Tuesday, May 24, 2011

BREAKING: NY-26 Goes Democratic... and Why it Means Something

You know you're in trouble when upstate New Yorkers (some who make the hillbilly characters from the film Deliverance seem sophisticated by comparison) join in kicking a conservative politician to the curb -- in one of the most conservative districts in the state (and possibly the nation). This is a district that voted against Obama, who took the rest of NY by a landslide. This is the same district that hasn't voted in a democrat in, like 100 fuckin' years...

Today, upstate voters voted in a... democrat! LOL

Paul Ryan by DonkeyHotey

Sure, you say that it's just one measly district, but I believe this is a bad omen for the knuckle-dragging twats on the right. For one, they poured enormous amounts of money and resources into this election -- in what should've been a cakewalk. The right wing parade of national batshittery passed by the district to lend their name recognition and support.

And they lost. They lost because this was a referendum on right wing fiscal policies -- mostly rehashed dismal failures of past decades: rob from the poor to give to the rich. Otherwise known as Reaganomics, supply-side, trickle down bullshit. Bush I had it right: it's magical thinking dressed as economic policy, or better put: Voodoo Economics.

Public Policy Polling
shows why this election is very important moving on:

Congressional Republicans are extremely unpopular and voters think they're doing an even worse job than the Democrats they put out of office six months ago. That was true in NY-26 and that's true nationally. Last month we found nationally that 43% of voters thought House Republicans were doing a worse job than the Democrats did while in the majority to only 36% who felt they were an improvement. Even in NY-26, which voted 13 points more Republican than the country as a whole in 2008, 38% of voters think the Republicans are doing a worse job than the Democrats to only 34% who think they're an improvement. You can talk about Jack Davis all you want but the reality is that if voters thought House Republicans were bringing the improvement they hoped for when they went to vote last November Jane Corwin would have won tonight...

And believe me, the take-away here -- the chum in the water -- is that House Democratic candidates will run against John Boehner and the Ryan plan next year. Again, Public Policy Polling lays out the cruel numbers:

Boehner's approval rating nationally is a 25/42 spread and even in this traditionally Republican district it's a 28/45 spread. Barack Obama's not popular in this district either, don't get me wrong- his approval is a 42/51 breakdown. But it's remarkable that his net approval is 8 points better than Boehner's in a district that John McCain won by 6 points in 2008. Again you can talk about Jack Davis all day but if John Boehner was more popular than Barack Obama in this district, as you would certainly have expected the case to be, then Jane Corwin would have won tonight.
Interesting times indeed...

My name is Eddie and I'm in recovery from civilization...

Update #1 (h/t Steve Benen)

Last night's was a huge upset -- a body blow against the conservative agenda, but it’s also the latest in a spate of recent victories for democrats...

  • New Hampshire: Last week, there was a special election in a state House district where Republicans have dominated for years. The Democratic candidate won in a landslide, even after a local town clerk illegally required photo IDs to vote.
  • Florida: Also last week, Jacksonville was home to a high-profile mayoral race, and the state GOP touted the election as the first warning shot of the 2012 cycle. Instead, voters elected Democrat Alvin Brown — Jacksonville’s first African-American mayor — stunning the Republican establishment statewide.
  • Wisconsin: Three weeks ago, there was a special election in a Wisconsin state Assembly district that has been represented by a Republican for 16 years. In this case, the Democrat won by eight points.
  • Maine: Two weeks ago, there was a special election to fill a vacancy in the state Senate, in a district that has been very competitive in the recent past. In this case, the Democrat won by a crushing 2-to-1 margin.

This is not to say that Dems have recovered from a brutal 2010. Dems withstood a beating after doing well in 2009 special elections, for example. Also, Let me be clear: last night's winner is at best a Blue Dog democrat, hardly something progressives should celebrate. Still...

Conservatives began the year with the help of a passive corporate-run media with all the national momentum going for them. However, after a series of losses in races Republicans should have won easily, it is clear (except to conservatives, apparently) that the American public isn’t buying what the GOP is selling.

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