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View Diary: Massive Earthquake in AZ Dem Party (115 comments)

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  •  That's true (24+ / 0-)

    but there is a lot more Democratic opportunity and potential in Arizona that has been going to waste because of timidity.  The state Party apparatus still seemed to think that it's politically still the mid-Nineties nationally as well as in the state.  (Meaning triangulating, big media campaigns on the assumption that loyal grassroots are too small and splintered, believing the swing electorate biased hopelessly conservative, implicitly assuming Latino voter passivity, and so on.)

    If everything had gone well, my middle estimate of Arizona's national partisan performance this election was 49% Democratic given a competent effort.  I think the McCain factor is at best responsible for 1% or maybe 2% of the 4% underperformance.  Part of it seems to have been a lack of upticket focussing effect, i.e. had Obama put in a few resources things would have been better.  And certainly the uneven/inept ADP game was very poorly matched to the present political reality downticket.

    There was some real obstruction:  the Bush Administration leaned on INS hard to limit, slow-walk, or deny Latino citizenship applications to the extent possible in marginal Republican states for at least the past five years.  This possibly cost Arizona Democrats several tens of thousands of votes of margin.  What things the Arizona Republican apparatus did to further limit Democratic voting I wouldn't know, but those Arizona ex-felon vote disenfranchisement laws don't look nasty yet are quite broad in effect, especially the requirement of paying all costs and fines.  Which probably net cost Democrats a couple or low ten thousands more votes of margin statewide.

    Arizona was easily the biggest underperformance of a state for Democrats this election cycle.  Napolitano leaving is also somewhat unfortunate as a coincidence.  But as a consolation, there is one thing that almost guarantees that a Purple State tips Blue in a hurry: a period of all-Republican government while the electorate hovers near the 50/50 split.

    In that situation the current sort of GOP extremists invariably beat down their moderates and reign as if there were no tomorrow, almost.  Run things into the ground to the extent they can.  They sense they'll never get another chance to run amok this way and cant resist the urge.  And the electorate usually proves them right about that in the next election....

    In short, the 2010 election in Arizona should be a big Democratic target for gains and may be the election that tips the state Blue.  Most of the other states look like they are consolidating Red or Blue in 2010 for a small net change in partisan numbers at all levels.  So battlegrounds like Arizona (along with Missouri, Florida, Indiana, etc.) will show whether Democrats continue to have momentum nationally.

    We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. Martin Luther King Jr.

    by killjoy on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:35:34 AM PST

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