come here for.

Posted by: optimyst | February 10, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Politico has a good point from an unnamed lawmaker "They just wanted to win," the source said of Emanuel and other White House strategists. "Their plan was to keep all the Democrats together and work like hell to get Snowe and Collins. The Senate doesn't work that way. You need a radius of 10 to 12 from the other side if you're going to have a shot."


___________________________________

This approach would have required a compromise with 10 - 12 Republicans - and involved getting rid of the massive government program and the massive taxes.

It would have involved a strategy from the beginning to have the House democrats accept the compromises which the Senate had to make in order to get teh 10 - 12 Republicans on board.


I would guess that if they were talking to 10 Republicans, the negotiations would have eventually expanded so that Republican support of 20 - 25 Senators would have been the probable outcome.

HOWEVER - it would have involved getting the Senate on board with the Stupak compromise way ahead of time too.

Doing this from the beginning, with the House talking to the Senate appears now would have eliminated many problems.

Obama was a Senator - the Poltico article statest that Obama did not understand how the Senate works - well that is what you get when you elect an inexperienced person.


But where is Biden ? He should have known.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 10, 2010 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Mark Knoller from CBS News says that Obama "calls for bipartisanship by the opposition – he really means surrender."


It is pretty obvious.


Obama isn't even being nice about it either. By jumping to the microphone today, Obama is signaling loudly that he will jump at any chance to characterize the Republicans - even as they walk out of a meeting aimed at bipartisanship.

Obama's lack of good faith - shown by his actions and words over the past few weeks - is bound to destroy any realistic chances at bipartisan agreement.

AND Obama is doing in this in front of the American people - in terms that everyone can understand.

Obama is a fraud.


It is amazing that Obama has now found a different way to be a fraud to his own campaign commitment to be bipartisan.

It is astonishing that had Obama actually and truly been bipartisan from the beginning, we would have had a health care bill already.

It is PRECISELY Obama's desire to get all the credit, and all the political advantage from a health care bill that has completely destroyed the health care bill.

This is actually a case study in how NOT to govern - how NOT to try to lead - how NOT to approach one's first year in office.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 10, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Obama is attempting to blame the Republicans - but he should be blaming the democrats


The democrats are the ones who couldn't get it together last year.


The democrats are the ones who did the backroom deals with

the pharmaceutical companies,

the doctors,

the unions -

Mary Landreau, and

Ben Nelson -


AND THAT IS WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT.

The voters in Massachusetts are the ones who ended this chapter - not the Republicans.

If Obama can not accept the central reality - I really do not know what to say.


Let me be clear: it was the democrats who killed the health care bill.

The other central reality here is that the American people DO NOT want the health care plan.

If Obama thinks the democrats in Congress still want to vote for it in an election year, then he is sadly mistaken.


BUT Obama appears to be under an even different DELUSION.

Obama appears to now be DEMANDING that the Republicans support an unpopular health care plan - a plan that the American people do not want.

AND Obama is insisting that the "compromise" plan include universal coverage which means a massive government program.


If Obama can't get his own democrats to vote for an unpopular plan (which appears to be the case) then why does Obama think the Republicans are going to vote for that same unpopular program.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 10, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Everyone is buzzing about this new forceful attitude that Obama has - telling everyone what he WON'T do.


Obama was supposed to be the guy bringing the compromise, being the "uniter."

So what is up with the attitude? It simply does not work. Obama is not a leader - really.


Obama is too inexperienced.


Then Obama brings out a budget that resembles a cocaine binge more than anything else.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

NO sorry DDAWD

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

NO sorry DDAWD

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

NO sorry DDAWD

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Does Obama realize that the American people do NOT want a massive government program with massive taxes???


From the comments of Secretary Sebelius - it appears not.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

haha has zook been switching between his 37th and his suzy monikers this whole night??

Posted by: DDAWD | February 9, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

See how forceful Obama was today, trying to state exactly what he NOW means by being bipartisan - saying that he will NOW meet the Republicans halfway - then DEMANDING THAT THE REPUBLICANS MOVE IN HIS DIRECTION TOO.


Hardly an attitude that one would expect from the "uniter" Obama claimed to be.

Obama's signals these past two weeks have been haphazard at best, pyscho at worst.

Earlier, Obama seems to be demanding that the Republicans ACCEPT OBAMA'S GOALS - even his Secretary Sebelius - apparently with White House consent - went out there, demanded that the goal is "universal coverage" - and they will talk to the Republicans about the means to get there.

But are those the goals of the Republicans too? That is exactly what the topic of the compromise is - Obama and crew appear to be going out there and saying - we are going to compromise - but we are not going to compromise.

Obama's anger is actually astonishing - Obama is NOW telling us what he will NOT do - all of a sudden Obama wants things off the table.

Obviously there is a fundamental situation here - Obama and the democrats HAVE NOT BEEN LISTENING TO THE OBJECTIONS RAISED TO THE HEALTH CARE PLAN - THEY HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY IGNORING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SINCE LAST SPRING.

This is clear because it appears that Obama does not understand that the major objection to the health care plan is the MASSIVE GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND THE MASSIVE TAXES.

So, for Obama and Sebelius to come out and start off by insisting on "univerasal coverage" which requires massive spending and massive taxes - is not tone-deaf, it is completely deaf.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

See how forceful Obama was today, trying to state exactly what he NOW means by being bipartisan - saying that he will NOW meet the Republicans halfway - then DEMANDING THAT THE REPUBLICANS MOVE IN HIS DIRECTION TOO.


Hardly an attitude that one would expect from the "uniter" Obama claimed to be.

Obama's signals these past two weeks have been haphazard at best, pyscho at worst.

Earlier, Obama seems to be demanding that the Republicans ACCEPT OBAMA'S GOALS - even his Secretary Sebelius - apparently with White House consent - went out there, demanded that the goal is "universal coverage" - and they will talk to the Republicans about the means to get there.

But are those the goals of the Republicans too? That is exactly what the topic of the compromise is - Obama and crew appear to be going out there and saying - we are going to compromise - but we are not going to compromise.

Obama's anger is actually astonishing - Obama is NOW telling us what he will NOT do - all of a sudden Obama wants things off the table.

Obviously there is a fundamental situation here - Obama and the democrats HAVE NOT BEEN LISTENING TO THE OBJECTIONS RAISED TO THE HEALTH CARE PLAN - THEY HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY IGNORING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SINCE LAST SPRING.

This is clear because it appears that Obama does not understand that the major objection to the health care plan is the MASSIVE GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND THE MASSIVE TAXES.

So, for Obama and Sebelius to come out and start off by insisting on "univerasal coverage" which requires massive spending and massive taxes - is not tone-deaf, it is completely deaf.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I am simply amazed by Obama's attitude over the past few weeks - I think the country has finally seen into the real Obama - and it is a pretty ugly picture.


Obama today appeared really really angry that he had to be bipartisan.

This is how a liar acts when caught in the lie - one usually does not expect anger in return to pointing out someone has been lying. It appears that Obama knew ALL ALONG that he had been lying about being bipartisan - it appears Obama never intended to fulfill his commitments to the American people.

Obama was always going to turn his back on the Republicans - and freeze them out in an attempt to get his ultra-left agenda in place for the whole country.

Obama's plan did not work - and now Obama is angry about it - you can hear it in his voice during the questions with reporters today -

Deep down, Obama wants to get away with his lie.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

"Is DDAWD in Ne'Awlins?
Raise your shirt and show us your hm-hms; we'll toss you some beads!

Posted by: margaretmeyers"

Yup, I'm here in the Big Easy. No beads today, but one of the Saints cornerbacks threw me a bag of peanuts during the parade we held for them.

But it is Mardi Gras season. Fat Tuesday is next week. And I can get plenty of beads while still leaving some things to the imagination!

Posted by: DDAWD | February 9, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

SuzyCcup


There is either a group of people on this blog who are working together - or a few people who use multiple names - pretending to be different people.


For some reason, some group has organized in a way with the objective of disrupting this blog, mocking other posters and basically attempting to shut down views which they do not like.

It is pretty sad. I keep on imaging them all in the same room, with multiple computer terminals - however that doesn't have to be the case.

One or a few of them probably have multiple names on here - sign off and back on under a different name -

Anyway that is the source of much of which goes on here. It's been going on for a while - at least two years.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually from the Wight Ring.

Posted by: JakeD3 | February 9, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

JakeD3, a whole D better than JakeD2.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 9, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

SuzyCcup

I don't think JakeD3 is the JakeD or JakeD2 who you know.
Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 10:12 PM

37, maybe he can answer my question anyway.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 9, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

SuzyCcup


I don't think JakeD3 is the JakeD or JakeD2 who you know.

JakeD3 is someone who made up this name to annoy JakeD2 - to confuse everyone else.


JakeD3 is from the far left wing.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, folks. Get a room.

Posted by: JakeD3 | February 9, 2010 9:49 PM

JakeD, glad you're here cause I got a thing or two to tell you. Give up on that big liar, Sarah Palin, and come back down to earth. OK?

By the way, I visited California two years ago - Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. One of those places was full of millionaires and had a huge harbor full of yachts. Is that where your boat is at? It's not called Titanic II, is it?

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 9, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

JakeD3

Did you review your math and figure out where you made your mistake ???


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, folks. Get a room.

Posted by: JakeD3 | February 9, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

SuzyCcup


No way Suzy, I am on the right side.

I guess I will have to carry you, piggy back.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

SuzyCcup


No way Suzy, I am on the right side.

I guess I will have to carry you, piggy back.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Suzy

I am on the right, you are to the left of me.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:41 PM


37, I'm to the left of no one. I even walk my dog so he is always to my left.

Always walk life on the right side.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 9, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Suzy


I am on the right, you are to the left of me.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

SuzyCcup

I thought you were on my side.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:33 PM

37, which side is that? The left or the right?

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 9, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

SuzyCcup


I thought you were on my side.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

SuzyCcup


I thought you were on my side.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

SuzyCcup

Can't touch that.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

sverigegrabb

I rarely critique Chris's slant in his postings -
Only yesterday when he started talking about Rep. Murtha's replacement only hours after his passing.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 8:59 PM


37, big deal. Republicans started talking about his replacement last year, long before his passing.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 9, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

JakeD3
If you are trying to insult me, you are just showing your lack of basic math skills - time to go back to third grade.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:01 PM


37, here's some real math for you (and JakeD):

What do you get if you add Obama to Albert Einstein?

E = MC Hammer

Posted by: SuzyCcup | February 9, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse


It is not proper to send John Brennen out to do a partisan bidding for Obama - this is the national security and terrorism chief - DOESN'T HE HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO - LIKE NATIONAL SECURITY.

It is WRONG for Obama to send John Brennen out on a partisan mission - he is actually using government officials to do political work.

I don't know the exact law, but they are getting close -

IF JOHN BRENNEN DOES NOT WANT TO QUESTION THE TERRORISTS IMMEDIATELY HE SHOULD RESIGN IMMEDIATELY.


THIS IS THE TERRORISM CHIEF WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.

AND THAT GOES FOR OBAMA TOO.

AND JOHN BRENNEN SHOULD NOT BE OUT ON PARTISAN MISSIONS - THAT IS WRONG.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

sverigegrabb


I rarely give Chris a difficult time about his slant -


I did give it to him yesterday.


However, I would think he had a laugh yesterday over all of it.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

sverigegrabb


I rarely give Chris a difficult time about his slant -


I did give it to him yesterday.


However, I would think he had a laugh yesterday over all of it.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Robert Gibbs, as White House Press Secretary, should conduct himself with a degree of dignity - at least when he is at the White House.


We understand he can not help himself - and we just wonder what he does when he is in his own living room.

However, Gibbs' statements today have been highly partisan - which is a disgrace.

If they want to make highly partisan statements, it should be done out of the DNC.

Time to grow up folks, you have been in office for over year, and you should know better.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

JakeD3


If you are trying to insult me, you are just showing your lack of basic math skills - time to go back to third grade.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

sverigegrabb

I rarely critique Chris's slant in his postings -


Only yesterday when he started talking about Rep. Murtha's replacement only hours after his passing.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Is DDAWD in Ne'Awlins?
Raise your shirt and show us your hm-hms; we'll toss you some beads!

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 9, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

To 37th &... (And other ideologues):

Chris is--despite your reluctance to believe it--NONPARTISAN.

I, too, am NONPARTISAN--Hell, I'm not even a US citizen and therefore cannot vote in this country.

I haven't noticed you criticise posts in which Chris writes something positive about the R.s--of which there has been a considerable amount lately.

I'm sorry if--simply because you dislike something which MIGHT be positive for D.s--you're spraying your usual venom in such scattershot fashion.

The truth is that I've been an admirer of Chris's reportage for a long time, even back when he was working for Roll Call.

You lot are SO quick to 'dump on' him when he writes something contrary to your beliefs, how about a bit of praise where praise is due--as this post certainly deserved to be praised?

If you knew ANYTHING about proper journalism, you'd look beyond the narrow ideological view that colours so many of your comments and be able to see a proper, well structured piece of reportage, whomever it might (possibly) favour.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | February 9, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

No matter who wins, at least Murtha is roasting in Hell alongside the murderer Teddy Kennedy. The world is a better place for it. Of course "the Kennedy seat" was a "sure thing" also --- according to the libs. November just keeps looking better.

glad to know that you have insight into who's in heaven or hell. That's about as intelligent as suggesting Reagan is roasting in hell. Murtha at least fought and bled for his country did you?

Posted by: chet_brewer | February 9, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

2*2*2+3*3*3 = /life

Posted by: JakeD3 | February 9, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I expect the GOP to really go buggy trying to win this one. If they lose it'll just be a cause for more rage, so overall they'll be able to pull something out of it.

Posted by: Nymous | February 9, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe, thanks, and just try to ignore the corner.
See, if Palin had been thinking instead of hiding, she could have shown the audience her hand and said something like "I'm goin' green. No hydro sucking teleprompters for me.my notes are in Vegetable ink pen on my hand" It would have been a subtle jab at the Prez, it would have shown she wasn't hiding anything, or being hypocritical. Plus it's kinda funny and cute. Instead, she did what the Prez warned all pols about doing. basically, don't paint yourself into a corner with your words. She slammed him for using a teleprompter so she had to be sneaky about her "notes" or appear hypocritical.

Posted by: katem1 | February 9, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I can remember no other White House that has such little class.

______________

How about the last occupant of the White House "bring it on" "dead or alive" That's real presidential.

__________________

With all of Murtha's shenanigans, SW PA might be ready to move right.

_______________

Don't count on that. I'm originally from SW PA. John Murtha - whatever you think of him - was a highly respected man in his district. You may call it pork, but he looked after his constituents (which is what a representative is elected to do)and brought jobs to the area after the steel mills left.

I have seen the devastation first hand when an entire industry leaves an area. At least John Murtha cared enough to try to alleviate it.

Posted by: kadoherty1 | February 9, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Kinda hard to disagree with Mary Kate Cary about Palin's "hand"-writing:

"At a certain age and at a certain professional level, it's really not cool to write the big stuff down on your hand. Yellow stickies, maybe. BlackBerry, maybe. But if you were sitting in your doctor's office after an exam, and saw that he'd written on his hand: "Diagnose Illness ... Write Prescription," you'd be more than alarmed.

If Sarah Palin was nervous about taking questions, she had a lot of options: She could have sat at a table with notes in front of her, stood at a podium with an outline, or even sat on the couch like she did, but with index cards in her hand."

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/mary-kate-cary/2010/02/08/palin-hand-notes-are-alarming-embarrassing.html


Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 9, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, I didn't know. Someone better give St. Augustine a heads up. I'd be careful about dissing Jesus though. He's a very insightful guy, they say he can see right through you.

Posted by: 12BarBlues"

A Saint threw me a bag of peanuts today. I think I'm ok for now.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 9, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

It's ok if it's on the internet. Jesus is too stupid to trace IP addresses.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 9, 2010 7:40 PM
-------------------------------------
Oh, I didn't know. Someone better give St. Augustine a heads up. I'd be careful about dissing Jesus though. He's a very insightful guy, they say he can see right through you.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | February 9, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Obama committed himself in the campaign to bipartisanship - that means compromise.


All of a sudden, Obama is in a news conference saying that he wants to meet the Republicans halfway ????


ALL OF A SUDDEN OBAMA IS SAYING THIS ???

Obama has some nerve. He really does.


AND Obama appears really really ANGRY that he has to be bipartisan now.


How ridiculous is this???


Obama went out there almost every day during the campaign - stating clearly that he was going to be the "uniter" and bring about compromise.


NOW OBAMA IS ANGRY HE HAS TO JUST THAT???

OBAMA HAS SOME NERVE.


WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS.


THIS ATTITUDE IS A DISGRACE TO THE COUNTRY.


THE DEMOCRATS SHOULD BE ASHAMED.


REALLY SHAMED.


TODAY WAS SHAMEFUL BEHAVIOR.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

"I was stunned to read your post. St. Augustine said that as good Christians we are discouraged from speculating who is in heaven -

but we are prohibited from speculating who is in hell.

Posted by: 12BarBlues"

It's ok if it's on the internet. Jesus is too stupid to trace IP addresses.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 9, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Cillizza says it's no sure thing. Republicans can probably put this one in the bank now. Go Colts!!!!!

Posted by: ADNova | February 9, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

John Murtha once said that U.S Marines in Iraq had killed women and children ''in cold blood''after a battle in Haditha, Iraq in November 2005.

Of the eight Marines accused, only one still faces possible charges -- the rest were either acquitted or had the charges dropped.

He even compared the Haditha incident to the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War


Posted by: geo82170 | February 9, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse


No matter who wins, at least Murtha is roasting in Hell alongside the murderer Teddy Kennedy. The world is a better place for it. Of course "the Kennedy seat" was a "sure thing" also --- according to the libs. November just keeps looking better.

Posted by: oldno7 | February 9, 2010 7:02 PM
-----------------------------------
I was stunned to read your post. St. Augustine said that as good Christians we are discouraged from speculating who is in heaven -

but we are prohibited from speculating who is in hell.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | February 9, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe


You have already lost all your credibility on the polls with the Massachusetts race.


For weeks you claimed Rasmussen was wrong, and you complained, complained, complained.

All your posts have become completely pathetic.


If you don't have something of substance to say, get lost.

OBAMA IS AT 36% ON THE ECONOMY - AND THAT IS REALLY THE ONLY NUMBER THAT MATTERS.

Obama has no economic or business experience except for buying cocaine.


This is what you get for electing someone with no economic experience - he ignores the economy and tries to spend TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS ANYWAY.


It is JUST LIKE A COCAINE BINGE.

THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED.

YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF BEING SO IRRESPONSIBLE WITH THE COUNTRY.


HOW YOU CAN LOOK YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS IN THE EYE IS BEYOND ME.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe


You have already lost all your credibility on the polls with the Massachusetts race.


For weeks you claimed Rasmussen was wrong, and you complained, complained, complained.

All your posts have become completely pathetic.


If you don't have something of substance to say, get lost.

OBAMA IS AT 36% ON THE ECONOMY - AND THAT IS REALLY THE ONLY NUMBER THAT MATTERS.

Obama has no economic or business experience except for buying cocaine.


This is what you get for electing someone with no economic experience - he ignores the economy and tries to spend TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS ANYWAY.


It is JUST LIKE A COCAINE BINGE.

THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED.

YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF BEING SO IRRESPONSIBLE WITH THE COUNTRY.


HOW YOU CAN LOOK YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS IN THE EYE IS BEYOND ME.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

STAAAND UP AND GET CRUNK!

Posted by: DDAWD | February 9, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse


Obama committed himself in the campaign to bipartisanship - that means compromise.


All of a sudden, Obama is in a news conference saying that he wants to meet the Republicans halfway ????


ALL OF A SUDDEN OBAMA IS SAYING THIS ???

Obama has some nerve. He really does.


AND Obama appears really really ANGRY that he has to be bipartisan now.


How ridiculous is this???


Obama went out there almost every day during the campaign - stating clearly that he was going to be the "uniter" and bring about compromise.


NOW OBAMA IS ANGRY HE HAS TO JUST THAT???

OBAMA HAS SOME NERVE.


WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS.


THIS ATTITUDE IS A DISGRACE TO THE COUNTRY.


THE DEMOCRATS SHOULD BE ASHAMED.


REALLY SHAMED.


TODAY WAS SHAMEFUL BEHAVIOR.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama committed himself in the campaign to bipartisanship - that means compromise.

All of a sudden, Obama is in a news conference saying that he wants to meet the Republicans halfway ????

ALL OF A SUDDEN OBAMA IS SAYING THIS ???


Obama has some nerve. He really does.

AND Obama appears really really ANGRY that he has to be bipartisan now.

How ridiculous is this???

Obama went out there almost every day during the campaign - stating clearly that he was going to be the "uniter" and bring about compromise.

NOW OBAMA IS ANGRY HE HAS TO JUST THAT???


OBAMA HAS SOME NERVE.

WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS.

THIS ATTITUDE IS A DISGRACE TO THE COUNTRY.

THE DEMOCRATS SHOULD BE ASHAMED.

REALLY SHAMED.

TODAY WAS SHAMEFUL BEHAVIOR.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Obama approval at 56% (Research 2000).

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 9, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

The Gallup poll has Obama's approval rating on the economic job he is doing is down to 36%


Obama's personal rating is 50% approval.

This is basically a crash. If we had a parliamentary system, Obama would be back in Hyde Park back to pretending he is a professor.

It is time that Obama really change his act.


Obama messed up the health care - his own democrats did not support him. The Republicans were not really involved, that was Obama's choice.

NOW Obama is mad at the Republicans???


The problem is the facts do not add up to support Obama's story.

Obama's anger, Obama's demands that the Republicans help him his goals - it's all silly.

Maybe the Obama talking utopia is better - everyone knew the reality was always there -


YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET ANGRY ABOUT IT OBAMA.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1


I have to agree with you - for a White House Press Secretary to speak like that is disgraceful.


I can remember no other White House that has such little class.

I guess with such a fraud as President and now the complete lack of an agenda, it is difficult to come up with things to say, so mocking people makes sense for the White House.


It is inappropriate though, for someone on a government salary.

The other thing is the White House is part of the government - the partisan activities should be limited at the White House - the DNC is the proper place for partisan activities.

Robert Gibbs should not be engaging in partisan mocking like that.

It is getting a little tiring watching this White House abandon all traditions and all decor in the name of whatever they think they are doing.


.


Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

No matter who wins, at least Murtha is roasting in Hell alongside the murderer Teddy Kennedy. The world is a better place for it. Of course "the Kennedy seat" was a "sure thing" also --- according to the libs. November just keeps looking better.

Posted by: oldno7 | February 9, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

36 + 1 = 0

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 9, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe


Do you have ANYTHING OF SUBSTANCE to say?

Or do you just mock people???

Everyone is getting tired of you.

If you have nothing to say, please leave.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

The only way the Republicans can guarantee to capture Murtha's seat - is if Obama comes and campaigns for the Democratic candidate. The 44th president's popularity has fallen to 44 percent.

Murtha was the biggest crook in Congress and the American people are on a new pork free diet. The King of Pork is dead.

Posted by: alance | February 9, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

whoever wins in pa will be an improvement.

Posted by: pofinpa | February 9, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

U.S. Presidents who have relied on notes handwritten on their skin during a public speech:

1. George Washington. No.
2. John Adams. No.
3. Thomas Jefferson. No.
4. James Madison. No.
5. James Monroe. No.
...
41. George H. Bush. No.
42. William Jefferson Clinton. No.
43. George W. Bush. No.
44. Barack H. Obama. No.

If elected as POTUS in 2012, Sarah Heath Palin would be the first president to hand-write speech notes on her skin.

Developing...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 9, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Murtha ruled -- and we do mean ruled -- southwestern Pennsylvania for better than 35 years. In the process, he helped build a farm team of ambitious pols who Democrats will look to draw on as they seek to keep control of his seat.

-------------------------------------------

Ummm... So did Ted Kennedy and his cronies. I realize one seat was for the Senate and one seat is for the House, but don't count your chickens before they hatch. With all of Murtha's shenanigans, SW PA might be ready to move right.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 9, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe writes
"How good was Press Secretary Gibbs today? He made fun on Palin's handwritten crib notes scrawled on her hand at the Tea Party convention."


Put me in the category of people who think Gibbs shouldn't demean himself or his position with such antics.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 9, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

No matter who wins, it will be better than Murtha.

Posted by: Peejay | February 9, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

katem, co-sign.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 9, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

another well balanced post Chris, thanks.
because as much as I despise polls, the polls that say the Dems are in trouble also say the GOP is sinking faster. So let's all get our info from nice, balanced columns like this one.

Posted by: katem1 | February 9, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

another well balanced post Chris, thanks.
because as much as I despise polls, the polls that say the Dems are in trouble also say the GOP is sinking faster. So let's all get our info from nice, balanced columns like this one.

Posted by: katem1 | February 9, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

How good was Press Secretary Gibbs today? He made fun on Palin's handwritten crib notes scrawled on her hand at the Tea Party convention.

From the Post:

"Updated 5:30 p.m.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs flashed a left palm with notes written on it at the news briefing Tuesday, an apparent mocking reference to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's use of her hand as notepad during the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville.

Some snow-survival essential foodstuffs and the words "hope" and "change" were written on Gibbs's hand where Palin had written "energy," "tax" and "lift American spirits" on hers.

Palin had mocked President Obama as overly reliant on teleprompters in her speech to Tea Party conventiongoers Saturday, leading her critics to jump when she was revealed to have written notes on her hand and was filmed appearing to glance at the notes during a question and answer session at the conference."

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 9, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Was this ghostwritten? Murtha's seat not a sure GOP takeover? No Dems in trouble narrative? Straight news and information. What's going on?
____________________

...and only two checks today:

Free Cook Report ad/mention. Check.

No positive mention of the 44th President of the United States. Check.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 9, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

You are just hoping it isn't a total wipeout. Sure NOTHING for is sure but it is highly likely the GOP will win his seat because Mirtha was unenthical and was under probe for contracts his state won because of his influence in Washington. Bring on the elections!

Posted by: joaquinrose | February 9, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"Stop hyperventilating over Palin and Pawlenty."

Speaking of Timmy, the local press is starting to point out how little time he spends governing anymore. Today's news: the governor is now spending time hand-delivering $100K fundraising checks to the Alabama GOP.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 9, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

mikey30919: I'm pretty sure I'm not the idiot here.

Posted by: Blarg | February 9, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big Mark Singel fan, but he has lived full time in Harrisburg since leaving office in 1994, so I'm not sure he is eligible in the 12th.

Posted by: rlr_ex_nova | February 9, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

el Fix - I agree with sverigegrabb. Do more of this & less of the nonsense like the prior thread.

==

co-sign. Best column in a long time.

Stop hyperventilating over Palin and Pawlenty.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 9, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of money, what happens to the money Murtha has already raised? If that gets turned over to his successor or the DCCC, that's an advantage for the Democrats.

Posted by: Blarg | February 9, 2010 4:10 PM


Maybe you could get Rush to demand the Murtha family turn themoney over to the tea party candidate are you an idiot?

Posted by: mikey30919 | February 9, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Let Sister Sarah and the Tea Partiers run the republican campaign it worked so well in NY23 last year I want them to do it again

Posted by: mikey30919 | February 9, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the A-rabs over at Abscam could come through with that bribe they promised at a later date, now?

Posted by: drivl | February 9, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Great. Isn't Murtha's son the one who was busted for crack cocaine a few years ago? And, of course, his first cousin Bob Murtha owns Murtech, the company in Glen Burnie that got millions of dollars in no-bid, no-show Defense contracts based on Murtha earmarks.

It would appear that the voters of PA-12 will likely give us just more of the same corruption that we have come to expect from their congressman. They should do us all a favor and reach over into Ohio and elect Jim Traficant.

Posted by: hisroc | February 9, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of money, what happens to the money Murtha has already raised? If that gets turned over to his successor or the DCCC, that's an advantage for the Democrats.

Posted by: Blarg | February 9, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

el Fix - I agree with sverigegrabb. Do more of this & less of the nonsense like the prior thread.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 9, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse


"We can't afford grandstanding at the expense of actually getting something done," Obama said. "What I won't consider is doing nothing."

I guess an entire year of that was enough, even for him.

Unless this is just more grandstanding?

Mmmmmmm mmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmm

Posted by: drivl | February 9, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

sverigegrabb


WHAT ??? ARE YOU THE MRS. FIX??


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 9, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

This is mainly good analysis, but one caveat:

'Add that demographic trend line to the fact that the national political environment is tilted away from Democrats -- as evidenced by Sen. Scott Brown's special election victory in Massachusetts last month.'

This is simply too much of a leap. You cannot lump every race together this way simply the inerence of one or two local races where the Dem candidates were abysmal. I mean, you followed it, could Coakley have POSSIBLY run a worse race?

Posted by: drindl | February 9, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

THIS kind of incisive, in-depth reportage is the reason I continue to read The Fix religiously.

Such an excellent post, it could well be a primer for so many local races--the kind whose 'surprise' results are rarely surprising when one knows the details and the backstory! Tip O'Neill had it right: all politics is indeed local.

I do hope this doesn't sound condescending or fatuous--it's meant to be filled with admiration. Few others at a national level of political journalism offer this degree of insightful localised knowledge. Your time w. Charlie Cook was well-spent. You have indeed found your niche.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | February 9, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I would think that Murtha's son would be a shoe in if he is a decent guy and if he has any experience. Than again it may depend on if the other names being floated around back up him as a nominee.
A win in this special election would be a nice rallying point for the dems if they can hold it.

Posted by: AndyR3 | February 9, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Republicans clear favorites here? Given the benches and history of the district, Democrats are clear favorites unless they blow this one. John Wozniak is the almost certain next Representative, long as he runs.

Posted by: joeyjoejoe | February 9, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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