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View Diary: Did Dems Unilaterally Cost Ourselves the House Through Candidates, Redistricting, The DCCC? Probably (47 comments)

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  •  Okay, well let's just look at the polling (1+ / 0-)
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    JanL

    In North Carolina, Survey USA released a poll today that said 61% of voters wanted independent redistricting and 71% of voters preferred independent redistricting to the legislature doing it. The problem with Ohio was that the yes side spent basically no money and had the legislature force it to have misleading ballot language because the commission was set up in a rather flawed manner.

    And yes I know the DCCC goes with the information it has at the time, but the whole point of this exercise is to apply hindsight so that we can hopefully learn from it. So I don't see why I shouldn't count IL-13 when a) it's easy to improve the district and b) we had a more electable candidate who lost in the primary.

    Jason Altmire lost the primary because his part of the district had far fewer conservadems and Critz was better on labor issues. Altmire had a lot of strength among the independents and Republican swing voters who might have voted in the Republican primary. And it's pretty established political science that incumbency has a clear added value. Altmire represented twice of the district for a longer time and basically won a district just as conservative in 2010 against the same opponent. Why would he have lost in 2012? His primary loss was also self inflicted as he acted like a huge dick during it and was never popular with the base the way Critz was popular with unions. That's why he lost, but he was clearly the stronger general election candidate and his track record proved it.

    •  Some valid points (1+ / 0-)
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      artmartin

      However, the lege still would've written the language in 2011, and I don't think that even assuming we threw even a good deal more money in that we'd overcome a 1.2 million vote deficit in 2012, or that it's a guarantee we'd do better in 2011.

      I don't have a problem with speculation. My deal is that you make a sensational claim that it cost us the House. I don't think that that is a valid conclusion. You're assuming we run the table on competitive races, and don't take into account hindsight wins for Republicans as well (I'm not as well versed on their side, but it's possible they win AZ-1 with a candidate that wasn't as thoroughly unlikable as Jonathan Paton, for example, or that David Rivera might still be a Representative if he wasn't completely insane and did the whole plant candidate thing).

      And true, Altmire had those strengths with Is and Rs, but if your field program can't give you a win with a huge turf advantage I have no confidence in its ability to win with the same people in a general.

      •  Well I actually separated the initiative states (0+ / 0-)

        and districts and still found us possibly leaving 20 seats on the table and 21 if you agree with Archer Dem above on Bachmann. And I disagree on Ohio anyway. The commission lent itself to having the structure be complicated, but overall it comes down to money. No spent millions, yes spent thousands. If we had dumped $5 million into the campaign it would have passed. Find me an example of that sort of campaign failing and I'll change my mind, but so far the experience in California, Florida, Arizona, Washington, etc. suggest that these sorts of initiatives are overwhelmingly popular when backed by serious money.

        •  I guess I will just have to respectfully disagree (1+ / 0-)
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          Stephen Wolf

          I also initially read the diary as saying it was just recruitment/DCCC failure, rather than also including redistricting in states we could redistrict. When considering redistricting it's a legitimate question whether we take the House.

          However, I don't think that I would say that we probably lost because of it. I'd argue that even with these changes, we'd have come up short in a few places, since you can't really win everything.

          Overall though, impressive work as always, despite my disagreements.

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