Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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GOP is tense

The lead article in yeterday’s USA Today is called GOP lags in key races for Senate. It is full of all the ordinary gloom-and-doom: How the GOP will probably lose the House, but probably not the Senate, etc. And then there are a few nuggets. Nine out of ten black voters are backing Rendell in PA over Lynn Swann, but only six out ten are backing Strickland over Ken Blackwell. Note that Joe Hallett claims that Blackwell never got more than 24% of the black vote (the figure generally used has been 32%; while, according to Hallett, Blackwell claims he got 50% in the last election). Blacks make up about 8% of the voters in Ohio. Strickland is not known in the black community, but he is starting to advertise. You can do the math as well as I can. Strickland can’t win. Also note the follwoing line in another USA Today article in the same issue: "Party loyalty was stronger among Democrats than Republicans in every state but Ohio." I do not think that the Dems will take the House (or the Senate), for what it’s worth. But more on this later. I have to run to the grocery store.

Discussions - 12 Comments


USA Today/Gallup, likely voters, Aug. 23-27: Strickland 56, Blackwell 36.

While I don’t assume this number is right, it’s hard to say that "Strickland can’t win."

It’s also hard to say that a strong black vote for Blackwell in a secretary of state race will translate into a strong black vote for him in a governor’s race -- especially if the Democrats in that race isn’t yet well- known in the black community.

Sorry, there was a typo. Strickland 52, Blackwell 36. Still, not good.

Can’t we hope that people aren’t really paying attention, yet? Perhaps the anti-Republican anger is reflexive, and therefore badly focused. When people start really looking at the candidates, issues, positions, voting records, this all might turn about.

Peter, I can’t do the math. I am hopeless at it. Even so, confessing math-blindness as I am, I don’t at all see how your numbers, about the black community, trump David’s poll of likely voters, a much larger number, so as to mean that Strickland can’t win. All Republicans have to do is stay home, which many of my neighbors up here in heavily Republican Geauga County say they are going to do, in disgust. I’ll hope for party loyalty and a strong sense of duty to appear at the polls in November. Blackwell will have to run a great campaign to catch up.

You’ve been clairvoyant about these matters before, Peter. I hope this is a repeat...I can’t be as optimistic as you are, but I hope my "gut" is dead wrong.

In all seriousness, I think it is more accurate to say, "I don’t think the Republicans will lose the House". It is an important difference, since I think the voters that will decide this election will be ones who are voting against the Republicans rather than for the Democrats. (This is probably true of all elections -- that the people are voting against the other guy decide the outcome). The Republicans have so bungled their time in power that (hopefully) they will get what they deserve.

When people start really looking at the candidates, issues, positions, voting records, this all might turn about.



Kate - you’re a bit more optimistic about voters becoming politically active than I am. Sadly, I’ll be thanking this political ignorance if it means some Democratic victories. It shouldn’t be like that. *sigh*

I’d just like to point out to the many people like dain who are disgusted with the GOP that even an idealogically corrupt Republican party (ie no longer conservative) in power is better than the Democrats. I’m starting to think there’s something to this WWIII talk, and with Iran becoming increasing belligerent I really don’t want to give the Demos a chance to show everyone why no one trusts them with national defence. All this "purge the party" talk, which I heartily agree with, should take place during the PRIMARIES, not during a critical election year.

As to the Ohio politics, I hope Dr. Schramm is right, although the USA Today article wasn’t very comforting. My parents live in the southwest (Butler county) and the general consensus there seems to be disgust at the establishment but no intentions of letting the Democrats into power.

At the pol. science convention, there was considerable talk almong the fiscally minded, really limited govt. conservatives that what we really need is a return to divided govt. So they’re rooting for the Dems to get the House and the Reps barely to retain the Senate. It goes without saying that it’s impossible consciously to fine tune that kind of outcome. Start thinking that way and you end up losing everything big-time. When even your friends think it’s better if you lose in the name of one of your own key principles, things look bad.

Peter Lawler, Here is a Cato Inst. piece on why divided government appears to slow federal spending, with a nifty chart. It’s old news, but makes the point. Your latter point is also true and we could well have a fine mess after November. But when your friends (Reps) begin to behave in some ways (spending like drunken sailors on a spree) like your enemies (Dems)and neglect the key principles (limited gov’t, especially spending) that you were looking for when you elected them, you say, "with friends like that, who needs enemies" and ultimately, "a plague on both their houses!" This has been especially true in Ohio with the addition of increased and sometimes bizarre taxation, regulation seemingly designed to drive business out of the state, corruption or the appearance thereof and all in a state administration entirely Republican. It just grieves.

Matt, I accept your *sigh* and wonder, which Democrats do you see as a good option?

Kate, You’ve expressed with greater precision than usual an argument I’m hearing time and again. That Cato news may be old, but it’s hard to quarrel with the chart. Bush, of course, can be criticized for not even talking limited govt. etc., and that was part of my criticism of the Fred Barnes’ advice I posted sometime ago.

10: Professor Lawler, I think it’s very easy to "quarrel with" Cato’s chart. We just need to go beyond the numbers to the historical substance.
I don’t think they have much of a case at all.

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