Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Rothenberg: Outlook for Democrats Suddenly Darkens Just About Everywhere
Roll Call ^ | 9-9-04 | Stuart Rothenberg

Posted on 09/14/2004 11:59:27 AM PDT by The Old Hoosier

Only a few months ago, 2004 looked like it might be a surprisingly good year for the Democratic Party. How quickly things change.

Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) was raising tons of cash. President Bush was sliding in the polls. Democrats were talking optimistically about winning control of the Senate. And House Democrats had reason to be upbeat about their promising recruiting class, even if electing a Speaker looked like a long shot.

No, a wave hadn't yet developed for Democrats, but growing voter dissatisfaction with the direction of the country and the public's disapproval of the president's performance were reason enough for Democrats to believe that they had the momentum.

Understandably, party strategists and spinners talked up these brighter prospects, offering more optimistic scenarios for November and creating higher expectations.

But August has been a cruel month for the Democratic Party, both for its presidential nominee and its two federal campaign committees. The news has not been good. Will the downdrafts be forgotten once voters begin focusing on the campaign in earnest? Or do the recent problems bode ill for November?

Kerry's problems are apparent in the early post-convention polls, and I'm not even referring to the bounce that the president received in his ballot test against Kerry. Voters' concerns about terrorism and increased confidence in Bush have improved the president's prospects, forcing the Kerry campaign to change its tactics and to shuffle its organization.

But at least Kerry still has a realistic chance of winning the White House in November. As long as voters haven't decided to rehire the president for another term and continue to believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction, the presidential contest remains competitive.

Over at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, things have turned from bad to worse. Let me count the ways.

One: Rep. Rodney Alexander (La.) defects and joins the GOP, even though he would have been a heavy favorite for re-election as a Democrat. Then Democratic efforts to throw him off the ballot or reopen filing come up empty.

Two: Jim Stork, the party's much ballyhooed recruit against Rep. Clay Shaw in Florida's 22nd district announces suddenly that he is putting his campaign on hold for health reasons.

Three: Highly prized recruit Christine Jennings is upset in the Aug. 29 Democratic primary in Florida's 13th district, all but ending the national party's interest in the race to oust Rep. Katherine Harris (R).

Four: If the committee didn't have enough problems, Kori Bernards, the widely respected and widely liked communications director of the DCCC, leaves the committee and joins the staff of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.). That can't be good news for the DCCC, and many insiders will take it as a sign of the committee's problems.

To have any chance of retaking the House, Democrats still need a wave to develop, and in this regard they remain better positioned than the Republicans to net seats in November. But a wave seems less likely today than it did four weeks ago, and honest Democrats are no longer able to talk seriously about 218 seats.

Recent news has also worked to the disadvantage of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

After succeeding in selling their argument that they had a chance of getting to 50 or even 51 seats in November, the roof has fallen in on the DSCC.

First, former Rep. Jim DeMint wins the Republican Senate nomination in South Carolina and blows past Inez Tenenbaum (D) in polling. Then former Rep. Tom Coburn wins the GOP Senate nomination in Oklahoma without a runoff and blows past Rep. Brad Carson (D) in state polls.

Then former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez makes a late rush and wins the Republican Senate nomination in Florida. For weeks, Democrats had been saying privately that they would have a hard time defeating Martinez in a general election. But, they figured, they wouldn't have to, since he couldn't beat former Congressman Bill McCollum for the Republican nomination.

By winning, Martinez has fundamentally altered Florida's Senate race, undercutting Democrat Betty Castor's prospects in the contest.

Elsewhere, things haven't been much better. Businessman Pete Coors, the stronger candidate in the Republican primary, won the Republican Senate nomination in Colorado, and in Pennsylvania, Sen. Arlen Specter won the AFL-CIO's endorsement, making the odds that Democratic Senate challenger, Rep. Joe Hoeffel, will upset Specter that much longer.

But while Democratic prospects have dipped over the past month, the general election is still seven weeks away. Kerry is very much in the race, and events could turn sentiment quickly.

The Democratic Party still has time to reverse current trends and put together a good election night. Not very much time, though.

Stuart Rothenberg is editor of the Rothenberg Political Report (www.rothenbergpoliticalreport.com ).


TOPICS: Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: kerry; worrieddems
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-49 next last
To: The Old Hoosier

It's only going to get worse for the Dems.

For one thing, now that the AWB has expired, the massive NRA will be endorsing President Bush sometime in mid-October. The Dems have nothing to counter that endorsement. They've already got all the support from their groups that they are going to get.

The AWB Has Expired - Gun Owners Have Won Again For All Americans!

21 posted on 09/14/2004 12:24:48 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: counterpunch
Perfect Storm as an analogy? Nah. Better to use TITANIC. If the Kerry Campaign was the HMS TITANIC right now. We would be at the scene where the RATS are running down the hallway.
22 posted on 09/14/2004 12:27:53 PM PDT by TheShaz (Is this all they have?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: CV_Gas
Are we going to get the sixty seats we need? Any suggestions out there?

Probably not but if so do you REALLY think that anything will change? There would be a couple of defections to ensure that TRUE conservative issues don't get passed. Let's say there were 65 pubbies. I doubt if much would change. Remember who's the puppetiers for these pols.

23 posted on 09/14/2004 12:28:38 PM PDT by Digger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: CV_Gas

If you need to know now, the Rs will finish with 54 Senate seats.


24 posted on 09/14/2004 12:31:34 PM PDT by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: The Old Hoosier
Jim Stork, the party's much ballyhooed recruit against Rep. Clay Shaw in Florida's 22nd district announces suddenly that he is putting his campaign on hold for health reasons.

Stork is an admitted homosexual. There is significant rumors as to his real "health reasons." (three guesses and the first two don't count)

There is also concern due to the recent furor over homosexual marriage and recent christian activists movement on that issue with a televangilist group out of Broward county.

Stork was theorized to bring in "homosexual dollars" which must have never materialized.
25 posted on 09/14/2004 12:31:52 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! NOV 2, 2004 is VETERANS DAY! VOTE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: princess leah

It's Barabara Mikulski from MD.


26 posted on 09/14/2004 12:32:48 PM PDT by YourAdHere (Ask me about my book.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: princess leah

You left off McCain.


27 posted on 09/14/2004 12:34:30 PM PDT by RatSlayer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: TheShaz

Oooooooooooh...cool...when do you think that Kerry calling Clinton was the rockets being fired?


28 posted on 09/14/2004 12:37:01 PM PDT by republicanwizard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Dont_Tread_On_Me_888

Spectur must go but only after we have a solid R majority. This will make the Rinos like specture expendable. Then can then "retire" next cycle in favor of a real conservative.


29 posted on 09/14/2004 12:37:21 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! NOV 2, 2004 is VETERANS DAY! VOTE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: The Old Hoosier
Only a few months ago, 2004 looked like it might be a surprisingly good year for the Democratic Party.

Where, exactly, did it look anything like that?DemocratWetDreamVille? PartisanBurg? RectalCraniumCoverLand? Democratic Underground?

I don't see that the outlook was ever sunny for the Dems.

30 posted on 09/14/2004 12:39:58 PM PDT by atomicpossum (If there are two Americas, John Edwards isn't qualified to lead either of them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: princess leah
Look for Jeb to take out Nelson in 2006. Bob "OCD" Graham is retiring and will hopefully be replaced by Mel Martinez.

Bill Jones is up against Boxer and is getting creamed in the polls.

31 posted on 09/14/2004 12:54:01 PM PDT by Clemenza (I LOVE Halliburton, SUVs and Assault Weapons. Any Questions?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: atomicpossum
I don't see that the outlook was ever sunny for the Dems.

Reminds one of the 40 seats Gephardt said they might pick up in 2002, doesn't it.

32 posted on 09/14/2004 12:55:15 PM PDT by AndyTheBear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: petercooper

or lezzie babs as her friends call her


33 posted on 09/14/2004 1:01:34 PM PDT by Retired Navy Chief (retired Navy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: centurion316
you're not going to find it all in one place for free.

Try FreeRepublic, it's very informative. Want to know about Nick Smith's district? Check out Dan from Michigan's posts! Etc.

34 posted on 09/14/2004 1:13:35 PM PDT by JohnnyZ ("The common man doesn't look at me as some rich witch." --Teresa Heinz Kerry)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: JohnnyZ

FreeRepublic? Never heard of it. Unfortunately, FR is spotty since it is dependent on the diligence of the Freepers to post what they find. Its also hard to find good info on House races in the MSM. For example, if you rely on the Kansas City Star for your information on Kansas City area races, you are going to be sadly misinformed, or dare I say, misled.


35 posted on 09/14/2004 1:26:53 PM PDT by centurion316 (Infantry, Queen of Battle)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Clemenza

No chance of Boxer getting tossed?


36 posted on 09/14/2004 1:38:03 PM PDT by donozark (I fought at the Battle of Kimchi Ridge. The gas...the gas...it was HORRIBLE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: princess leah; Admin Moderator
Here let me list the names:

Are you lazy or what? Most of those senators are not up for election this year.

37 posted on 09/14/2004 1:39:10 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (What's the frequency Kenneth?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: centurion316

No mentions of NV, WI, and WA. I wish we had recruited better candidates for these seats? It is too bad that Gibbons, Thompson, and Dunn didn't run for these.


38 posted on 09/14/2004 1:40:45 PM PDT by Abram
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: atomicpossum

In was in the MSM prayers to the gods of ratings. They make sacrifices of many virgins and made offerings to perform various acts of perversion in exchange for a race which would get them "face time" and adulation from the public.

(/s)


39 posted on 09/14/2004 1:41:09 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! NOV 2, 2004 is VETERANS DAY! VOTE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: donozark

NONE! Its California after all.


40 posted on 09/14/2004 1:41:18 PM PDT by Clemenza (I LOVE Halliburton, SUVs and Assault Weapons. Any Questions?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-49 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson