Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Importance of the Kolbe Endorsement

Really intersesting article from "The Hill" concerning the importance of incumbant endorsements featuring our own Jim Kolbe.

The most interesting part of the article is the quotes from Margeret Kenski, Kolbe's former pollster. From the article:

Kolbe makes no secret of his disagreements with Graf, who took 43 percent of votes in their 2004 primary and who Kolbe said is too conservative for the district. Kolbe said that he and Graf are not friends and that Graf did not seek his endorsement but that there is no animosity between the two either.

But that 2004 primary challenge shows that Kolbe’s endorsement might not have the intended result, said his former pollster, Margaret Kenski.

Kolbe is the least popular incumbent of the four, garnering 60 percent of the vote in the last general election. Kenski said strong intraparty opposition shows that any help Kolbe’s endorsement could provide might be offset by the galvanizing effect it has on his detractors.

“A lot of people really like him, but a lot of people don’t,” Kenski said.

“The people who are more intense are the Graf people — the 43 percent who don’t like Kolbe. It seems to me that would have a negative impact.”

Also, quoting Kolbe:

“I do know that there were a number of people that told me, particularly people active in the fundraising side of things, that they were waiting for me to make some endorsement before they got involved,” Kolbe said. “So I thought it was important for that reason, as well as just simply making a statement that I thought this is the person best qualified to hold the office.”

This has been demonstrated in Huffman's initial fundraising numbers. However, does the endorsement translate into grassroots success? So far it appears that it hasn't.

I just wish that some of our local papers cared enough about this election to produce articles such as this.


Anonymous said...

Gay congressman who supports partial birth abortion and has done almost nothing about the border for 22 years endorses Mr. Stiff.

Yeah, that’s going to help Steve a lot. From what I hear in the party no one even likes Huffman. He will probably even get fewer votes than

Vandy said...

Interesting way of putting it "Anonymous," but I see your point. Except, I'm not sure I follow you on the "almost" part of your statement.

As I said a few days ago: I think Kolbe's endorsement of Huffman and Kolbe's statement about Randy in the past ("I think we can do better than Randy Graf.") made many of us take notice of Graf. For those of us who admired Kolbe's work on issues like Social Security, but were ashamed of his lack of intestinal fortitude on issues like national/border security, that statement was just what we needed to make Randy our guy.

One thing can be said for Huffman... he has money behind him. Most of the major Tucson contributors have given him a hefty chunk of change. Does that make him the right choice? Absolutely not! Lots of people have major money behind them: Hillary Rob'em Clinton for one. The Kolbe endorsement just gave some of the big contributors an opportunity to put their money behind "business as usual" in CD 8. This campaign needs to be about more than business as usual.

I expect Steve to start spending some cash and get dirty here quickly. He has only just so much time before the primary and he needs to cut into Hellon and Graf votes. It would be refreshing to see him stay on the issues, but as one who is behind in the polls, he won't. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm usually not.

Framer: Local papers... does anyone even read those any more? If you're interested I have a great buggy whip I'll sell you!

Tim said...

Worse than the Kolbe endorsement is his number 3 backer, Pete Hershberger, the most leftist member of the state house. If I were running in a Republican primary I would not put a liberal like Hershberger as one of the top endorsements on my web site. Of course it is really nice to understand the crowd Steve runs with.

Vandy said...

Throw Toni Hellon in there too. One RINO deserves another!

martha said...

Toni is the queen of the RINO’s but she is not backing Huffman, she is supporting her ex Mike.

Kralmajales said...

I think Kolbe's endorsement is quite important in a general election when turnout is higher and when the Republican nominee needs crossover votes and independents on his side. It may hurt in a primary except to say over and over again that Graf can't win the general.

Just a quick question? Given the current political climate, is Graf going to be able to attract dems and independents as Kolbe apparently did?