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June 07, 2006

Busby v. Bilbray

On the Bilbray-Busby race, Byron York pretty much sums up my thoughts:

it's hard to see the race as a bellweather of anything. The Republican won — well, it's a heavily Republican district. But if the Democrat had won — well, the race was to replace a Republican who is in prison for corruption, with the current GOP candidate weakened by lesser candidates eating away at his support. That wouldn't have proved much, either.

Turnout, by the way, was under 35%.

June 7, 2006 | Permalink

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Turnout, by the way, was under 35%.

In the most talked about race in the country, where the previous incumbent went to jail for corruption, Republicans are presumably demoralized, Independents ticked off and the Democrats had an major opportunity to rally its base, Democratic voters should have been out in record numbers. This is not a good day for those hoping for sweeping changes in November.

Posted by: Mike | Jun 7, 2006 10:16:58 AM

Republicans weren't demoralized, and to the extent that they were unhappy it was mostly with Cunningham specifically, not the party (which suggests, BTW, that the "culture of corruption" is working, even as Republicans don't get it). It seems clear immigration was a big factor in this race, and Busby made a last minute gaffe that the GOP exploited (talking about how immigrants looking to get involved did not need any kind of documentation for voting); and in a heavily Republican district, she needed not just turnout, but crossover, and that wasn't happening. It's not a great day - a Busby win would have said, to some extent "our work is done here" - instead there is more work to do. But Busby was quite competitive and scared the wallets of the GOP, and that counts for something. And without the immigration mess-up, I suspect she'd have prevailed.

Posted by: weboy | Jun 7, 2006 11:56:03 AM

Do you expect William Jefferson's successor to be of the opposite party when he goes to prion?

Posted by: Fred Jones. | Jun 7, 2006 1:02:32 PM

What ever makes you sleep better, Ezra . . .

Posted by: Tony | Jun 7, 2006 1:03:04 PM

The whole bellweather thing is driven by the need for predictive news when there isn't any. Ben Chandler and Stephanie Herseth weren't bellweathers either, and there wasn't really any good reason to think they were at the time (although I succumbed to it). We're desperate to know what's going to happen in November, and we can't. So we pretend like we kinda sorta maybe can.

Posted by: djw | Jun 7, 2006 8:05:41 PM

This election was bad news for Republicans, no matter how much of a brave face they put on in public. They had to outspend their opponent two-to-one just to squeeze out a narrow victory, and in a Republican leaning district to boot. In the business world, those kind of horrible and alarming ROI metrics cause great concern. If my competitor is selling widgets for $1, and I have to sell those same widgets for $2 because I have to spend 100% more in marketing to get people to buy them, the laws of economics suggest that I am selling an inferior product. Given this truism, I suspect the GOP is more worried about this election result than they let on. They’re playing defense, not offense.

Posted by: Steve | Jun 8, 2006 1:02:09 PM

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