2006 and 2008
Ronald Brownstein writing in the LA Times focuses on the West as the key battleground for Democrats in 2008 and hence worthy of special attention in 2006.
He first notes the relative stability of the current division of red and blue states in 2000 and 2004. This defines the
overwhelming imperative for Democrats in 2008: expanding the battlefield in the presidential race. Democrats enter the contest with a strong base: The party has now carried 18 "blue" states (plus the District of Columbia) worth 248 Electoral College votes in each of the past four elections. Democrats don't need many switches from red to blue to regain the White House in 2008.
That's where the 2006 elections could offer both parties important clues. "What we can learn this year is … whether or not the electoral map can be viewed differently in the next election cycle," said Tad Devine, a veteran Democratic strategist. "We can learn whether two or three more states can legitimately get into play."
Devine and other Democrats this year are likely to look first at the Southwest.
Pollster Mark Mellman, a top Kerry aide, said the Democrat's biggest problem across the region was Bush's improved showing with Latino voters.
Other signs, though, pointed to more progress for Democrats, especially in Colorado. In 2004, Colorado Democrats elected Ken Salazar to the U.S. Senate and captured both chambers of the Legislature. Last year, in another sign of change, voters approved a referendum loosening the state's tight tax and spending limitation.
With Bush's approval rating sinking, and population growth tilting the debate away from spending restraint toward improving public services, Democrats have a chance to gain control of Colorado's governorship and Legislature for the first time in nearly 50 years, says veteran Colorado pollster Floyd Ciruli. "It's just not their issue environment," he says of the Republicans. "No one is asking for tax cuts. We are talking about how to fund basic services."
A Ritter victory [for governor], says Mellman, would guarantee that Democrats "move Colorado further up the list" as a 2008 target. Other races in the region could also signal whether the congressional logjam over illegal immigration is reversing Bush's 2004 gains among Latinos.
Brownstein also looks at Arizona and Montana in the West. None of this should come as a surprise to regular readers of this site.
A glance at Survey USA shows a potential embarrassment of electoral riches for Democrats, but the contest of 2008 will not likely be as easy as the current bluing of the formerly red Bush map may suggest. So where are the best opportunities? The April survey shows that among the 2004 red states, Nevada, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado are the five most likely to turn blue in 2008 if we take “Bush net approval” as a metric. Three of those five are in the West, and had Kerry carried those three, he would be president today. Of course, we want to carry Ohio and Iowa and a whole bunch of other states, but the West remains the best new opportunity for the Democrats.
Your Personal Note:
Interesting strategic question: What's a harder win: Ohio? Or Nevada + Colorado + New Mexico?
Seems obvious to me.
Posted by: Kari Chisholm | May 11, 2006 12:04:57 PM
A few thoughts on your question.
I think we have a better shot at NV+CO+NM based on the strength of the local parties and a strong appeal to Hispanic voters, now that the compassionate has gone out of conservatism as far as immigration goes.
The five most common surnames of homebuyers in 2005 in NM are Lopez, Garcia, Chavez, Sanchez, and Montoya. In NV they are Smith, Garcia, Martinez, Gonzales, and Johnson. In CO they are Smith, Johnson, Miller, Brown, and Martinez. Hispanics are now the key swing vote. CA is strongly democratic and the five names there are Garcia, Hernandez, Rodriguez, Lopez, and Martinez. See today’s USA Today, p. 15A.
These three states (NV, NM, CO) have 19 EV’s compared to Ohio’s 20, but they have six senators compared to Ohio’s two. A big-state-only strategy in 2008 detracts from our efforts in the Senate.
Ohio has had a lot of voting problems. It would be hard for the GOP to skew the system in three Western states.
Moreover, we buttress the effort in the Southwest with a strong campaign in AZ and MT (another 13 EV’s). Plus we keep IA, MO, OH and FL and as many other states as possible in play. The five names in FL are Smith, Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Johnson, and Williams.
And the perfect candidate to pull this off is Bill Richardson, cf. Matt Santos on West Wing.
Posted by: Leo Brown | May 11, 2006 5:34:15 PM
I agree with Leo Brown's above post, with an exception.
I think Bill Richardson should be the VP candidate, and we pick the charismatic southerner Mark Warner for the top job. A Warner/Richardson ticket would bring home VA, NM, likely IA, OH, NV, maybe CO, AZ, WV, NC, AR, and MO. That would be nigh unbeatable. Perhaps throw in my personal favorite, Tom Vilsack, along John Edwards or Evan Bayh and create some combo of those five and we have a really strong chance to get the Executive Branch back. Look west Democrats, look west!
Posted by: WyoBlueDog | May 12, 2006 2:20:57 PM
Also, I would think that in terms of media markets, Cleveland or Columbus is gonna be a lot more expensive than Las Vegas, Reno, or Albuquerque (not sure about Denver). And furthermore, from what my relatives in Ohio say, a lot of that anti-Republican sentiment comes from the whole coin scandal. If that's not an issue in two years, Ohio won't be as riled against the GOP. Not that it's inconceivable that we can win Ohio, I just think Nevada+Colorado+New Mexico is a better bet.
Posted by: Jim | May 12, 2006 11:36:26 PM
Hello , this is Leonard Clark. I am the other democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. I have been officially filed with the Federal Elections Commission for over a year as a candidate for this race even though I have not raised the $5,000 dollars that would require me to file.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe I am a personal victim of Mr. Kyl in that when I first filed to run for the U.S. Senate in Iraq (months before Pederson and a year before the other candidate) he had in my opinion a corrupt general or civilian leadership or both go after me like vicious dogs and I believe someone in the leadership of the U.S. Army carried out his or one of his friends desires to have my platoon go out on a section of road that was known to have already killed many other soldiers including some people I loved very much. I did not know if I would be "allowed" to return alive from Iraq but I thank GOD that some how I did.
I believe that I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I have collected a good many signatures and that if the people of Arizona continue to do so that they will hopefully put a candidate on the ballot who does not run from Neo-Con corrupt leaders like Senator Kyl. Again, I have seen personally, the results of gross icompetence and corruption of leaders like Senator Kyl in the worst form: the needless killing of my fellow soldiers in that we were sent out without proper equipment and that as a result of this icompetence and corruption personal soldiers I knew were killed.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope that you will know that I am a serious candidate supported by many serious grassroots people who feel they are being ignored. I and the rest of the people on our campaign: "Grassroots Democrats for Leonard Clark" only ask that the people of Arizona who do not know that I have returned alive from Iraq be told so and that I am keeping my pledge to them and my fellow soldiers (alive and dead) that I Leonard Clark a proud native of Arizona and child of the greatest mother and father who ever lived (Lillian and Roy Clark) am running as a Democratic Candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Ladies and Gentlemen, one last thing I would like to state is that some (not all) of the leadership of the U.S. States Army has lied and tried to smear me and my family name. This is the same leadership that lied about the Pat Tillman case. I am proud to have served in the U.S. Army but I believe that it is being destroyed by a few corrupt leaders who are foregoing their ethical duties to their men and to the constitution whom are throwing low ranking soldiers such as myself in jail while they clear themselves of "inhumane treatment of detainees.
They claimed through the central command (CENTCOM of The U.S. Army) that due to a "Freedom of Information Request" by NPR that they released private details of my punishment that would normally be kept under their own privacy laws (and I was assured by U.S. Army Lawyers that would be the case. There's just one thing wrong: Rene Gutel of the local NPR station (KJZZ) who worked on the story told me that she never on the behalf of NPR put in a "Freedom of Information Request on me" . The Public Affairs Colonel who stated this through U.S. Army Centcom was a Colonel whom I believe was stationed in Iraq at the time. I personally believe Mrs. Gutel over these same leaders who been proven to be liars in the past.
Thank you to the producers of this blog, for having the journalistic integrity to report my side of the story. More information can be found on my campaign at : thedamnliberal.com and a google search with leonard clark soldier blog will also shed more information. Thank you.
Democratic Candidate for the U.S. Senate in Arizona
Below, is a letter I just have just sent via the Internet to Senator Kyl and will be going on my website soon:
Mr. Kyl. It is you and your ilk in the Congress and in the Senate who continue to claim we are at war. But, sir, you disingenuously left out the fact that without a declared war against that first monster Al Qaida (the second one being your Fascist blood-money Industrial Complex hooligan friends that control the congress) that you have given your king and god George W. Bush a blank check to wage a war in which you and your Fascist ilk are not held accountable. Even Abraham Lincoln, had to answer to the Congress about little matters like generals who would not fight or why the confederates were winning.
Just as a child who goes to school must be held accountable by a report card you and your crooked politician friends must be held accountable.
After all, if you and your conservative ilk demand that our children be held accountable with grades on report cards then you too must set the example. But instead, all you and your congressional ilk can do is say that this undeclared war on the terrorist and our constitution will continue on for years and years and years. Hmm... sounds like your blood-money contracts will continue on and on for years while my fellow Americans and soldiers die (along with our constitution) in cold blood while you make your damn blood money.
Shame on you! Disgrace on you! You may be used to those other democratic leaders who run from you like victims running from vicious dogs but you sir, have met your match! You may tear me to shreds (like you tried to do in Iraq, when you found out I was running against you and had your corrupt general or generals helping you) but I will stand against you and your fasicst ilk for this is not just your country!
Of course, I do not imply violence like you and your thugs practice but in the end you and I will all meet our maker and our day of atonement!
Just remember: this damn liberal does not run from fascist Neo-cons like you!
P.S. If you think you are going to send your hooligans to harm my near family just know that the world is watching you and your fascist Neo-Con party's every move just like it did in Iraq when you came after me.
The Damn Liberal thedamnliberal.com
Inner City School Teacher
and Democratic Candidate for the U.S. Senate in Arizona
IMPEACH BUSH! NOT ONE MORE AMERICAN SOLDIER SHOULD DIE IN IRAQ! N.O.M.A.S. !
13 May, 2006 23:13
Posted by: leonard clark | May 14, 2006 8:51:02 AM
Interesting discussion here. I'll be following it weekly.
Posted by: Web Marketing Mentor | Oct 30, 2006 8:12:57 PM
Hahaha, good one! OK, I don’t do spamming, but the idea of using the name servers is a good one that I might use to mask some of my sites…
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(and yes, we know that sometimes they're very, very wrong. Other times, they're right on.)