Wednesday, June 07, 2006

CA 50 Observations

The results of the Special election from CA 50 are in. and appear to be very vanilla indeed. It wasn't the groundswell of GOP rejection that the Democrats were hoping for, nor is it the redeeming beatdown Republicans were hoping for either. Indeed, it is almost frustrating that not a lot of overall trend information could be gleaned at all.

There are, however, some things that can be surmised, at least in part by the results here:

1. The "Culture of Corruption" as a cudgel for Democrats is a non-starter, especially if there is no proof that the candidate has any ethics issues. If the simple "R" behind the name was supposed to be guilt by association, it would have shown up here, with the conviction of the previous Republican Representative. It didn't. Democrats would be unwise to continue spending money on this strategy.

2. Based on no other mitigating factor, the breakdown of the vote between Bush and Kerry is a good starting point when trying to decide a party's chances to take an open seat in a district. Busby failed to place much over Kerry's totals in either the primary, or this special election. This would seem to indicate that those who voted for Bush, are not quite ready to move Democratic, all things being equal. This would seem to be a good omen for the GOP in AZ 8. A lot has been said about how conservative CA 50 is. It's pro-Bush vote was only slightly higher than AZ 8. There are a lot of similarities between the two districts.

3. Immigration is important. The major focus of Bilbray's campaign was attempting to show his credentials as a hard-line anti-illegal immigration candidate. The words "comprehensive plan" nor "guest worker program" do not appear on his official site. Ironically, he lost 4% more of the vote to a Minuteman-endorsed Independent. There is not a whole lot of difference between the views espoused by Bibray and Randy Graff except that Randy Graf will get the Minuteman endorsement. It is possible to win convincingly with a straight "enforcement first" policy.


2 comments:

sirocco said...

Some good thoughts on the election. I think there is more good Demos can take from the results that you don't mention -- in particular, the GOP had to spend a _lot_ more money just to retain a seat by a considerably smaller margin than they had originally won it by.

Still, as you note the Demos didn't get the win they were hoping for (and to some extent expecting) so it's certainly not the bellweather we on the left were hoping for.

Anyhow, thanks for starting this -- nice to get some perspective on things from the "wrong" side of the spectrum :)

TimWilsonAZ said...

I think Busby's campaign failed to bring out the Democratic base vote. That probably had something to do with the gubernatorial primary, pushed turn-out down. I think Democrats need to remind people of how corruption has plagued the GOP Congressional leadership if they want to make advances, but as you point out, it can't make an effective campaign policy by itself.

Interestingly, Bilbray ran on many progressive ideas while Busby tried to remain as "moderate" as possible.