June 8, 2006


Now on to November: Bilbray punctures Democrats' plans to retake House (Dani Dodge, June 8, 2006, San Diego Union Tribune)

Democrats had hoped a Busby win in 50th District, which encompasses much of the northern San Diego County, would be a bellwether for November. Analysts correctly predicted a close race: Bilbray won 49 percent to 45 percent. By contrast, the district's voter registration is 44 percent Republican and 30 percent Democratic.

Busby's loss likely deflated Democratic hopes for taking control of the House in November, according to analysts.

“The Democrats' enthusiasm was getting a little unrealistic, and nonpartisan analysts were getting carried away, too,” said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “This has tempered the mood for Democrats, and for nonpartisan analysts, it has tempered our predictions.

“It will be a tougher road to the majority than Democrats had imagined on Monday.” [...]

Busby had focused her campaign on restoring ethics in Washington, where financial relationships between members of Congress and lobbyists have come under scrutiny.

“The fact she was so close in the polls was a tribute to how unhappy people are with the national administration and the Republican Party,” said Gary Jacobson, a political scientist at the University of California San Diego. “The message of restoring integrity is one of the things that got her as far as it did – but it's not something that the Democrats can ride into power. It's something the public sees both parties susceptible to.” [...]

Analysts say the stars had been aligned for Busby for Tuesday's contest: she already had been running against Cunningham when his bribery was revealed, the president's low popularity was hurting Republicans, her grass-roots campaign was gaining momentum and she had strong national support.

In November, there's likely to be a larger Republican turnout and the national support and attention is expected to wane.

“She had every advantage that circumstance and her party could provide and she really didn't come that close to winning,” Sabato said. “That's it. Game over for that district.”

North County political consultant Jack Orr said: “That giant sucking sound you hear is the national Democratic Party leaving town.”

That the "throw out the crooks" line doesn't even work in a crook's district suggests just how big a mistake Democras have made staking their entire campaign on only that premise.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 8, 2006 4:14 PM

In this case the crook, Cunningham, had already been thrown out.

Posted by: Brandon at June 8, 2006 4:47 PM

I suspect it's also hard to position yourself as the anti-corruption candidate after you've been caught (at least seemingly) condoning vote fraud.

Posted by: James Haney at June 8, 2006 5:31 PM

Sometimes it helps to read the linked article.

"Republican Brian Bilbray believes he rode a wave of anti-illegal-immigration sentiment to defeat Democrat Francine Busby and replace imprisoned former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham. . .. 'The biggest scandal facing the U.S. isn't Cunningham,' Bilbay said yesterday, 'but the 11 to 12 million illegal aliens in our country'."

As eager as I am to replace lazy, gun-grabbing witches with hard-working, silouette shooting Roman Catholics, I remain skeptical about endorsing amnesty.

We should remain hopeful that the Adminstration is working on another undying feat of Rovian magic. Sounding like Mr. Nice Guy while the House Republicans do the heavy lifting looks like another heads-I-win, tails-you-lose stroke of genius.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 8, 2006 6:26 PM

It's time for Republicans to start giving anonymous quotes to the media along the lines of "Boy, we sure hope Democrats don't actually get their act together and run on Withdraw From Iraq Now. Then we'd really be in trouble!" Tee-hee...

Posted by: b at June 8, 2006 6:49 PM

The nativist candidate got buried--Bilbray was the moderate in the race.

Posted by: oj at June 8, 2006 8:15 PM

Any bets as to when William Jefferson will be indicted? I think Oct. 15 will be just about right.

Posted by: ratbert at June 9, 2006 2:04 AM

ratbert, will that give the media enough time to report on it before the November elections? Still nothing in the media on the Toronto terrorists arrested last week.

Posted by: erp at June 9, 2006 7:10 AM

Where are all those trolls who kept writing Duke Cunningham in capital letters about three weeks ago? Did they go to Busby's concession? Or were they at the boxing match with Harry Reid? Or are they in William Jefferson's freezer?

I mean, they sounded sooo confident. What happened?

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 9, 2006 4:12 PM