Ratings update: The landscape isn’t done shifting away from Dems

I first want to thank all those who wrote very kind words after I announced I would end regular blogging, either in the comments section, via e-mail or Twitter. It was very heart-warming to know how much Campaign Diaries meant to so many people. As I promised then, I am now thinking about the best way to put together a weekly update system. Perhaps it would be best to keep it open so I have the flexibility to do what I think fits the week best, though I will try to be regular.

This week, I am posting a “ratings update”, as many of my race assesments grew stale over the past month - most notably in Indiana and upstate New York. The races that are written in red are those in which the rating is changing towards Republicans; those that are written in blue are those in which the rating is changing towards Democrats.


Indiana, lean Democratic to toss-up: All hell broke loose in the Hoosier State when Evan Bayh announced his retirement just 24 hours from the filing deadline, but Democrats have managed to stabilize the situation by convincing Rep. Brad Ellsworth to give up his relatively safe House seat for a tough statewide campaign. (To be clear: Ellsworth has not yet been officially tapped by the party committee, but there is little doubt he will be the nominee.) If Ellsworth manages to defend this conservative-leaning state in an environment that is this toxic for his party, it will largely be because Bayh’s timing prevented Republicans from securing as formidable a nominee as they would have otherwise: It would have been harder to imagine Ellsworth prevailing against Mitch Daniels, Todd Rokita or Mike Pence than against former Senator Dan Coats, a former lobbyist who moved away from the state and hasn’t faced voters since 1992, or against former Rep. John Hostettler, who has always ran poor campaigns and has a very rough relationship with national Republicans. The GOP nonetheless starts with a slight edge, but Indiana is sure to host a highly competitive campaign.


Illinois-Gov, likely Democratic to lean Democratic: Not only is Pat Quinn running as the incumbent Governor of a Midwestern state - a sure way to face electoral trouble this year - but he cannot even count on one of the biggest assets of incumbency - voter familiarity: He came to become Governor upon Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment rather than through a victory of his own. Add to this the possibility that Blagojevich’s summer trial reflects badly on state Democrats, and the GOP has reason to hope it can oust Quinn. Yet, state Senator Bill Brady’s apparent victory should prevent Republicans from making full use of Governor Pat Quinn’s vulnerabilities as the relatively conservative state Senator could have trouble making himself acceptable to this blue state’s electorate. The fact that he is from downstate could boost GOP turnout across the state, but it might cause moderate voters in the Chicago suburbs not to support him. Furthermore, Brady has been denied the bounce primary winners typically get because it took a month for his victory over state Senator Kirk Dillard to be confirmed, while Quinn displayed strong survival skills in the Democratic primary.

Pennsylvania, toss-up to lean Republican: This is one of the most bizarre races of the cycle because of Democrats’ inability to recruit a strong candidate in what should have been one of the party’s priority. Former Rep. Joe Hoeffel, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Auditor General Jack Wagner might make decent candidates, but none of them appears to have much name recognition nor a preexisting popularity that would help them beat back the electorate’s current hostility towards Democrats. Attorney General Tom Corbett, on the other hand, has been a dominant force in the GOP primary and polls show he is well-known and relatively well-liked.

Ohio, lean Democratic to toss-up: Governor Ted Strickland entered the cycle in a very comfortable position. He had triumphed in the 2006 open seat race, he enjoyed strong approval ratings and it did not look like Ohio Republicans could recover from years of dismal showings in time to mount a credible challenge. Yet, the recession has hit Midwestern states with particular ferocity, and it is no shock that Strickland’s poll numbers have fallen along with Ohioans’ economic condition. Republicans are high on former Rep. John Kasich, and Ohio’s status as one of the premier swing states should ensure national parties prioritize this race. While polls differ as to where it stands (Quinnipiac has Strickland leading outside of the margin of error, Rasmussen shows Kasich leading by large margins), there is no doubt it’s one of the country’s most competitive contests.

Texas, likely Republican to lean Republican: Rick Perry displayed amazing political resilience throughout 2009, dispatching popular Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison with an ease no one could have foreseen a year ago. Yet, he did so by using a strategy that should be ill-fitted to beat former Houston Mayor Bill White in the general election: The electorate Perry needs to court should be less amused by his talk of secession and his refusal to take federal funds and White will not suffer from anti-Washington sentiment the way Hutchison did. Add to that Perry’s clear vulnerabilities - not only is it not good to be an incumbent governor this year, but his approval rating is decidedly mediocre and he won re-election with only 39% of the vote in 2006 - and White has a clear shot at winning Democrats’ first major victory in Texas since 1990.

Utah, safe Republican to likely Republican: Are Republicans trembling with fear at the thought of facing Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon in the general election? No: Utah is too conservative a state for a Democrat to ever have that credible a shot at winning a statewide victory. Yet, Coroon does represent one third of the state’s population in a capacity that ensures he is visible and recent polls show he could score an upset if Gary Herbert (an unelected incumbent) stumbles.


FL-21, safe Republican to likely Republican: While candidates who try to succeed family members are more often than not successful, Mario Diaz-Balart’s announcement that he would run to replace his retiring brother Lincoln was so bizarre that it is worth keeping an eye on whether Democrats can recruit a strong candidate, attack Mario’s credibility and make the most of Southern Florida’s growing openness to voting for Democrats (Gore lost the district by 16%, Obama by 2%).

FL-25, likely Republican to lean Republican: Mario Diaz-Balart decided to switch districts because he felt FL-21 was a safer bet for a Republican than his FL-25, which covers western Miami-Dade County. While that means concentrating on FL-21 might not be advisable for Democrats, it also signals that an open seat in FL-25 is a real opportunity - even in a tough environment. Yet, much will depend on Democratic recruitment. While Republicans have already lined up top candidates (state Rep. David Rivera is running and state Senate Majority Leader Alex Diaz will probably join him), Democrats are waiting for 2008 nominee Joe Garcia to make up his mind; Garcia, who now works in the Obama administration, came close to defeating Diaz-Balart two years ago.

IN-08, safe Democratic to toss-up: Evan Bayh’s retirement caused open seat headaches not only for Senate Democrats but also for their House counterparts, as Brad Ellsworth withdrew his name from the IN-08 ballot hours before the filing deadlne in the expectation that he’d be chosen to replace Bayh. Thankfully for the DCCC, the timing of Ellsworth’s exit might very well save the party: the GOP did not have time to recruit a top candidate. Heart surgeon Larry Bucshon would be a credible nominee, but you can be sure Republicans would have been able to find a far stronger candidate had IN-8 become an open seats weeks before - not to mention Bucshon can’t be sure to win the 8-way primary! Ellsworth, meanwhile, was able to orchestrate a transition with state Rep. Trent Van Haaften, who thus has a stronger shot at defending the district. All of this said, IN-8 remains red-leaning, the DCCC’s first choice (Evansville Mayor Jon Weinsapfel) passed on the race and the environment is tough enough that this open seat is no better than a toss-up for Democrats.

KS-03, toss-up to lean Republican: While Democrats can never expect to have it easy in Kansas, this is one open seat they should not have let get this compromised: KS-03 voted for Barack Obama in 2008, and the party had a reasonable bench from which to pick a candidate. Yet, one by one Democrats have ruled out running - the biggest blow being Kansas City Mayor Joe Reardon - while the GOP field leaves nothing to be desired. The DCCC is now reduced to hoping that Rep. Dennis Moore’s wife Stephene Moore runs, as reports suggest she might; while she might be able to keep the party competitive, it’s hard to see how an inexperienced political spouse can get elected in a swing district in the absence of any sympathy factor.

MA-10, safe Democratic to lean Democratic: Rumors that Rep. Delahunt was preparing to retire started swirling in early 2010, but you can bet the DCCC was hoping they would not come to be true. MA-10 might be the state’s less Democratic seat, but this is likely the only cycle in which the GOP would have a real chance of winning an open race in a district that gave Gore, Kerry and Obama double-digit victories. Yet, MA-10 also decisively voted for Scott Brown, proving that voters are open to backing a Republican - and the NRCC is confident that former state Treasurer Joe Malone will make the most of this opportunity. Democrats in the running at the moment are state Sen. Robert O’Leary and Norfolk Co. DA William Keating.

MS-04, safe Democratic to likely Democratic: Gene Taylor has easily held a district that gave John McCain 68% of the vote since 1989, convincing tens of thousands of conservative voters to support him: he received more than 75% in six of his last last seven races. His electoral track record make him a solid bet for re-election, but if there is any year the GOP could unseat him, it’s in 2010. State Rep. Steven Palazzo has announced he will challenge Taylor, which is as serious a challenge as any the staunchly conservative Democrat has received recently.

NY-29, lean retention to toss-up: What is going on in the Empire State? Rep. Eric Massa became the latest New York politician to self-implode in a bizarre scandal involving harassment claims, unwanted tickling sessions and allegations that he was pushed out due to his opposition to the health-care bill. Even after the first headlines appeared, Massa’s abrupt decision to resign came as a surprise, though it simultaneously helps Nancy Pelosi find the votes to pass the health-care bill and gives the DCCC the headache of worrying about yet another problematic special election on top of May’s PA-12 and HI-01. In fact, the NY-29 special will be New York’s third in a single cycle - a number that matches the record set by far larger California a few cycles back! While Democrats pulled unlikely triumphs in NY-20 and NY-23 in 2009, NY-29 is more conservative since it is one of only three state districts to have voted for McCain. Furthermore, the Democratic nominee will have to run under the clout of the Paterson and Massascandals at a time the new York electorate has shown signs of being exasperated with the party. Finally, the GOP will not be weighed down by the two factors that doomed its NY-20 and NY-23 candidates (too much of a connection to Albany and intraparty fighting), as Corning Mayor Tom Reed is emerging as a consensus choice. That said, Reed, who was already running before Massa’s resignation, had never come to look as that formidable a candidate and the GOP might have been better off with a stronger contender. It remains to be seen who Democrats pick.

OH-02, likely Republican to safe Republican: While Democrats threw a lot at Rep. Jean Schmidt in 2005, 2006 and 2008, they never fielded the type of prominent candidate whose local ties could have overcome the district’s staunchly conservative lean. They thought they would finally be able to do so in 2010, but the state legislator whose candidacy the DCCC spent months touting dropped out in November. The Democratic nominee will be Surya Yalamanchili, a political novice whose claim to fame comes from a bout on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice, or David Krikorian, who got double-digits running as an independent in 2008. While they might have been promising candidates in other years, voters seem too reluctant to oust a GOP incumbent this year for a Republican holding a 59%-McCain district to have much to worry about - however controversial her profile.

OH-13, safe Democratic to likely Democratic: For car dealer Tom Ganley to defeat Rep. Betty Sutton would be one of the biggest upsets of Election Night, and yet it is no longer possible to rule out such results. While OH-13 gave John Kerry and Barack Obama double-digits victories, Ganley is reportedly willing to spend as much as $1 million of his money funding his race and Sutton is too junior a lawmaker for Democrats to be confident she can resist voters’ hostility towards her party. At the very least, OH-13 could emerge as a late headache for the DCCC, forcing the party committee to spend precious resources defending Sutton rather than more obviously vulnerable Democrats.

RI-01, safe Democratic to likely Democratic: Democrats were sure not expecting to spend as much as a minute worrying about a district that gave Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama more than 62% of the vote, but Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s retirement has given the GOP hope that state Rep. John Loughlin can make the race competitive. The Democratic field is made up of two prominent contenders with a relatively progressive reputation - Providence Mayor David Cicilline and state Democratic Party chairman William Lynch; an ugly race could open the door to Loughlin, since the primary will not be held until September 14th. A wild card is the possible candidacy of former Providence MayorBuddy Cianci, who recently spent four years in federal prison but has now said he is considering an independent run.

41 Responses to “Ratings update: The landscape isn’t done shifting away from Dems”

  1. 1 Guy

    Thanks for posting again and having a detailed review of changes. I am surprised that John Kasich is held in such high regard since he has been out of office quite a few years and had some unsubstantiated rumors about his private life - which may have been part of the reason he declined to seek the Republican nomination for President in the past even though he had started to gear up. Of course trying to jump from being a congressman to Presidental nominee is very hard (ask Duncan Hunter or Tancredo!)

    What is interesting about Ohio is how two reputable firms have clearly different results. One has the GOP winning comfortable, the other the Democrat. This election could be very important for refining polls and their turnout models (same happened in the UK General Election in 1992 after most polling companies called the wrong result, or Florida in 2000).

    Anyway good to see you back Taniel.

  2. 2 Patrician

    Thanks for the excellent analysis and it’s great to see you back. Hope you can work out a weekly post…

  3. 3 Maurice

    Good to know you’re still there…

    But I can’t agree with one change, anyway.

    I’ll give you that FL-25 isn’t a tossup yet, but IN-08 certainly isn’t. The heart surgeon has some hope of getting 45% in the general, but that means getting past the richer guy in the primary.

    Overall, though, pretty realistic.

  4. 4 Cliff

    IN-08, if anything other then a tossup, is leans R. Bush won over 60% both times. “Random R” beats “Good D” this year. They wouldn’t beat “Great, incumbent D”, but they will beat a merely “Good D”.

    Anyhow, I also think you’re understating NY-29. I think it’s leans R, if not likely R. The D’s don’t even have a candidate, it’s an R leaning district that McCain won, and the R’s have a decent candidate who’s already got some money and operation. I don’t think it’ll even be close.

  5. 5 Jan

    Thanks a lot for being back. I hope you’ll find the time for a weekly analysis. I appreciate what you do here for all of us.

  6. 6 Anonymous

    “Anyhow, I also think you’re understating NY-29. I think it’s leans R, if not likely R.”

    Wrong thoughts. Democrats will have an easier time defending the seat with the Massa defection.

  7. 7 Taniel

    Please, let’s avoid gratuitous insults. Especially now that I’ve scaled the blog down, I’d like to keep things civil. (And thanks to all those with good wishes!)

  8. 8 Ron

    Cliff, Bush won over 60% both times in IN-08? I think not. He won there in 2000 with just 56%.

  9. 9 Guy

    Taniel - who was being gratuitous in their insults? I thought the posts on this were civil. Cliff and others didn`t use swear words!

  10. 10 Taniel

    Guy, I took out two sentences from Anon’s comments.

  11. 11 Deleted

    32 million Americans who were uninsured will now get health insurance. Decency and morality prevail. Congratualtions.

  12. 12 LibLib

    Thank you Taniel for ALL of your hardwork. Like many of the others, I will miss your work and check in religiously each day for a new post.

    However, I have to ask why California was precluded from your governor’s list as a possible change?

  13. 13 Anonymous

    The Republicans are such hypocrites. They espouse family values rhetoric, then they want to deny millions of people THE RIGHT to have health insurance. The Republican party is likely to be eliminated from the landscape unless they admit their mistakes, try to triangulate their ideas with the mainstream, and immediately distance themselves from the racist hate group better known as the Tea Party.

  14. 14 Nathan


    Do you know one person associated with a Tea Party? I do. They’re not racists, and their message isn’t hate. This bit of patent nonsense robs everything you say of any credibility. It was sensible enough, then, to post anonymously, Mr. Olbermann.

  15. 15 Guy


    I know somebody who went to a tea party. A colleague of mine, he is a libertarian and has been intellectually consistent about spending, taxes, Government size for many years. He himself said that there were a minority (but sizeable) of the extreme there. They are indentifiable with the signs saying Obama is Hitler, or “where is the birth certificate” etc.

    Of course most Tea party people are normal, concerned citizens but is is accurate to say that it has attracted a good number of the fringe. You cannot deny this. Maybe not all tea party gatherings but most. The one I refer to is in raleigh, North Carolina and this is not exactly a “red neck” haven!

    Your credibility is also hit by saying Mr Olberman. I am not referring to you as Mr Beck! That would not be helpful or civil.
    Anon - you need to stop using hyperbole - it is one of the curses of modern American politics.

  16. 16 Nathan


    I wasn’t comparing you or any other regular commenter here to Olbermann. Almost all the regular commenters here are civil and insightful, but some of the anon posts are way out of line. With what the anon poster said about “racist hate groups”…the shoe fits. My comment wasn’t directed at you, and I apologize if it looked that way.

    As for extremists at the Tea Party rallies: of course, they must be there. Just as there were Code Pink folks and “BusHitler” signs at the anti-war rallies. Everyone knows this. The presence of a few racists at Tea Parties doesn’t make the Tea Parties “racist hate groups” anymore than the presence of a few eco-terrorist types at anti-war rallies made the bulk of the people there soft on terrorism.

    I would also distinguish two kinds of extremists. One kind hold views that are morally degenerate: racists, terrorist supporters and the like. The other kind hold beliefs shared by a tiny minority, but which aren’t actually immoral or prima facie unreasonable: 9/11 Truthers and Birthers being salient examples. The former should be shunned and, as much as possible, eliminated from politics. The latter, although they are extremists, have a place in democratic discourse. What they believe may be weird, wrong, or even crazy, but it isn’t reprehensible. Therefore, I don’t hold “where’s the birth certificate?” signs as deserving quite the scorn we should reserve for racists and “[CurrentPresident]=Hitler” fearmongers.

  17. 17 Anonymous


    Yes, I know of people that went to these infamous Tea Parties, and they actually told me that they were appalled with the poor behavior of this group. Those who are truly not racist will denounce these groups for the hatred they represent and intolerance towards civil rights. Those who keep silent, claiming that they are not racists, are nothing more than spineless enablers.

  18. 18 Nathan

    I just don’t understand what the Tea Parties have to do with race. They were first organized in response to the Stimulus, a bill that wasn’t about race. They intensified in response to health care reform, which wasn’t about race. These are people protesting unprecedented government spending and intervention in the economy. Whether you agree with them or not, the Tea Parties aren’t about race.

    Now, given that Mr. Obama is our first black president, it’s to be expected that America’s remaining racists may congregate at rallies opposed to his agenda. But there aren’t many of them, and they aren’t in charge. So why focus on them? It’s like focusing on the Code Pink contingent of an anti-war protest. Of course, there are badly behaved nutjobs at any open political gathering of thousands. Focusing on them, instead of the majority of concerned citizens is dishonest, whichever party is doing it.

    I won’t denounce the Tea Partiers. Any organized protest against President Obama will draw racists. That’s a sad fact. Therefore, by your standard, we conservatives are obliged to denounce any organized protest against a liberal president. That’s ridiculous. Enforcing such sparkling purity of motives at a mass protest can’t be done, and it sure has heck wasn’t done at the left-wing protests against President Bush.

  19. 19 MSW

    I don’t think anyone can make a blanket statement that all Tea Party members are racists, or even that the majority are racists. What I found offensive was Tom Tancredo’s rant about wanting to implement a “civics literacy test” in order to vote, and hearing the cheers and applause for his remarks.. His comment that people can vote that can’t even say “vote” in English is pretty offensive too–many people in the United States had ancestors who immigrated to this country and couldn’t speak English either. Here is the clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzgWbLToqQY&feature=related Sorry for using this specific clip, because obviously he has a leftward slant, but I thought it was interesting that this convention would allow someone like Tom Tancredo to say these remarks.

  20. 20 Anonymous

    Yes, MSW, Tancredo’s remarks were very offensive. Of course, the mainstream portion of the Tea Party applauded Tancredo’s rants. It kind of reminded me of Alabama in the 1960’s. You see, MSW, civic literacy tests were part of the plan back in the Deep South. The white pollster could pick and choose who he gave the test. It had some of the vaguest questions that most normal citizens would not have a clue.

    Tom Tancredo is a racist. He and his followers can deny it, but the proof is in the pudding. You have to be either brain dead or in complete denial to not see this fact. Notice all the thunderous applause to Tancredo’s remarks? Yes, that’s the National Tea Party for you, trying to turn the clock to pre-1964 Civil Rights Act.

  21. 21 Nathan

    Tancredo shouldn’t be applauded, and would never get my vote. But he was hardly the keynote speaker at the convention, either. This guy managed about 2% in the Republican primary. He’s not a force in Republican politics.

    Once again: the Tea Parties were not organized in response to illegal immigration or anything else remotely race related. They were organized around, and draw most of their passion from, anger at the expanding budget and role of the federal government.

    Noting and disapproving of Tancredo, as MSM does, is quite appropriate. Focusing on his ilk as a way to discredit the whole Tea Party movement, as so many lefty bloggers have been doing, is dishonest.

  22. 22 Anonymous

    Nathan, there is nothing dishonest about the tactics that the tea party has done in the last year. Civics literacy tests are a throwback to the Jim Crowe era. And honestly, do you really believe that the Tea Party movement is not loaded with racists? Do you really? You should review this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52rJw_JZkto&feature=related. This clip shows what many of mainstream America fear about the Tea Party movement.

    You can believe anything you want to. But to call me and others dishonest is just that you don’t like my opinion.

  23. 23 Nathan

    Tom Tancredo is a racist, and civics literacy tests are a vile idea. But Tancredo is not a Tea Party leader, and civics tests are not part of the Tea Party agenda. Characterizing the Tea Parties as “racist hate groups” is willfully ignorant, and yes, I stand by it, dishonest.

    The Tea Party is not about race issues. It is about fiscal issues. This is a fact readily apparent to anyone with an internet connection and favorites list that extends beyond the likes of Maddow.

    If you bristle under my intemperate tone in these comments, let me point out that this discussion started out with a claim that the Tea Parties are “racist hate groups,” a pernicious and false left-wing meme that I am not inclined to endure in silence.

  24. 24 Anonymous

    “The Tea Party is not about race issues. It is about fiscal issues”.

    If that is the case, Nathan, then explain the thunderous applause Tancredo received for his civics literacy tests. Are these people ignorant or are they racists?

    The Tea Party may be about fiscal issues (I wonder where they were during the Bush Administration when the US went from having yearly surpluses to exploding deficits), but there is an intolerable level of race baiting within the movement. Tancredo’s remarks are not an isolated instance, either.

    We will just have to agree to disagree about the Tea Party.

  25. 25 Maurice

    Being from the Idaho Panhandle, all of the Tea Partiers here are actually racist. But, that doesn’t mean much around here, anyways.

    The Tea Party doesn’t give a lick about fiscal issues. Their thesis statement is:
    “Me have gun. Me like gun. Me use gun.”

    On the other hand, I don’t know if Palin (from Idaho and Alaska, which is an even racier state) could get that out of her mouth strait.

  26. 26 Anonymous

    You are right, Maurice. What Nathans fails to admit is that the Tea Party members openly embrace racists idealogues like Tom Tancredo. The Tea Party movement is such a joke. It reminds me of the George Wallaces of 1968 and the Dixicrat movement of 1948. The Republicans would help themselves out enormously if they reject the ideas of yesterday and to find solutions that help everyone, and not just for the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

  27. 27 Nathan

    “Openly embrace racist idealogues like Tom Tancredo.” Such as whom? I don’t see anyone embracing Tancredo. (The applause you call thunderous are in fact notably subdued for riled up a crowd of thousands. Yeah, I know, he is the 2008 Presidential nominee, official founder and Grand Czar of the Tea Parties, and keynote speaker at every protest, but let’s not blow him out of proportion.)

    OK: if there’s open embracing going on, it should be easy to name names, no? So who are you talking about, and who is openly embracing them?

  28. 28 Anonymous

    “OK: if there’s open embracing going on, it should be easy to name names, no? So who are you talking about, and who is openly embracing them?”

    I don’t know the names of these people. I do know that Tancredo received a thunderous applause for his literacy test remarks. I do know that anyone applauding literacy tests as a criteria to vote in our country is either ignorant or a racist. Or a hybrid of both.

    Phew! I hope that you will realize one day that your tea party movement is a joke. Hopefully for the Republican’s sake, they will realize it soon.

  29. 29 Anonymous

    Nathan, I thought I’d include a link of a protestor at an infamous tea party rally holding up a racially charged sign. http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/04/racist_signs_at_tea_parties.php. Do you condemn the sign, or do you condone it?

    I don’t understand the intense hatred that the Tea Party movement has for our President. I was hoping that America would be willing to move forward instead of having people try to “turn back the clocks” to the pre-1964 Civil Rights era.

  30. 30 Nathan

    Of course I condemn that sign, though I’m kind of surprised it’s the best you can do. When thousands of protesters gather together with signs, there are bound to be a few crazy ones. Color me amazed.

    Were the Republicans right to dismiss anti-war protesters as pro-terrorism? No? Then why are the Democrats right to dismiss the Teapers as racists?

    You don’t have any real evidence for these slanderous allegations of “open embracing of racists” in these “racist hate groups.” If you did, you’d have linked it by now. One line about civics tests from Tancredo, out of days and days of speeches? One guy with a racist sign out of thousands and thousands of protestors? This is not evidence that tarnishes the whole movement. You must see that.

  31. 31 Maurice

    Anyways, here’s the type of Teabaggers I have to contend with:

    Fischer: Fed Trespassers Can Be Shot

  32. 32 MSW


    I drilled down in your link and I was somewhat appalled by some of the pictures I saw. First off, I can’t stand it when I see kids holding up political signs like “protect our borders”. Exploitation of children is very offensive to me, no matter what the political idealogy might be. I also saw some signs trying to indicate that our President is not an American or using his name to somehow link him to Osama bin Laden (Obama bin-lyin).

    I talked to a really conservative gentleman in my church yesterday about the Tea Party. He indicated that he went to one of the rallies last April and he was embarrassed to be associated with this group in any faction. A chant broke out with people advocating violence against President Obama. Several racial epithets were uttered, but not as much as the chants condoning violenc. My friend thinks our President is a Socialist, but at the same time he thinks the endless rhetoric of some of the Tea Party enthusiasts is racially motivated and takes away the credibility of the Tea Party movement. My friend also told me he had as much problems with George W. Bush as he currently has with Obama, but the Tea Party protests did not exist because they didn’t want to be associated with the liberal protests.

    I think we can chalk up most of these protests as being about frustration over the future of our great nation. Peaceful solutions, solid debate, and more interaction between the Tea Party movement and the Democrat and Republican base is much needed.

  33. 33 MSW


    I read your comment and I know as a fact that you don’t condone racism. For a reasonable person to believe otherwise is to discount the quality of comments you have given to this blog.

    I think many of the racially charged allegations brought by others can be contributed to cultural differences within an area. I doubt that the average Southern Tea Party enthusiast has the same racial tolerance as someone from the Northeast or the Pacific coast. The same could be said about the average Democrat or Republican in these respective areas. Unfortunately for the Tea Party movement, the news media will pick up the sound bytes from the loudest Tea Party followers.

  34. 34 Anonymous

    Thank you, MSW, for sharing with me your thoughts of those dreadful pictures. I too was aghast with the picture of that young girl holding us a sign about protecting our borders. Her parents should be sent to parenting school for dressing their child as the modern Hitler Youth camper. Terribly offensive.

    I’ve heard the same things, MSW, about the groups breaking out in chants of violence against our President. There is no call for that. The Tea Party community prides itself in their civility, but that self-described comment is just inaccurate. I’m not surprised about the racial slurs, either. That’s probably par for the course.

    Let me ask you, MSW, for your opinion since Nathan did the “Teabagger Two-Step”. Why did the crowd cheer enthusiastically at the Tea Party convention about Tancredo’s civics literacy tests? Are these people ignorant? Are they racists? Or are they a hybrid of both.

  35. 35 MSW


    I don’t really know the exact reasons why the crowd cheered Tancredo’s racist remarks. I imagine that there are some people in the crowd who understood the context of these remarks and were totally on board with the idea of disinfranchising people by taking their right to vote away. Some others cheered out of sheer ignorance about the topic. Probably a large portion of the crowd cheered because they think such a test would prohibit President Obama from being reelected. We all must remember that the vast majority of the crowd are people who would never vote for Obama in any sort of pretense, and therefore anything said that could take away Obama’s future power would excite them. So yes, a lot of the cheering was from pure ignorance, some racial intolerance, but more was from anti-Obama resentment.

    I think the Republicans need to handle the Tea Party enthusiasts with kid gloves. Republicans and Democrats have their own ideas on fiscal policy, and both parties like spending money to accomplish their goals. I don’t necessarily believe that Republicans are the fiscally responsible party based on the 8 years of the Bush Administration, but I also don’t believe that the Republican base was totally on board with all of the Bush Administration’s fiscal policy. After 8 years under Bush, the true fiscal responsible/budget hawks of the Republican party were discouraged, and that deflated the Republican base. I think the Republican base has recovered, but probably more on the expense of the Obama administration than from their own merits. The Republicans know that they need the Tea Party base to support their candidates, and therefore the Republicans are wary to denounce such remarks made by Tancredo. Politically they would suffer in the near future, a la 2010 elections if they denounced Tancredo.

  36. 36 Anonymous

    MSW, I think you have a valid point regarding the crowd’s reasons for cheering Tancredo’s remarks. Tea Bagger Nation is almost void of minorities, so the racists can let their hair down with their racists remarks. Many in the crowd are completely brain dead, and many are just following the stagnant herd of hatred. I’m deeply disappointed that such a group would attack our President with such deep hatred. I keep on hearing the stupid argument “Well, this is what the Democrats did against Bush!”. Well, that’s not correct. The Democrats didn’t have a splinter group form that allowed known racists to spout their ideology. To use that argument is just a weak attempt by the Republicans and conservatives to suppport their unexcusable actions. Most of the people that had a deep hatred towards Bush were ones that lost family members from the unnecessary war in Iraq.

  37. 37 Lets get some posts on here

    Come on Taniel - I know you were to have a break but over two months without a single post!

  38. 38 Lets get some posts on here

    Come on Taniel - I know you were to have a break but over two months without a single post!

  39. 39 Anonymous

    I did notice Cliff never anwsered or apologised for his factual errors regarding Bush’s vote in Indiana. Oh well we all know what Cliff is like.

  40. 40 Wade

    Giddy up Taniel, I hope all is well for you. Now would be a good time for you to kick out some of your thoughts as we are heading into the final big week of primary action. Don’t let your bandwidth go to waste.

    Best Wishes


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