After a long night of election watching, it’s time to evaluate the results. Here are my thoughts.
The Louisiana congressional race was not a fluke
This is officially a trend. The numbers bear it out. Republicans (not necessarily conservatives) are rudderless right now. To have someone in office now (Childers) who will vote in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi, call himself a conservative and get away with it spells doom. Without some major outside intervention, Dems will pick up seats this fall. It is now just a question of how many.
‘Ends justifies the means’ racial politics still work
The DCCC may have had fun at the party, but Mississippi will be left with the hangover.
(hattip Right of Mississippi)
The main stream media and our elder “unity” statesmen have been silent
As of this evening, the Mississippi political blogosphere has had the story about the DCCC ads for a full 24 hours. Not one inch of newsprint. Not one local TV news story covering this. Nothing.
Also as disappointing was former Governor William Winter (D). In a NYT puff piece . . .
In advertisements and speeches, Republicans have repeatedly associated Travis Childers, the white Democrat threatening to take the seat away from the Republican Party, with Mr. Obama. Republicans say Mr. Obama’s liberal values are out of place in the district. But for many Democratic veterans here, the tactic is a throwback to the old and unwelcome politics of race, a standby in Mississippi campaigning.
Former Gov. William Winter, a Democrat, expressed shock at the current campaign.
“I am appalled that this blatant appeal to racial prejudice is still being employed,” said Mr. Winter, who lost the 1967 governor’s race after his segregationist opponent circulated handbills showing blacks listening to one of his speeches. Mr. Winter went on to win the governor’s office 12 years later.
Governor Winter, Barack Obama inserted HIMSELF into this race, not the other way around. Obama endorsed Childers on the eve of the 1st special election and Childers accepted the help. For Davis to make that an issue is an obvious one, and you would have to go out of your way to read in anything racial about that association per se. For Governor Winter to blast that as racist and not the DCCC introducing the KKK into this race on his endorsed candidate’s behalf (Childers) is, in a word, unfathomable. You would hope that both Childers and Former Governor Winter would wake up tomorrow and recognize the damage left in the wake of the DCCC done on their behalf and seek to heal. My bet is that they won’t . . . or can’t.
An amazing number of votes were cast
Something very positive that can be taken away is that folks showed up to vote. There were 106,000 votes cast in this runoff as opposed to 65,000 just three weeks ago. Sure the NRCC, the DCCC, 527s and both campaigns spent probably upwards of $4-5 million over that period of time, but I don’t think the turnout models predicted this kind of interest. Ultimately, lots of people voting is a good thing, and you have to respect the result. Both sides got a lot more votes out. Childers just got more. He got his message out better. He mobilized his folks. He picked up counties like Lafayette, Yalobusha, Panola, and Lowndes. He won.
Wicker (R) vs. Musgrove (D) just got a whole lot more interesting
Senator Wicker should pay attention to these results big time. Had Davis won, Wicker could have cruised, but not anymore. In a race where both senators, the governor and the sitting vice president came to campaign for a sitting mayor in the most Republican county of all time that eventually lost by 8 points gives you some indication about where we are. Unfortunately, our federal government has been on a spending spree that has been unprecedented in our lifetime and the GOP refuses to stand and be counted. They are paying the price because of it. The question is, who will lead national Republicans back to the conservative principles that have guided its success for the last three decades.