Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tom DeLay: 63% "Not Good Enough"

A mere two days after the primary, Richard Pombo had a profoundly lazy reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle trumpeting his spin:
Rather than proof of weakness, Rep. Richard Pombo's 62 percent- to-32 percent primary victory over former Rep. Pete McCloskey just as likely signaled how strong the seven-term Tracy Republican will run in November. […]

"People can dream all they want but it was a pretty convincing win," said Wayne Johnson, Pombo's chief political consultant.

In a district with 44% Republican registration, 37% Democratic registration, and 15% decline to state, Pombo’s handlers spin 62% of the Republican primary vote as “a pretty convincing win.”

And yet, two days earlier, as Tom DeLay was preparing to bid adieu to Congress, USA Today had this assessment of the factors which led to his resignation:
The savvy politician, whose ability to count votes was well known, said he was taken aback when he won the Republican primary in March with 63% of the vote.

"That's not good enough," he said,
estimating it would have cost up to $5 million to get re-elected to the suburban Houston seat he first won in 1984.
Now, DeLay’s TX-22 district has the following registration breakdown, according to Ned Lampson’s website:
Forty-two percent identify themselves as Republicans, 27 percent as Democrats and 23 percent as independents.
Okay. Obviously, somebody’s not leveling with us here. In a district with a 15% Republican advantage, DeLay says that 63% in the primary is ”not good enough” to get re-elected in November and resigns; meanwhile, Pombo's spokesman, in a district with a 7% Republican advantage says 62% is “a pretty convincing win” which “signaled how strong the seven-term Tracy Republican will run in November.” But then, by now regular readers of this site know that bullshit is Richard Pombo’s specialty.

Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks DeLay’s take on the numbers is the more honest one. On the same day the Chronicle was parroting Pombo’s bullshit, Hank Shaw of the Stockton Record presented a more critical assessment:
"I think a 2-to-1 win is fine," [Pombo campaign manager Carl] Fogliani said. […]

University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato -- one of the nation's foremost political odds-makers -- said he stayed up all night watching the 11th District returns. He scoffed at Fogliani's notion.

"Oh, please -- make me laugh out loud," Sabato said. "That was a very poor showing."
Finally, I’ll leave you with this thoughtful analysis from a Say No To Pombo reader (with some minor edits):
Quite frankly, McCloskey ran a somewhat quixotic campaign for the Republican nomination. You really can't argue -- beyond his attacks on Pombo's ethics -- that he had a compelling REPUBLICAN PRIMARY message. McCloskey ran like a Democrat, in a Republican primary. In his only debate with Pombo he bashed George Bush. Now, I happen to agree with his attacks on George Bush, but you can't argue that was a smart message for a Republican primary. Even polls that show Bush's job approval in the 20s will show job approval among Republicans in the 70s.

McCloskey's ideological and substantive disconnect with his primary audience is why I would argue that his vote was an anti-Pombo vote -- not a pro-McCloskey vote -- and therefore a vote that will transfer to McNerney.

On the low turnout issue -- I would again argue the low turnout proves Pombo's weakness. Those Republicans who did show up last Tuesday were likely the hardest of the hard core Republicans -- the real party faithful. Now, if the very core of Pombo's party is giving 38% of his votes to someone else, he has a problem.

And again, as I argued above, the low turnout proves that the Republican base is depressed. That certainly isn't the way I'd want to be going into the general election.

The notion that California Republicans are going gin up the troops in a national environment dominated by George Bush's historically low job approval, an erratic Fed creating a jittery market, high gas prices and an unpopular quagmire in Iraq just doesn't ring true or right to me. Maybe, but I don't buy it. Democrats have gotten so used to losing that we often can't see political opportunity when it's staring us in the face.

One other thought -- if McCloskey hadn't been hit with stories about returning money to a suspected terrorist the weekend before the vote, he might have done three or four points better, dropping Pombo under 60% district-wide. My bet is there would have been a completely different spin by the press. But the electoral fundamentals would have been exactly the same. Large anti-Pombo vote and weak Republican turnout.

It is a long way off until November, but McNerney's problem isn't Pombo's vulnerability; it's lack of money. And that is truly a problem.
And that’s the bottom line of this race. Pombo can be beaten. But he knows he's in the political fight of his life this year, and he’s going to raise a boatload of money to attack his Democratic challenger in the next five months. Jerry McNerney’s grassroots supporters are a powerful force for change, but shoe leather alone is not going to be enough to turn out Richard Pombo in 2006. It’s going to take money -- a lot of money.

The SNTP Act Blue page offers you the opportunity to throw some financial support McNerney’s way. And please think about signing up for the monthly payment method -- it’s a relatively painless way to help save the world from the forces of evil.


Blogger Matt said...

Great post Babaloo.

12:03 AM, June 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent! You have finally admitted that Delay has more credibility than the SF chronicle.

7:49 AM, June 14, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Sorry, Anon, I did not see Babaloo's post that way. The SF Chron article was very poorly written by a reporter too lazy to do further research and question what Johnson was saying. I know you are trying to be snarky in your comment, but the reality is that Pombo's spokesman, not the reporter, was the one who claimed a decisive victory. The reporter simply repeated it, but that does not mean the Chron endorses the statement.

What Babaloo was saying was that DeLay had a rare moment of honesty and admitted that 63% in a primary sucks enough to cause him to withdraw, whereas Johnson was pumping up the bullshit machine, calling Pombo's embarrassing showing a "decisive victory".

And, besides, if you are a supporter of DeLay, then why do you even bother reading this blog? DeLay is a criminal, indicted, and from all evidence, guilty of corruption and bribery. He was extorting money from the Indian tribes and corporations in return for legislative favors. Is that the kind of people you support? People like DeLay and Pombo? Why? Just because they are not "Democrats"? Have you no sense of ethics, and just follow blindly along with whatever Limbaugh and Coulter say?

Get a clue, or don't bother posting your garbage here.

8:57 AM, June 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harmon got 62.5% is she vulnerable?
Filner got just over 50. Woolsey was in the mid 60's, what about her? It doesnt mean crap. Close only counts in horseshoes and grenades. California is not a battle ground. Its just a place for political consultants to make a buck. hope you get rich.....

6:25 PM, June 14, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

I have to agree with Anon here (the same Anon or a different Anon -- who knows?). Anyway, the state is so friggin gerrymandered for the House seats that virtually none of the seats are contestable. About the only time a seat changes is when someone retires or dies (or is convicted, as in Cunningham's case).

And yet, hope springs eternal, along with millions of dollars, so the other party runs a candidate, and like Anon says, the consultants get rich, even if their candidate barely has a chance of winning.

To show how bad things are, I have seen articles saying the 11th District is the most competitive in California, and look how hard this one will be to win. Many of us will work hard for Jerry and donate money and try our best. It is an uphill battle no matter how you look at it, and like Anon says, close doesn't count. I would say we have some chance of winning, but it is a long shot. It would help if Pombo got indicted.

The good news is that Jerry's message is good, he has a strong team, the demographics of the District are changing, and Pombo is truly despicable. Now we have to convince about 150,000 voters in the Districtof this also.

8:07 AM, June 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (with some data from another pointy-headed view)

For those who think that wishes are fishes (and thus we are swimming along to victory), think again: Here's what Charlie Cook has to say (as a contrast to Sabato) about the chances of taking CA-11 blue in 2006:

The special election loss in CA-50 was not the only place where Democrats have seen their hopes for picking up a Republican-leaning district diminish in the last week. In CA-11, DCCC favorite Steve Filson lost badly to 2004 nominee Jerry McNerney....with national Democrats unlikely to significantly fund this contest and McNerney sitting on just $61,000 in the bank, Pombo’s chances look much improved.

It don't mean a thing, if ya can't buy some bling...

$.02 out.

8:10 AM, June 15, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Mr $.02.

Rocky here. Its good that yer puttin in yer 2 cents along wit all duh udder pennies from heaven contributed by Mr VPO etc. But McNoiney needs more vasool den dat - he needs G-notes if he wanna become a G-man. You know what I mean?

And duh udder ting he needs, as Rocky sed before, but none of youse seem to wanna talk about it, is he needs duh support of duh Fightin One's supporters whedder athletic or udderwise it don't friggin matter to Rocky.

Moola + Fightin One's supporters = Victory

It might be a lot harder to get the foist, so maybe we wanna also tink about duh second?

Rocky out.

8:54 AM, June 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey .02,
Charlie Cook also moved CA-11 from
likely republican to leans republican in May. Keep Hope alive!

-Mat (not Matt)

12:49 PM, June 15, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

From Anon 2 cents above:

with national Democrats unlikely to significantly fund this co

That's what Charlie Cook says, but how does he know what the national Dems will do? Maybe they are so motivated to oust Pombo they will send money McNerney's way. I would wait and see on that rather than make predictions based on Cook's projection of what is "likely" or "unlikely". He doesn't know.

It don't mean a thing if the guy saying it don't know a thing.

1:43 PM, June 15, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Mr VPO.

Rocky here. Now dat last sentence of yers is grahammatically poifect except dat duh woid is "ting" not "thing."

I mean Jeezus - do you here a friggin "h" in dere?

But why don't none of youse leadin ineffectuals on dis friggin blot wanna discuss how to get duh Fightin One's supporters to switch duh ending after duh Mc from Closkey to Noiney?

Maybe dese two Irishmen could meet over a beer or two or tree and discuss blarney stones? I dunno, but it seems to Rocky like dis is as critical as duh vasool.

Rocky out.

10:55 AM, June 17, 2006  

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