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Danger Incumbents Danger!

1. West Virginia Rep. Alan Mollohan's (D) resounding primary defeat Tuesday night coupled with Utah Sen. Bob Bennett's (R) convincing loss last Saturday should send a clear signal to any incumbent up for re-election this year: Brace yourself.

While both Mollohan (ethics) and Bennett (TARP) carried unique baggage that left them vulnerable to a challenge from within their party, their defeats are from the only evidence that an anti-incumbent fervor is gripping the nation.

Last Tuesday, Indiana Republican Rep. Dan Burton won his party's nod with less than 30 percent of the vote while unknown and unfunded challengers to North Carolina Democratic Reps. Larry Kissell and Heath Shuler took more than a third of the vote.

(Deputy Fix Aaron Blake notes that similarly unknown challengers to West Virginia Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall and Nebraska Republican Rep. Lee Terry also wound up with more than a third of the vote in primaries on Tuesday night.)

But wait, there's more. A recent Washington Post/ABC poll showed that less than one in three people said they plan to vote to re-elect their member of Congress -- numbers that haven't been seen in Post/ABC data since the Republican wave election of 1994.

Looking at the breadth of that evidence, it's hard not to say that the political environment is toxic for incumbents. The question now seems to be how bad it is.

Next Tuesday's primaries should give us some answers. All eyes will be on Sens. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) but it's also worth watching Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) who faces a potentially serious primary challenge from a local county commissioner.

2. Former state Rep. Tom Graves (R) and former state Sen. Lee Hawkins (R) are headed toward a June 8 special election runoff for the seat vacated by former Rep. Nathan Deal (R) in Georgia's 9th district.

Graves is the favored candidate of local grassroots activists and has the support of FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth and other national conservative groups. Hawkins, meanwhile, hails from Deal's home base of Gainesville, the district's population center.

In sizing up the runoff, Graves has history on his side; the candidate who comes in first in the primary has historically gone on to win the runoff a majority of the time, according to a state Republican source.

Hawkins has geography working in his favor, however. Several of the other GOP contenders came from the eastern part of the state, and they may be inclined to rally behind Hawkins over Graves.

Hawkins raised $678,000 and spent $350,000 in the race, while Graves raised $607,000 and spent $479,000. The district is reliably conservative, giving Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) 75 percent of the vote in 2008.

3. Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele predicted Tuesday night that his party would sweep the two special elections in Pennsylvania and Hawaii later this month.

"My projection is that we'll win," Steele told the Fix in an interview at the RNC meeting at the National Harbor in Maryland. Voters go to the polls May 18 in the special election to replace the late Rep. John Murtha (D) in Pennsylvania and on May 22 in Hawaii to choose a candidate to fill out the term of former Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D), who is running for governor.

Steele called both races "incredibly important" and said that the party has "two very, very good candidates running" in businessman Tim Burns and Honolulu Councilor Charles Djou.

Asked what it would mean for the national party if Burns and Djou don't come out on top, Steele shrugged off the possibility of defeat. "What are you talking about?" Steele asked jokingly. "Oh, come on. We're going to win."

Both national parties are spending heavily on the Pennsylvania seat. The National Republican Congressional Committee has spent $958,000 on independent expenditures while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has dropped $646,000.

4. Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz may have missed an opportunity when he passed on challenging Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) this year, but he sounds a lot like he may try again in two years.

"I respect everything Sen. [Orrin] Hatch has done, but the question is whether 36 years in the U.S. Senate might be enough," Chaffetz told Fox News. "Orrin will be 78 in 2012."

The fact that Chaffetz not only knows how old the state's senior senator will be two years but is willing to publicly float the idea of a candidacy is rightly understood as an indication that he's already eyeing the Senate.

Chaffetz understands the Utah nominating process better than most. He came into office in 2008 after ousting Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), in a primary. (Chaffetz nearly beat Cannon at the state's convention earlier that year -- coming within 10 votes of the 60 percent mark he needed to avoid a primary.)

Hatch, who has held a Senate seat in the state since 1976, has said little about his 2012 plans although it's hard to imagine Bennett's loss at last weekend's convention doesn't weigh on his thinking.

Hatch ended March with $2.2 million in the bank while Chaffetz had under $100,000.

5. Running Start, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging women to run for office, will award their "2010 Women to Watch Awards" tonight and the Post's own Anne Kornblut is among the honorees.

Kornblut, who covers the White House for the Post, penned "Notes from the Cracked Ceiling" -- a work reflecting on the challenges and opportunities facing women in politics -- in 2009.

Among the other award recipients: Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, DC City Councilwoman Muriel Bowser and Malika Saada Saar, founder of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights.

Kornblut will be introduced by Post publisher Katharine Weymouth.

The festivities get started at 6 pm at the National Press Club. Tickets are still available.

With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 12, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alan Mollohan loses primary fight
Next: Worst Week in Washington

Comments

bumblingberry: Cameron in Britain is the leader of a minority government, which means for his party to be able to pass anything, they have to get either Labour or Liberals on board, they can't go it alone or be voted out on a vote of non-confidence. Which is actually a very good system. The Conservative minority government in Canada submitted a defecit inducing budget that propped up unemployment benefits, job training programs, middle class tax cuts, millions of acres of tundra into conservation, etc. The only stipulation that the Liberal leader made before he would sign off on it was that a monthly report to Parliament be made. A good realistic budget that helped people through the tough economic times, put forth by a Conservative government.

Posted by: katem1 | May 13, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Good on Los Angeles! Watch Arizona bleed from a million small cuts until businesses based there organize against its GOP.

I just love watching Republicans screwing themselves.

Posted by: Noacoler | May 13, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Los Angeles on Wednesday became the largest city yet to boycott Arizona over its tough new law targeting illegal immigration in a move that likely will affect some $8 million in contracts with the state.

The City Council voted 13-1 to bar Los Angeles from conducting business with Arizona unless the law is repealed. The vote followed an emotional council discussion during which many members noted that their ancestors were U.S. immigrants.


___________________________________

Article 4, Section 2 of the United States Constitution


The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.


_______________________________-

Is it not curious that those who are seeking to advocate their interpretation of one section of the Constitution, end up VIOLATING ANOTHER SECTION OF THE CONSTITUTION ???

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 12, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Building on Jake's argument earlier, it's interesting that so many governors want to be senators. Warner, Wilson, Crist, Celucci, and that's just the C's and W's.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 12, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

a paucity of intelligence has fogged in the liberal agenda.

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 12, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Ped BINGO

another "9"

come on Ped. How do you feel about Sarah Palin?

I heard tropical birds are really stupid, like liberals, and pre-born infants are fully aware that liberals are murderers.

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 12, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

CC: how many different names are you going to allow zouk to use on a SINGLE thread? This is ridiculous.

==

You realize don't you that zouk manages to do all this posting under all these monikers after gathering the screeds from hate sites all in the interstices of a workday so productive that it would make our liberal heads spin, and in addition to spending 48 hours a day with his family and another 24 hours a day maintaining his ever growing fleet of yachts.

I mean, you really have to be impressed with the guy. We're so inferior.

</sarcasm>

hahahaha he's an unemployed loser who found a broken camera in a trash bin

Posted by: Noacoler | May 12, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Now banned in AZ, which is quickly becoming known as 'The Taliban State':

"The 14-year-old program offers courses in standard topics like literature and history, but with an emphasis on Latino authors or history. It also has specialized courses with African-American and Native American emphasis. "

How soon before they segregate the schools and make non-whites wear yellow stars?

==

A weak case could be made for the new breathing-brown law, assuming one buys into the hysteria that illegals are a real problem and a whole bunch of other hyperbole and hysteria .. but this one has not conceivable justification at all. It's pure unvarnished bigotry. Not only does it diminish all Arizona's nonwhite residents, formally relegating them to second-class status, it hurts Arizona businesses.

How'd you like to be a hotelier or a B&B dependent on tourism, and find your reservations falling to the floor?

This is what conservatism is reduced to. Hope it ends up being conservatism's death throes.

Posted by: Noacoler | May 12, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Ped is desperately racking his "brain" trying to come up with an idea not on the list of 9.

Maybe you could access dribbl's brain (she doesn't use it) over at Kos for some new fodder.

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 12, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

THIS COUNTRY IS GOING TO BE MUCH BETTER OFF WHEN OBAMA IS OUT OF OFFICE - 2 YEARS 8 MONTHS AND 9 DAYS TO GO.
.

Posted by: 37thand0street
------------------------------------------
Finally there will be an end to the war on prosperity!

Posted by: leapin | May 12, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

God doesn't exist, zouk.

Sorry.

Posted by: Noacoler
-------------------------
Noa makes a non-falsifiable argument.

Posted by: leapin | May 12, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

more pedophile obsession.

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Pede bingo.

that's a "3".

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 12, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

CC: how many different names are you going to allow zouk to use on a SINGLE thread? This is ridiculous.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 12, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Now banned in AZ, which is quickly becoming known as 'The Taliban State':

"The 14-year-old program offers courses in standard topics like literature and history, but with an emphasis on Latino authors or history. It also has specialized courses with African-American and Native American emphasis. "

How soon before they segregate the schools and make non-whites wear yellow stars?

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

God doesn't exist, zouk.

Sorry.

Posted by: Noacoler | May 12, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Conservative Cameron takes the reins in Britain (AP)

We followed thier lead when Thatcher was elected with Reagan. And we will do so again.

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 12, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

.

zouk and his obsession with pedophiles againn. wonder why he thinks about this subject so much?


.

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Many 'RED & BLUE' Incumbents need Removed! - They Support, $Bail, and work for the Terrorist Investment $BANKsters. - WE-the-People give to the FED and the IMF,- to $Bail the crooks Out! 'Disgraceful to the MAX'!! - If You or I make a $Bad business decision or deal,- WE FAIL! - But Not the $BANKsters. - They just count on their' SENATE cronies to keep them in Our' $BUCKS!! -- When are WE-the-People going to END this "CRAP"?! -- VOTE OUT the Red & Blue Incumbents whom $supported and $BAILED the Economic Terrorists!!!

Posted by: jward52 | May 12, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Ped Bingo.

I think we can count all the ideas running around in Ped's head on ten fingers. Let's try:

1. Palin is stupid
2. Israel is racist
3. God is worthy of scorn
4. Vietnam good, US bad
5. Economics is voodoo
6. animals are better and smarter than humans
7.eating, drinking, smoking ,TV, and many others need to be banned
8. One can show how smart thay are by correcting typos on blogs and insulting the host and everyone who visits
9. demonstrating the good life involves staying up late to trade insults with other posters you supposedly despise and ignore

did I miss any?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

One post today and I already have "9" on my card.

Ped ignores others by replying to every single post they make.

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 12, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: amosdefnails
The Republicans Party plan back fired. For months Republicans have fueled the anger of Americans that are dissatisfied with the economy and the loss of jobs. They were trying to make this election a referendum on the Democrats and Obama.
*******************************************

This election IS about the Democrats that have been lead around like a pony by Obama, Reid and Pelosi. It is also about Republicans that that have forgotten their Conservative values and defending our Constitutional rights. The reckoning has started for the worthless politicians who are self serving and anti-Constitution. We are now seeing the Tea Party movement infect the Democrat Party so these idiots we have elected have nowhere to run anymore.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | May 12, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Well it is finally becoming evident that all Tarp, Stymulus and Health Care Lemmings that voted for them are going to be "retired". Now how about addressing the issue if Fannie and Freddie to finally Uncover all the Inept Culprits from Dodd, Frank and Obama who are afraid to promote a financial refoirm bill without addressing this oroginator of the Financial disaster??? Is this another broken promise about transparency, and how about facing up to the lies on Health Care " lowering costs" ??/ May be Term limits will be the VOX POPULI cry in 2012...as well as 2010 ...We The People shall Impose Term Limits on all who do not listen to the American People!

Posted by: redhawk2 | May 12, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Another data point on the danger of incumbency...

Ron Wyden (D-OR) is trumpeting the fact that he voted against the "bank bailout bill" (TARP) not once but twice in his campaign ads.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 12, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: raynetherwood | May 12, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Tea Party movement has infected the Democrat Party too with the defeat of Mollohand. He licked Pelosi's boots on command and now he is kicked out of office. This is great news!

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | May 12, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Incumbents are in danger yes - however the public is directing their fire in clearly defined areas.


The liberals overreached - plain an simple.

Obama campaigned as a moderate - NOT as a far-left moderate - Obama promised to negotiate compromises with the REPUBLICANS - which meant he would arrive at CENTRIST POLICIES.

When Obama says they won the election, the people VOTED FOR THAT PLATFORM, not a far-left one.

Obama did NOT have a mandate for a far-left agenda, massive taxes or a massive new government program.

Clearly this is the problem -

The name-calling is just making the situation worse - and it has shown an arrogance that the DEMOCRATS SIMPLY DO NOT WANT TO LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE.

When you get that combination and someone has decided to vote against you, there is very little one can do to change their minds.

One other point: Obama's lack of a track-record, lack of experience is now HURTING the democrats VERLY BADLY.

The reason is that if Obama had a 10 year history with the country, and had defined himself over 10 years, he would have that to fall back on after these missteps -


However, he doesn't have that to fall back on.


All we have is Obama's far-left agenda - AND OBAMA DID IT TO HIMSELF.


THIS COUNTRY IS GOING TO BE MUCH BETTER OFF WHEN OBAMA IS OUT OF OFFICE - 2 YEARS 8 MONTHS AND 9 DAYS TO GO.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | May 12, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

The nearly 1/3 of those saying they will vote to re-elect their incumbent Congressman is probably about the same percentage who can accurately name their Congressman . Ask around your office or neighborhood and see how many people can accurately name their elected representatives. One House member and both senators. I'll bet it is less than 1/3. Oh, and also ask them when they last voted.

Posted by: jmsbh | May 12, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is feting Afghan President Karzai this week like he’s royalty. The red carpet has been rolled out -- White House luncheon, Blair House digs, joint press conference. Is this the same guy that just a month ago the administration said stole an election, and was in bed with narco- traffickers? The same guy who threatened to join the Taliban on the heels of President Obama’s visit to Kabul?

What gives? Why the about face?

But that’s nothing compared to the about face the administration did with the Times Square bomber.

Last week, just hours after the Times Square bomber was pulled off the plane at Newark, we were treated to a sob story. -- The poor guy was an immigrant who whose American dream ended in nightmare, who lost his job and couldn’t meet the mortgage payments. This fit into the administration’s narrative that terrorist acts are "man caused disasters." Terrorists aren't part of a worldwide jihadist movement, they are lone wolves, the matter is best handled in open civilian courts where we try Americans citizens gone wrong. Proof that the administration’s approach was working? Well, not so fast. The Times Square bomber offered up valuable intelligence information from the start.

But that information must have caused the collective jaws at the White House to drop. Because by Sunday we were treated to Attorney General Holder, White House Counterterrorism Adviser Brennan and Secretary Clinton trotted out to talk tough on terrorism. Turns out the Times Square bomber was dispatched from Taliban training camps in North Waziristan, supposed hideout of Usama Bin Laden. What was he saying -- that there were more homegrown terrorist sleeper cells? That more attacks were planned? That he was a dry run? That we weren't smart, just lucky. Oops! Time for an about face -- before our luck runs out and the next terrorist attacker succeeds.

Team Obama hasn't done an about face on closing Gitmo or trying terrorists in New York, but that can’t be far away.

The administration has now done so many about faces that our heads are spinning. Hopefully it’s a sign that they’re finally facing reality.

But more likely it’s a sign that they flailing. And what’s that doing for the bad guys?

Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland

Posted by: bumblingberry | May 12, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Defacing others' solemn memorials isn't exeactly a liberal value, zouk.

Probably some stupid teenager added the cross to his collection of stopsigns and hazard markers. But you go on spinning your hate and paranoia and we'll go on ignoring you, and remembering that Being Zouk is clearly its own punishment.

Posted by: Noacoler | May 12, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

its really dissapointing to read mike disparage
his commander in chief calling him barry is beyond the pale.
And to read others R here like zouk use a
politican's illness or death to joke about shows how shallow they have become. Curious what they would have said had progressive after
progressive said such things about Reagan in his final days. Actually read many kind things said about him at that time.

Spector's race should drive Pa turnout for Critz and Steele will have to admit his failed leadership if they lose that race in the 12th District? Anyone know if pork spending has
been an issue in that race since Murtha was
consistantly attacked by the GOP for prok barrel spending?

Posted by: leichtman1 | May 12, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

while puffing up marginal movements like the Tea Party as a "mainstream" movement.

Posted by: jaxas70 | May 12, 2010 9:48 AM

tea party is mainstream. democratic party is fighting upstream. tea party went right past them.

Posted by: doof | May 12, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Anti God, anti military liberal loons recently lost a supreme court case over a cross in the Mohave desert. The cross stayed. That is until these loons chain sawed the thing down.

Dingbat drivl would have you believe this was anyone but her fellow lunatics.

Posted by: Moonbat | May 12, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm 52, and I've never seen the "anti-incumbent wave" higher than what it is today. Most of the people I know here in SE Indiana are anti-incumbent. There's some change coming in Washington, DC!

Posted by: bwshook1 | May 12, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Yep, incumbents are taking it in the neck, and well they should. To the extent that congress was looking out its window, the people demonstrated and spoke loudly & clearly. Congress didn't want to listen. Fine. We'll get a new crop in there and if they don't listen, we'll bounce their butts back to Peoria as well. There are a lot of other incumbents that should be afraid, very afraid. The days of going along with some other goofball's position to cover yourself later should never have existed. The only position a politician should be taking is the one his constituents want him to take, period.

As for experiments, the only American "experiment" that I know of is the one that Barack Obama is trying to perpetrate on our country: socialism. It's an experiment that has repeatedly failed..Greece is a perfect recent example. There is no reason to even attempt such an experiment.

Posted by: flintston | May 12, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

bgreen2224, that's ridiculous. You're saying that people in Democrat-held districts should vote for Republicans, and vice-versa. You're saying that the biggest/only qualification for holding elective office is a lack of experience in elective office. At that point, why even have a government?

By the way, your plan would give corporations and special interests even more influence: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/03/throw-all-bums-out-bad-idea.html

Posted by: Blarg | May 12, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Beau Biden is allright after a blockage TO his brain. His father was confused because in the Biden family the inturruption is typically FROM the brain.

Posted by: Moonbat | May 12, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Somebody seriously needs the help of mental health professionals and a nice long stay in an institution where they are not allowed near sharp objects.

Drivl, if you need a new roomie, try craigs list.

Posted by: Moonbat | May 12, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of polarization at dangerous levels:

"In California’s 11th congressional district, there are four people running for the Republican nomination in the June primary election. One of the front-runners is Brad Goehring, who posted a message on his Facebook wall this week, declaring “hunting season” on liberals:

If I could issue hunting permits, I would officially declare today opening day for liberals. The season would extend through November 2 and have no limits on how many taken as we desperately need to “thin” the herd."

The danger, the eliminationist rhetoric and flaunting of armed assault weapons in public is a phenomonen purely on the right. These are some dangerously unhinged people.

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Interesting to note that quite a number of posters seem content with the behavior of 'their guy' and are predicting 'their party' will not suffer in the fall.

Perhaps it's because those posters fail to see how much of a problem we have. Perhaps in their view, self-interest trumps the need for a clean-up of the entire system and it's comical to read their thoughtful analyses, district by district when the real issue is not at all which party wins.

Unless and until we clean house, not once but several times, using the potent weapon that we have, our vote, corporations will continue to run the country, 'lawmakers' will continue to enrich themselves at the public trough and the needs, the real, serious, important needs of the American people will continue to be ignored.

WORK AND WOTE AGAINST EVERY INCUMBENT YOU CAN.
FOR ALMOST EVERY DISTRICT, JUST A FEW VOTES CAN CHANGE THE OUTCOME OF THE ELECTION.
DUMP INCUMBENTS IN THE FALL, IN 2012 AND 2014.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | May 12, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Might be interesting to know which incumbent candidates with years of experience today were touting term limits some time ago.

Posted by: FirstMouse1 | May 12, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The polarization of politics is at such dangerous levels. I am reminded of a quote from Dallas--"the lack of sublty will turn an advesary into an enemy and an enemy into a fanatic".

The lack of civilty is turning political adversaries in the parties to fanatics.

I was no fan of George Bush, but when I attended events that the President spoke, I stood up and I applauded for the President of the United States. I did not agree with liberal groups that booed.

I frankly feel that Dick Chenecy and George Bush promoted policies that were counter to an open society in the name of national security. The continuation of our capitolist society was more important to them then democratic ideals. When those who disagreed with them spoke out, they were labled Un American.

Today, Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Levin and others CANNOT say one nice thing about President Obama. They say he is a Statist, Stalinist, Nazi, facist. Limbaugh calls refers to the Administration as a Regime. When John Kerry referred to "Regime Change in Washington" he was castigated as Un-American. It appears that the President is a good family man who loves his wife and children. And they can't even say that.

We attack San Francisco values, or the bible belt, redneck ville, or the left coast.

Remember we are all proud accomplished Americans from San Francisco to Miami, from Norristown, PA to Danville, VA and we all have to learn how to live with each other or its time to pack up and say the American experiment is over.

Posted by: jmr1601 | May 12, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The astonishing alliance between the Liberal Democrats (in the USA they'd be called socialists) and the conservative Tories could never happen here.

Look at these two guys...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/

Should we be jealous of their ability to compromise for the good of the order, or should UK voters on the left and the right feel betrayed, sold out?

Posted by: shrink2 | May 12, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans Party plan back fired. For months Republicans have fueled the anger of Americans that are dissatisfied with the economy and the loss of jobs. They were trying to make this election a referendum on the Democrats and Obama. They didn't expect it would hurt sitting Republicans as well. The damage is done and sitting Republicans are losing their seats if their not catering to the Tea Party of the far Right. Encouraging their extreme Ideas and even misleading them on issues to make them more infuriated. So furious they can take no more bi-partisan approaches even from Republicans. On the other hand, Independents and conservative Democrats aren't extremely to the right on policy and issues. How does the Republican Party Win an Election pandering to the Far Right without Independent and Conservative Support? Did the Republican Party box themselves into a corner?

Posted by: amosdefnails | May 12, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans Party plan back fired. For months Republicans have fueled the anger of Americans that are dissatisfied with the economy and the loss of jobs. They were trying to make this election a referendum on the Democrats and Obama. They didn't expect it would hurt sitting Republicans as well. The damage is done and sitting Republicans are losing their seats if their not catering to the Tea Party of the far Right. Encouraging their extreme Ideas and even misleading them on issues to make them more infuriated. So furious they can take no more bi-partisan approaches even from Republicans. On the other hand, Independents and conservative Democrats aren't extremely to the right on policy and issues. How does the Republican Party Win an Election pandering to the Far Right without Independent and Conservative Support? Did the Republican Party box themselves into a corner?

Posted by: amosdefnails | May 12, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Jaxas, I agree that CC is biased towards Republicans, but that's not the issue here. His bigger bias is towards politics as a game. That requires repeating the conventional wisdom and playing up the horse race aspects of politics, without ever looking at the validity of data or discussing the issues. Lots of numbers, no useful analysis.

So here's a poll that says this is an "anti-incumbent" election. That's great news for CC. He loves the anti-incumbent meme because it's exciting politics. So he uncritically repeats the conventional wisdom, based on polls that are very obviously flawed. It's easier than doing in-depth analysis, and the results are more fun.

Posted by: Blarg | May 12, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Out of office legislators receive the finest benefits, as lobbyists.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 12, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

It's a bit to early to predict Hatch's political end. That primary is still more than two years away, and the political climate will be much changed by then. I mean, who among us predicted two years ago Bennett falling in a primary? In the same way, speculating on Hatch getting the boot seems premature.

Especially if Republicans take over either the House or Senate in the mid-terms, Obama's White House will have a much more significant political check placed on it than the current 41 Republican votes in the Senate an in-fighting among Democrats. The gridlock of a Congress and White House split between two parties will shift the attitudes of voters considerably.

Also, the 2012 primary will be a much bigger deal for Republicans because they will be selecting a presidential candidate. This means more voters in the primary, diluting the effect of the far-right conservatives and Tea Partiers who showed Bennett the door. More voters in the primary will produce a more staid, moderate electorate that should favor Hatch.

Still, it's hard to tell the mood two years out, and if the economy goes into another dip or bubble in time for the 2012 elections, this will, more than anything, probably dictate the prospects of incumbents. A growing economy with unemployment down around 6%, and 2012 incumbents should sail; a shaky economy with unemployment still around 8-9%, and incumbents should shake; a worsening economy with unemployment increasing even slightly from where it is now, and even freshmen elected in these coming midterms will be running scared.


Question: Do legislators voted out of office receive unemployment benefits?

Posted by: blert | May 12, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Mollohan's defeat wasn't anti-incumbent it was his arrogance. He failed to take his challenger seriously and didn't campaign.

Posted by: rlj1 | May 12, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

You have to remember Blarg: Chris Cillizza is part of a clatch of mainstream media political reporters who have become reflexively devoted to a negative narrative on Obama and the democrats. The website POLITICO is a nest of these political analysts who spend the vast majority of their time either scanning blog sites for negative information on democrats while puffing up marginal movements like the Tea Party as a "mainstream" movement. They also love to giove inordinate coverage to some of the crankiest and most bizarre political personalities like Palin, Bachmann, Beck and Limbaugh, none of who represent in even a marginal way the mainstream of thinking in America. But, they sure make for good copy and ratings which is what these people are really all about.

Posted by: jaxas70 | May 12, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Well Jaxas, yesterday he quoted TWO of Burn's ads, while not mentioning Critz's at all. But you should know by now this space tends to be devoted to free media for Rs every day.

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Notice that in the Pennsylvania special election to replace John Murtha, Chris did not mention Mark Critz, the democrat who leads the republican Tim Burns by 6 percentage points. Chris was too busy swooning over Burns as a "very good candidate".

You can bet that anywhere a democrat is in the lead in any of these races, Chris Cillizza is going to studiously ignore it.

Posted by: jaxas70 | May 12, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Does a high-tech invisible evil infect American politics?

DELAWARE A.G. BEAU BIDEN'S 'MILD STROKE'... A SILENT MICROWAVE WEAPON ATTACK BY POLITICAL ENEMIES?

***

TO THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. (staff, please save and forward):

Mr. Vice President: Our prayers are with Beau and the family, and I wish him a speedy recovery. But it also would be prudent to heed the words of TV's N.C.I.S. Special Agent LeRoy Jethro Gibbs: "I don't believe in coincidences."

I have posted in this space links to my various recent articles, in which I have warned that some of the nation's political leaders may be unwitting targets of an awesome, silent, invisible and little known microwave/laser radio frequency weapon that has been installed in every neighborhood in America -- a weapon system that apparently has been franchised out to various authorities, commands and operatives, and is being used for nefarious purposes.

When you have the time, please read these articles:

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR NowPublic.com/scrivener re: "Gestapo USA."

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 12, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

What was the baggers are so angry about again?
"
Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010."

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Mark, Mollohan was corrupt and his opponent is a better pick as a legislator, plus more likely to hold the seat.

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

There isn't much evidence that the election will bring change to Congress, even if incumbents are at risk. There are no new ideas out there just waiting to sweep away old ideas. In fact, Obama has the new ideas, and is gaining momentum. Plus, the economy is improving, and should continue to do so at a faster pace month by month. By November, people may just end up voting their pocketbooks.

Posted by: dudh | May 12, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"A recent Washington Post/ABC poll showed that less than one in three people said they plan to vote to re-elect their member of Congress -- numbers that haven't been seen in Post/ABC data since the Republican wave election of 1994."

In 1994, the Republicans gained 54 seats. Those seats represent 12.5% of Congress. So 87.5% of Congressional seats were won by incumbents. (Or members of the same party, which is effectively the same thing.)

I'm not going to calculate what percent of the electorate voted for incumbents. I don't have that kind of time. But I can make a few estimates. Let's pretend that every winning incumbent got only 50.1% of the vote, and every losing incumbent got 40%.

Even with those worst-case assumptions, incumbents got 48.8% of the vote. But polls said that fewer than 1/3 of voters would re-elect their member of Congress. Therefore, voters lie in polls, and this kind of poll doesn't predict anything.

Wouldn't it be nice if CC questioned the validity of polls instead of just repeating their results as gospel?

Posted by: Blarg | May 12, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"This Demonic plan is to Destroy America."


A REAL demon would plan to destroy the world, if not the entire universe.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 12, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Everything that comes out of Steele's mouth is a smear or a mischaracterization or lie, so quoting him as to who will win in November is an exercise in satire.

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

"There are only Two sides. One side supports this Demonic Figure Obama and his Demonic Administration. This Demonic plan is to Destroy America."

Somebody seriously needs the help of mental health professionals and a nice long stay in an institution where they are not allowed near sharp objects.

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

There are only Two sides. One side supports this Demonic Figure Obama and his Demonic Administration. This Demonic plan is to Destroy America. You will have to ask yourself, "How do I want history to remember me". Do you want to fight, For or Against this Demonic Figure Obama and his Demonic Agents.

Posted by: makom | May 12, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele predicted Tuesday night that his party would sweep the two special elections in Pennsylvania and Hawaii later this month.

"My projection is that we'll win," Steele told the Fix"


C'mon. Has Steele yet predicted the outcome of a House special election accurately? How about finding someone who has some flexibility to do some real analysis, rather than someone's who's job is literally to win those elections?

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 12, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

1. Well, anti-incumbent fevor is running wild and the American people are angry at Congress. I don't understand how the President & congress can just ignore this. Come November, they won't be able to ignore it any longer as they will be voted out! This is a great thing as Republicans will be able to take the House pretty easily it seems and by a good margin.

3. Steele is right, Republicans are going to win in both Hawaii and Pennsylvania. Those victories will be huge coming into the Fall. It will give all of the momentum on the Republican side.

Posted by: reason5 | May 12, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

A free spending repub and a corrupt lib sent packing and the conclusion is all incumbents are toast.

Any honest libs ( the very few there are) can stay and any repubs who know how to stop spending can stay. Is that so much too ask?

Posted by: Moonbat | May 12, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Zouk.

Posted by: JakeD3 | May 12, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama now has his own Katrina.

He also has his own Harriet Miers.

Posted by: Moonbat | May 12, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

CC and his "Lost In Space" title/warning is actually quite funny. But then he has to tout some stupid wapo/abc poll that really doesn't make a difference. The problem I find for most of CC's posts are that they seem to ignore how pissed off some dems and independents are at how ridiulous and nasty the TPer's and GOP members have been. Already the RNC is attacking Kagan for defending something Thurgood Marshall said. CC seems to think that people have no memoy of the last decade and the horrible non-governing antics of BushCo. Quit insulting the intelligence of the average voter, and the GOP might get back some power, but insulting only drives them away; the much needed independents and bluedogs.

Posted by: katem1 | May 12, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

CC and his "Lost In Space" title/warning is actually quite funny. But then he has to tout some stupid wapo/abc poll that really doesn't make a difference. The problem I find for most of CC's posts are that they seem to ignore how pissed off some dems and independents are at how ridiulous and nasty the TPer's and GOP members have been. Already the RNC is attacking Kagan for defending something Thurgood Marshall said. CC seems to think that people have no memoy of the last decade and the horrible non-governing antics of BushCo. Quit insulting the intelligence of the average voter, and the GOP might get back some power, but insulting only drives them away; the much needed independents and bluedogs.

Posted by: katem1 | May 12, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Mark, CC has mentioned that this special election on the PA 12th CD is being held on the same day as the state-wide primaries. The Democrats have several candidates looking to be chose to run for Governor, and I think the Western Democratic voters will turn-out to get Onorato (the Allegheny County nominee) on the ticket for the general election. This will benefit Critz as it will get more Democrats to the polls.

The Republicans have spent a lot of money on Burns because they have had to. Visit his web site and you'll see his cupboard is bare: nice phrases with nothing to back them up.

USMC_Mike, I suggest more fiber in your diet.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | May 12, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Why would a candidate for a LEGISLATIVE body need to demonstrate GOVERNANCE?

---

Easy. Because the legislature has to amend and pass budgets, laws that lead to regulations, etc. Given the number of senators and representatives that have served as cabinet secretaries in this and previous administrations, there are demonstrable mutual skills.

Jake in 3D

Posted by: JakeD3 | May 12, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

"He's offering nothing of value to the PA 12th CD: no ideas for the future and no experience in governance."

Why would a candidate for a LEGISLATIVE body need to demonstrate GOVERNANCE?

A typical example of a clueless liberal who doesn't even understand the branches of government, much less its function(s).

Probably the same mind who elected a Senator (LEGISLATOR) to the Presidency (EXECUTIVE). Unfortunately for us all, barry still attempts to vote "present" 98% of the time, even from the White House.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | May 12, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

The biggest problem for the Republican party is that American conservatives have left it in droves after a decade of frankly communist policies that saw:

A 12.5 trillion dollar GOP deficit.

The biggest increase in the size of Federal Government in US history under George Bush Jnr.

Halving the value of peoples 401K, pensions, savings and homes.

The introduction of the massive Welfare for the Wealthy programs; like the multi billion dollar No bid contracts for Cheney's Halliburton (they were in chapter 11 at the time) and of course the Bush/Paulson bailout plan for Wall Streets Welfare Queens.

The National security disaster that was Iraq.

Outing the US head of spying on Iran's nuclear ambitions and all her agents, assets and contacts, because: her husband investigated a supposed transfer of nuclear materials to Iraq and found out it was fake.

A decade of flimflam from Madoff, Enron, Abramoff, Tom Delay, Tom Anderson, John G. Rowland, George Ryan, Tom Noe etc. and the philosophy of flimflam that so pervaded the GOP Administration.

After near destroying the US economy.

The problem for the GOP is most conservatives look at that decade and come inevitably to the conclusion that the GOP has become a bunch of pinko commies.


.

Posted by: walker1 | May 12, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Blert, thanx for answering my questions about WI-7 yesterday. I read it last night.

Andy, I have a high opinion of Hatch, too. But that convention process may be too much for him to overcome in the current climate.

Is it not better, in the good government sense, that Mollohan will no longer be with us? Or are the D and R nominees somehow worse?

These low turnout primaries and lower turnout specials will exaggerate the effect of the 'angry' vote while proving that most people are not angry, at the very same time. MM, who will turn out in PA-12?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 12, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Orrin Hatch is an exceptional senator and this Chaffetz clown needs to readjust his thinking if he thinks he will be able to take him out in two years. Also the GOP in Utah needs to be careful since their are "democrats" in Utah (They call them Republicans where I live, btw), and by ousting Bennett they greatly increased the likelihood that a Democrat could be elected in the Beehive state.

Also Mollohan's defeat may actually help the Dems hold this seat since he had such a checkered ethical past.

Posted by: AndyR3 | May 12, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

It's no surprise Republicans are optimistic about the upcoming Hawaii and Pennsylvania special elections: both Djou and Burns are terrific candidates who really connect with voters.

Posted by: junomoneta88 | May 12, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Tim Burns is running on the weak and creaky platform uninspiring Republican candidates always run on.

He's offering nothing of value to the PA 12th CD: no ideas for the future and no experience in governance.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | May 12, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

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