Thursday, May 20, 2010

More On Yesterday's Primaries

I heard this Congressional Republican ad masking as a story on NPR this morning, and couldn't help but wonder if Andrea Seabrook is really stupid, or thinks her listeners are.

Just to be clear, far more telling than the "insurgent" candidates winning their primaries in Kentucky and Pennsylvania (in KY it was for an open seat; in PA it was a challenge against an 80-year-old incumbent who switched parties to try and keep his seat), the special election to fill John Murtha's seat in PA-12 (?) was far more telling. This is the kind of "swing district" (and what the hell do those two words denote, anyway? Seabrook doesn't tell us other than they're white) that should have been an easy pick-up for Republicans. Murtha held it for decades, but the constituency there trends socially conservative and the Republican candidate was one such. Stories leading up to the special election pretty much wrote the seat off for the Democrats.

One of Seabrook's points, reiterated several times, what the whole business of the "electorate" being in an "anti-establishment" or "anti-incumbent" mood. I think Matt Yglesias, however, is far more correct.

Furthermore, almost every national election cycle we hear about voters being in an anti-incumbent mood. Yet, rarely do they actually vote that way. Indeed, big switches in party control - 1994 and 2006 being recent examples - involve relatively small rejections of incumbents. For the most part, the incumbents voters are against are those in other districts and states.

One more point on the Seabrook piece. The "story" featured snippets from Republican ads against various Democratic members and candidates, most of which featured attacks on the Speaker of the House, and the charge that this or that person supported "Obamacare". Not a single word as to whether these ads were substantively correct. Indeed, not a word of criticisms on the comments of a Republican spokesperson's claim that Obama's Administration poses some kind of radical danger to the Republic. I know NPR can do better than this kind of crap.

Virtual Tin Cup

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