Skip to comments.Not all election news bad for Republicans (Arkansas)
Posted on 11/12/2008 6:44:18 PM PST by Clintonfatigued
But now, in its current configuration, President Obama doesn't have a vote to spare, which means Arkansas' own Sen. Blanche Lincoln will be forced to cast some very unpopular votes. She will no longer be able to straddle the ideological fence between a Republican administration and her own party. Lincoln would have been vulnerable heading into 2010 regardless of the outcome of the presidential contest, but with her party taking a decidedly left-of-center approach, many state and national Republicans believe Arkansas could be a GOP pick-up.
With respect to the other chamber of Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's majority is a three-legged stool comprised of liberals, DLC-types and newer moderate-to-conservative members. The latter will find it hard to embrace the Democrats' leftist agenda with the prospect of re-election looming in 2010. Had the Democrats captured 30-plus seats they could have allowed those members to walk on all the tough votes, but by only picking up 19 additional seats, the votes may be close and a lot more contentious.
Closer to home, the state GOP stopped the bleeding by picking up legislative seats after losing numbers for two consecutive election cycles. In fact, of the four major races in which Gov. Mike Beebe openly campaigned for Democratic candidates, the Republican won. Greenwood's Republican Terry Rice defeated Democrat Bill Walters for Walters' wife's old House seat. In Russellville, after being outspent by her Beebe-backed Democratic opponent, Andrea Lea won her House race, and North Little Rock Republican Jane English won despite the governor openly appearing in her opponent's political advertisements. And, in the state's highest profile political race, Conway's incumbent Republican state Sen. Gilbert Baker was re-elected despite Beebe's aggressive campaign for his Democratic opponent.
All was not lost for Republicans Tuesday night.
(Excerpt) Read more at arkansasnews.com ...
Arkansas didn’t have nearly the Republican gains that Tennessee and Oklahoma did. It’s worth noting that the Governor made a serious effort to further reduce Republican presnece in the state legislature, unsuccessfully.
The reelection of GOP state Senator Gilbert Baker was significant, as his district usually votes Democrat.
But now, in its current configuration, President Obama doesn't have a vote to spare, which means Arkansas' own Sen. Blanche Lincoln will be forced to cast some very unpopular votes. She will no longer be able to straddle the ideological fence between a Republican administration and her own party. Lincoln would have been vulnerable heading into 2010 regardless of the outcome of the presidential contest, but with her party taking a decidedly left-of-center approach, many state and national Republicans believe Arkansas could be a GOP pick-up.I totally disagree.
I wrote this piece last Thursday analyzing the situation in AR: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2127018/posts?page=46#46
Completely unrelated to this article, but I was interested in finding out the fate of Randy Brock. Brock won the State Auditor’s post of VT in 2004 to become the first Black ever elected to statewide office (and to Howard Dean’s chagrin and disgust, he’s a Republican). Brock appeared on the face of returns won reelection to a second term in 2006, but on a recount, he lost by a bit over 100 votes (sound familiar ?). Brock had never held office prior to 2004 and this year decided not to challenge the Democrat who “beat” him in 2006 (since the man was serving in Iraq) and opted to run for the State Senate where a Democrat held the seat in his district. Well, he scored an upset win and takes office in January (he also served as McCain’s co-chair for President), and that may serve as a stepping-stone back to statewide office again.
It’s like hunting for truffles to find some rare wins for our side...
Wow, thanks for sharing that. Good for him, and us. I hope he runs for governor and wins.
Governor, eventually. Lt Gov. Brian Dubie is next in line, and he is a Conservative.
No arguments from me. Dubie needs to put Senator Brock on the ticket!
Vermont is a strange place. But I am happy to see Republicans and even conservatives still exist in decent numbers there.
BTW, did you look at Brock’s platform. Decidedly conservative - energy reform, holding judges accountable, protecting children from predators - but conservative in a SMART way. In other words he thought carefully about the environment he was running in. Those are conservative issues that resonate across most of the spectrum. MassGOP, NHGOP, MaineGOP, CTGOP are you listening?
Well, remember, there’s no “ticket”, per se. They are all elected individually. I was amazed Dubie has consistently managed to win on his own accord, but they may also be partly due to the power of incumbency. Had Brock won the office of Auditor in 2002, he may very well have pulled off another win in ‘06 (and this year), but he wasn’t well known when he ran again in ‘06 in a bad year, and may have even been viewed as a challenger (worse, yet, the Dem running was Tom Salmon, Jr., and a lot of old timers may have thought he was his dad, the former Governor).
You mean Dubie won seperately from Douglas? That’s impressive.
Yup. Dubie also apparently achieved a first in this election, he got more votes than Douglas did — 172k vs. 170k. In 2002, 2004, and 2006, he always received less (94k to Douglas’s 103k in ‘02; 170k to Douglas’s 182k in ‘04; 133k to Douglas’s 148k in ‘06). It also was the highest number of votes he has ever received, narrowly eclipsing his ‘04 performance.
Embarrassing for the Dems in this election was the Governor’s race. The Dem Speaker of the House (Gaye Symington) polled 200 votes behind Progressive candidate Anthony Pollina, and that was the total from off the VT Sec of State site (there was some concern that the totals would show the Dem would eventually place 2nd, but it never happened). This is the first time since 1851 when a regular Democrat nominee came in 3rd place in VT (then when a Whig won against a Free Soiler and a Democrat). The Dem in that race, John Staniford Robinson, captured an embarrassing 15% (although 2 years later, he won a plurality in a three-way race, becoming the last Democrat to win for Governor for 109 years — 1962).
Yep. I was just looking at the Vt Sec of State numbers. Dubie needs to run for governor next time. 2010 is likely to be an Obama pushback year and that should give Dubie the boost he needs to ensure a win (even in a place like Vt).
McCain did much lower than I expected. McCain is precisely the kind of maverick Republican that is normally competitive in NE. Unfortunately Obama was the perfect storm (especially for white liberals and there are lots of them up there) and this year was terrible nationally for Republicans. I don’t think McCain would’ve beat Gore (the green thing) or Kerry (a New Englander) there but it would’ve been a heck of a lot closer - maybe 53-47ish.
Well, good night. I’ve got a long day tomorrow.
I meant to add that hopefully Douglas has the sense to step aside in 2010 for Dubie. (I don’t know what kind of rapport the two have.) Douglas ought to consider the US Senate or House next.
Hopefully Leahy will retire in 2010 and Douglas can run for his seat.
Of course, there’s a tendency for senators to run and run until they croak in office, and Leahy may be no exception.
Conservatives in Vermont!! Incredible. And I have a Code Pink Congressman here in Central Florida.
Of course, we also thought ‘08 would be a blowback year against the radical Dem Congress, and it wasn’t. McCain demonstrated that running a “moderate” for President no longer works for the GOP. New England, his strongest primary supporters maintained, would be competitive or in the bag — and he did worse than Dubya did in every state up there (with the most minimal change in Massachusetts, just a half-percent below Dubya’s 36.8%).
The last Republican to win VT was Daddy Bush in ‘88, barely edging out Dukakis, 51-48%. McCain ran a jaw-dropping 8% below Dubya in VT (which again, his primary supporters said wouldn’t happen), and he didn’t even carry a single county (Dubya carried 1 in ‘04 — Easternmost Essex, but that was down from 4 he carried in ‘00, where he carried a cluster of northeast counties). The final Sec of State numbers said McCain just barely got above 30% to the False Messiah’s 67%. Barry Goldwater got 34% in 1964, Dole got 31% in ‘96, Daddy Bush apparently got at or slightly above — 30.42% in 1992. This was simply a world-class fiasco.
As for Douglas running for the Senate, I have to wonder if he’ll try that again. As the Sec of State for 12 years, he was the well-regarded nominee against Leaky Leahy in ‘92, but only got 43% — better than Daddy Bush, but not spectacular. As a popular ex-Governor, Douglas’s mentor, Dick Snelling, was recruited to run against Leaky in 1986, but was obliterated. Unless Douglas senses real vulnerability, I don’t really see him trying to boldly go after him. The Governorship may be as far as he goes.
Of course, in an open seat situation, Douglas might have a better shot, but I think Leaky will stay until he’s carried out feet-first, and that means he may be around until the 2020s or, gasp, even 2030s. He was, after all, only 34 when he first won in 1974 (though always looked much older), so he could conceivably serve 60 years if he makes it to his 90s like Byrd. On December 27th this year, he’ll eclipse his predecessor, the liberal RINO George Aiken, to be the longest serving Senator in VT history. He still has a decade to go to match the overall federal service of the legendary Justin Morrill (who served in the House and Senate non-stop from 1855-1898), the VT record-holder, who served from Franklin Pierce all the way to William McKinley.
Yeah, I got a bored borderline moonbat in Nashville who used to be a semi-anti-Clintoon moderate when he represented Eegore’s rural district in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
I recall seeing Randy Brock on TV when the VT delegation cast its votes for McCain. I wish Mr. Brock well, and hope that he can indeed attain statewide office once again-—hopefully as Lt. Gov. or as the state’s sole U.S. Representative (Lt. Gov. Dubie should get first crack at the governorship when Gov. Douglas finally decides to run for the Senate).
Brock is a liberal-to-moderate Republican, in the Douglas mode, right? It being VT, though, which is arguably the most liberal state in the nation now (it gave Obama 67%, a higher percentage than did MA or RI), I’m not going to complain about running liberal-to-moderate Republicans such as Brock or Douglas for federal office. (Dubie, on the other hand, is a pro-life moderate, in the Steve Laffey/Don Carcieri mode, and is probably as conservative a candidate as could possibly be elected in VT.)
Vermont had a black legislator in 1836! Woah.
“Brock appeared on the face of returns won reelection to a second term in 2006, but on a recount, he lost by a bit over 100 votes (sound familiar ?)”
We always lose votes in recounts. Ban them.
Actually in a news article I read about the legislatures power to elect the Governor if no one wins a majoirty it stated Robinson came in second and was chosen by the legislature.
So I added that to his Wikipedia article.
That means no rat ever placed first till Hoff and I believe he needed a minor party line to achieve that victory.
And Leahy is the only (official) rat senator they’ve ever had and the current rat congressman (no GOP opponent in 08!) is only the second.
I’m not sure how conservative Vermont ever was but no state was more Republican or Whig.
Was it just out of staters that messed it up? You’d think it would be vote more like New Hampshire/rural Maine/upstate new york than Rhode Island.
The key to beating Lincoln starts with actually running a candidate.
If you didn’t already know who was a Republican and who was a Democrat in these races it would be hard to tell because the Democrats don’t mention their party in the ads. They also run as conservatives which is a lie but it helps get them elected.
I thought Brock was more of a Dubie Republican, but I’m not entirely sure. He didn’t sound like an outright liberal in literature I read in the past. It’d be interesting to see if, heaven forbid, anything happened to Leaky or the Socialist, Douglas appoint Brock to the vacancy. Of course, since Brock is a Republican, if he lost the special, the media would just chock it up to “will of the people.” Were he a Dem, “profoundly racist.”
Yes, incumbent Whig Erastus Fairbanks got a plurality, but he apparently made enough enemies at the time over the issue of prohibition (successfully passed in the House during his Governorship), and enough anti-Fairbanks Whigs and Brainerd supporters, along with regular Democrats, handed Robinson the Governorship by a single vote.
Interesting that Robinson never tried to run again, although he probably saw the writing on the wall with the collapse of the Whigs and Free-Soilers, reforming into the super-powerful Republican party in 1854. There were no longer going to be any more competitive three-way splits, as the new GOP would usually get at, above, or a bit below 2/3rds of the vote for decades to come. Indeed, not until 1926 did another regular Democrat eclipse his 38% showing for the Governorship (and they got 39%).
Robinson’s last action in public life was when he was elected to attended the raucus 1860 Democrat National Convention in Charleston as the chairman of the VT delegation — so raucus, in fact, that the 55-year old ex-Governor had a massive stroke two days into the April meeting and died there. His short bio said he didn’t even leave any children behind.
Regarding VT’s political decay, I’ve written about that in posts in the past (you’d probably have to go hunting for them as I’m lazy about documenting my essays - shame on me). The short version is essentially when the GOP decided to go with its more liberal wing over its Conservative one in the mid-century, that was the recipe for disaster. Democrats made gains by the late ‘50s and into the ‘60s, partly sped up by the influx of liberal out-of-staters. NH, conversely, went with their Conservative GOP wing for the most part, which kept the state from going downhill for awhile — although now we’re seeing how long they held off the barbarians for.
Here’s some of your musings about Vermont’s political slide into liberalism:
The economy crashed. It’s as simple as that. Of course McCain would outrun any national Republican there.
Wow, almost 2 years ago. You sure found that in a jiff. Thanks. ;-)
Huh ? Norm, he ran BEHIND Dubya — in EVERY New England state. Conversely, in mine, he ran ahead of Dubya.
There were all sorts of pre-gen. election polling showing McCain running strong in NE. The economy crashed. He did well in the South because they just plain don’t like Obama.
Let me put it another way: if Dubya had run in 2008 he would’ve ran far behind McCain in NE.
Polls are worthless. It’s the final votes that matter. He still failed to do what his biggest boosters claimed, and run ahead in New England. Faulty economy or no, the outcome may have ended up the same. I think had we run an actual down-the-line Conservative who blasted that appalling bailout, we had a far better chance of improving those numbers (and I’ll state Palin probably saved McCain from an even larger wipeout).
Well, absent the Constitutional amendment, had he been permitted to run a third time, he’d have never been renominated. A bit of a red herring.
Baloney. He did everything I claimed except out west where they didn’t put in enough campaigning. I never said he’d pull off a miracle. In fact I had known he would win (and polls up until the meltdown proved it. I never saw that happening and from then on I accepted it was an uphill battle. I felt we still had a decent chance - and we did. PA fell out because of the last minute Wright ad which probably hurt. Ohterwise McCain kept the margins in the east and midwest very close for an anti-GOP, wrong track election.
Just dispense with ‘booster’ and use my name. It’s much more forthright!
Carter was renominated and Bush was/is not a worse President than him.
Thats iffy. The pre-primary polls showing McCain beating Obama in the all the battleground states stemmed from the fact that Obama wasn’t well known at the time. Once Obama picked up steam, he was able to defeat Hillary and eventually McCain. McCain did appeal to indies at a higher rate than other GOP candidates. However that indie appeal was soft. I’ve seen suburban independents sit on the fence between Obama and McCain. The financial crisis pushed them to Obama. However, even if the financial crisis didn’t happen, those surburban indies may have gone for Obama anyway for the sake of trying something new.
McCain had no ground game and little money. Thats why he took public financing. The base didn’t want to do anything for him before Palin came long.
In retrospect, I think Romney may have been able to do marginally better. The base tolerated Mitt more than McCain. Romney would have been able to raise $100 million more (no way any GOP candidate could match Obama’s warchest). Plus, he would have developed a better ground game. Because of that, Mitt would have maintained IN and NC, but lose all the other battleground states.
Not the pre-primary polls, but the post-primary polls which had McCain doing mostly exceptionally well in OH and FL (in particular), close or slightly up in the west, and leading mostly in Virginia until late September.
Look you’ve got not argument from me. He was running a brilliant campaign during the month of August and early September and I wish they had kept it up. Romney likely would’ve done somewhat better after the crash. But I’m not a predictor of uncommon events and I won’t apologize for my support of McCain now or ever.
Oh, hell’s bells, Norm. I wasn’t talking JUST about you, since if I was, I’d have said you specifically. I’m not blaming you here, at least not exclusively. ;-) There were a number of McCain supporters (media types, pundits, etc) making the same claims that McCain was going to just outdo Dubya, especially in New England. It never materialized. You can cite all the polls you want, but those were ultimately bullcrap. Aside from Gov. Palin, who was mishandled by McCain’s people, this was the lousiest f’ing campaign for President in my lifetime, even eclipsing Bush, Sr’s meltdown in ‘92 (and that was bad because he seemed so bored that he didn’t even want to win). McCain had ample opportunity to go for the jugular, and he didn’t.
I remember seeing ex-OK Gov. Frank Keating on tv about a month ago or so, and in a very short answer, he forcefully made the case for why the False Messiah was incredibly dangerous (indeed, Keating was one of the FBI agents in the ‘70s who pursued his mentor, William Ayers). I thought for a moment, holy crap, we should’ve nominated Keating. He wasn’t scared for a second about calling a spade a spade on the criminal connections and following through in connecting the dots.
McCain couldn’t and wouldn’t do it, partly because he’s never demonstrated a killer instinct against Democrats (unlike against Conservatives in his party, which he always never hesitated to attack) and also partly because he was engaged too much in collegiality towards a fellow Senator. I was waiting for the moment in the debates to see him rip into him with, “You’re DAMN right I’m questioning your patriotism ! I’m questioning your experience ! I’m questioning your connections ! I’m questioning your agenda !And I’m g’damned questioning your place of birth ! Where the hell is your birth certificate ? I had to produce mine because I was born in the Panama Canal Zone, where’s yours, FRIEND ?” And... nothing. Half-hearted comments and pulled punches.
But, hey, I still schleped my absentee ballot off because I didn’t want to be accused of “electing ‘Him’” and tried to persuade an anti-McCain Conservative to bite the bullet and do the same. As somebody who did vote for him, I’ve damn well earned the right to say he failed ME and others as a candidate in stopping this horrific madness about to ensue in 2 months and 7 days. He forgot this election wasn’t just about him, it was about all of US. WE pay the price with his loss, since Johnny keeps his Senate seat, same as before. I think if he had dispensed with the grating “my friends” schtick and had shown that he TRULY wanted to win (which lasted for all of 5 minutes after picking Palin), we’d not be in the $hit we’re in right now. The wrong candidate at the wrong time.
And remember, Norm. It’s not like I didn’t warn you what would happen.
That's because he was too busy going for his own jugular.
Carter was renominated despite being damaged because Ted Kennedy imploded after an embarrassing interview in which he failed to enunciate WHY he wanted to be President (aside from his grandiose sense of entitlement). His approval rating was also higher than Dubya’s, too. If Dubya tried to run for a 3rd term with approvals in the 20s or 30s, he would’ve been destroyed.
I'm gonna contest that and say he would've done worse. The man's record was simply horrible, and the media would've spent from the Spring until Election Day exposing what I've been saying about him for close to two years on FR, he was nothing but a pretty face and an empty suit (with a non-Conservative record). Add to that, Slick Willard would've picked a total sycophant/flunkie/cypher for VP, in keeping with his usual M.O. He would've had a BIG problem in the South, from his liberal record as a failed Massachusetts Governor, the Mormon issue, and just the slick, used-car salesman persona. He wouldn't have even been able to carry a single New England state, either. A lot of folks I know that could bite the bullet, including yours truly, to vote for McCain, would've not only not voted for him, but would've voted against Slick Willard had he been the general nominee. It would've been an even bigger disaster from top to bottom, and rightfully so.
What happened last week was this. The American people took away our hockey pucks and told us to sit the penalty box. The public is excited to watch the Communist Organizer play. The only things we can do now is clean house and hope the economy sinks Obama’s approval ratings. (We won’t be seeing signs of that until next fall.)
McCain winning GOP nomination is a sign of how disorganized conservatives are. Back in August 2007, McCain was declared finished. In trade had McCain below 10 for winning the GOP nomination. With McCain a non-factor, Huckabee, Romney, Thompson, and Giuliani teared each other apart. This dragged the approval ratings of the 4 GOP contenders and allowed McCain to slip thru. Conservatives need to get their act together if they are to clean house.
The American public doesn’t even know which party is in control of Congress. They still think it’s Republican. A large segment doesn’t even know who Pelosi/Reid is. We didn’t forcefully educate them. Even if our nominee had lost the Presidency, there was no reason for our not making gains in Congress (reference 1960 after the disastrous 1958 elections).
Another fact is that we did not have our best leaders even running. Our best Governors, current or former, didn’t run (yet we got two of the most unsuccessful, disastrous RINOs acting as though they were remotely qualified). Our best Senators didn’t run (though we had a fairly decent ex-Senator, and the only remotely serious actual Conservative). Our best Congressmembers didn’t run (aside from Duncan Hunter, but he wasn’t that well-known to the public aside from us). The VP didn’t have a go, nor Cabinet members, nor business leaders. Did have NYC’s best Mayor in a century, but aside from law enforcement issues, he’s effectively a liberal Democrat, and that wasn’t going to work.
I derided these terrible choices nearly a year ago as a Felliniesque sideshow. Fred was the giant and virtually the rest were midgets. We deserved a large selection of giants, all of whom capable to obliterate the Dem nominee. This was literally the worst set of choices for President, especially from a Conservative standpoint, for the Republican party in the modern era.
When was it the rats first won the legislature? As far as I can surmise it was 1986.
Weird stuff it Vermont with the supposed strict ladder of succession to office working your way up to US Senator.
I talked online to this guy allegedly the scion of rich Vermont family, he said his family knew Jeffwhores. He was thrilled with party switch.
The polls indicated PA was a long shot before the Wright ad. McCain simply was never actually competitive there despite out performing Bush in southwest PA.
Not true. M-D and Ras both showed McCain had closed it to 4 points just before the Wright ads aired.
That’s because Bush never highlighted it.
“And remember, Norm. Its not like I didnt warn you what would happen.”
Hardly means anything. Like I said McCain would’ve won had the economy not melted. Once it did melt it didn’t take a sage to admit the very likely outcome.
Elections are affected by environment. It’s silly to suggest that 2008 is comparable to 2004. McCain would’ve outrun Bush mostly across the board in 2008 and in some regions in 2004. No it’s not a fact - because we cannot run two alternate realities, but I’m sure of it - so let’s stop arguing it.
The fact is McCain won the nomination. If Fred Thompson couldn’t beat McCain he wasn’t going to beat Obama. I can say that with confidence about Fred because he is very similar in style and somewhat similar in philosophy to McCain (and *NO* I am not going to argue this with you). Giuliani and Romney would’ve done better probably in the last analysis but the former ran a horrible abortive end run for the nod and Romney’s steam was upset by Huckabee.
Palin did help, Dick Morris noted McCain losses from Bush’s numbers were much worse amongst white men than white women. That wasn’t because of her thighness.
Watching McCain run was painful, even given unfavorable circumstances he could easily have won.
Imagine an old man getting mugged swinging an umbrella and yelling “Maverick!” rather than go for the loaded pistol in his pocket and yelling “police” (or “fire” which they say works better). At least he didn’t try to “go left” that would have ****ed turnout while hardly effecting squishy “independents” and “moderates”.
It’s perfect ironic punishment for McCain, the media that loved him so much quickly and completely turned on him for the guy they really wanted. They used him, I wonder if he even gets that.
The Arkansas Legislative Session will take place in 2009. Bills such as in-state tuition for illegal aliens and allowing homosexuals to adopt kids will likely be debated. Conservatives will need to be on the phones, computer and at the State Capitol as usual.