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Sunday with the Senators: Big Bird Edition

by: DocJess

Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:45:08 AM EDT

Matt should have the updated chart up later today, and I have five changes on the DCW column, all good. Both Wisconsin and Indiana move from Toss-Up to Democratic Lean, and New Mexico, Florida and Ohio move from Democratic Lean to Strong Democratic. And in a certain way, it is the Big Bird effect.

In all five cases, what the numbers below the topline tell us about the polling in all those states is that people are starting to see the Republican candidates for what they are, and not for what they are lying about. Yesterday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer endorsed Sherrod Brown, pointing out that he has served Ohioans very well in his first term. The paper did not endorse him six years ago, and the paper answered to that. And then the editorial said this

There's another powerful reason to vote for Brown -- a negative one: Electing his Republican opponent, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, would reward one of the nastiest campaigns ever waged in this state. It would reward a candidate who hasn't moved beyond partisan slogans and careful sound bites. It would reward ambition untethered to substance. 

I love that phrase "ambition untethered to substance" - how applicable to a whole host of Republican candidates. But if you think about it, that's what the electorate is coming around to: low information voters are starting to pay attention, and while they may be initially wowed by the shine, once they learn the facts, they're appalled by the stink.

Yesterday, I attended a local street fair/music festival. There were a number of political tables there from both parties. As you likely know, it's illegal to comingle funds between elected officials' offices and their campaigns. Thus, an incumbent can either set up a legislative table with constituent information and no campaign materials, or vice-versa. There was one constituent table from each of the parties representing incumbents, and there were three tables from local Democratic organizations. Consider guessing the sole of those 5 tables that brought not a single voter registration form, even though registering voters falls under both a constituent service and an independent event.

The table for my township was near one of the entrances, and just downwind from where they were smoking and grilling various kinds of meat, so we got a lot of traffic. Throughout the day, our candidates would stand with our table chatting with potential voters. In addition, we had materials for the full ticket (handouts, signs, bumper stickers, etc.) 

We got a lot of questions, the most common being some variation on "what happened in the debate?"  The answer was quite simple: Romney won on style, Obama won on facts. Our question back to the person was always "did the debate change how you are going to vote?" And the answer was 100% no. People were relieved that what they believed was actually true.

People also asked about the candidates whose materials dotted our table. They would point at someone and ask about something they'd heard on a TV ad. We were easily able to refute the lies. You could see the people's faces relax and smile. Even low-information voters are coming around to the understanding that the Republicans will say anything, no matter how absurd, and try to pass it off as truth. 

You can see it in the Senate races, along with Congressional races, downballot races, and the grand prize race itself. People are starting to ask about what candidates REALLY stand for, and they are paying more attention to speaking clips of the candidates to "friendly" audiences where they admit things like "the 47%" and "legitimate rape". They are coming around to the dog whistles, such as when "saving Medicare" actually means "voucher-care." 

I have stopped losing sleep over the possibility of losing the Senate. I'll still be canvassing and doing various GOTV things up and down the ticket, but only to make sure our voters show up. 

After the jump, some interesting stories about people at our booth yesterday.

DocJess :: Sunday with the Senators: Big Bird Edition

Our local state rep is a guy named Warren Kampf. He's a teabagger who won his first term in 2010 by 951 votes (about 3%). He's proven himself to being no friend of the district, and this year's match-up is between Warren and Paul Drucker, the incumbent he beat in 2010. One of the local unions made stickers and tee shirts that had a "No Kampf" logo. They were wearing their shirts around the festival, handing out stickers.

A woman came up to our table and tapped on the lit from Kathleen Kane, the Democratic candidate for AG. She asked about the TV ads indicating that Kane has previously cut deals with rapists as a DA. I was able to tell her honestly that the charges had been refuted in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and by factcheck. I mentioned that when I last spoke with Kathleen and asked her why there were no ads up, she said it was a money thing: that her ads would go up working back from election day with the funds they had raised. (It's tough to compete against dark money.) I told the woman a few other tidbits from my last conversation with Kathleen, and she walked away smiling, mentioning that she was glad she could vote Kane with a clear conscience. She was back an hour later asking why "we" had put out the "No-Kampf" shirts since "we" should be saying why our candidate was "better". I explained that it was a union with a specific set of legitimate gripes against Warren, and I could get her with one of them to explain in detail. But no: she was just relieved that the Democrats, her usual (but not always) party had not done it. 

Another man stopped by and wanted to discuss why Mittens is running for president. He presented something I'd never heard of before: that it's all about getting a Mormon in the White House so that when Mormon missionaries go door to door, they can say "Look how important our religion is: we even have one of our own in the White House. Most powerful man in the world is a Mormon." 

It's interesting, but as someone who believes that religion has no place in politics, I would like to believe that the religious affiliation of any candidate for any office should have no bearing on his/her electability. Then again, I also want religion to have no bearing on legislation, court decisions and executive orders. 

Finally, Manan Trivedi spent two hours at our table, talking to voters. I have to say, he looked GOOD! Since his last run in 2008, he's lost weight and looked relaxed and very healthy. He is now a Fellow with the Truman Project, has sharpened his views, and did a great job in speaking with voters. He's got some great ads up, too. We spoke briefly about the new CD borders, and he said that since fully 50% of the electorate was new to the district, he felt he had a clear shot at winning the race. 

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thanks (0.00 / 0)
for an encouraging and informative piece!

Kampf (4.00 / 1)
It must take a remarkable amount of self-control to not constantly want to make Mein Kampf references.

Public v Private (4.00 / 1)
I would NEVER go out in public and do something so untoward. In my house, "Jessville rules" apply. For example, even though I don't drink, when people come over who I know like to drink wine, I always have a nice bottle ready. People are allowed to be politically incorrect in my house without fear of recrimination because my household supports that free speech thing....let's just say we have a cheer complete with "incorrect" movements....

[ Parent ]
not specific (0.00 / 0)
People noticed that Romney didn't provide details, as usual. Here's one comment that showed people didn't think the debate went to Romney-

Their (non) Record Of The Republican and Tea Party Congress. Tax on Companies that ship overseas-BLOCKED,Political Ad disclosure bill-BLOCKED 2X,The Small Business Jobs Act-BLOCKED,The Dream Act-BLOCKED,Repeal of "Don't Ask,Don't Tell"-Blocked Numerous Times,Anti-Rape Amendment-BLOCKED,Benefits for Homeless Veterans-BLOCKED,Affordable Health Care for America-Voted 33xTo Repeal,Health Care for First Responders-Blocked,THE JOBS BILL-BLOCKED,Wall Street Reform-BLOCKED,American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-Attempted Block,OIL SPILL LIABILITY-BLOCKED,Immigration Reform-BLOCKED,Unemployment extension bill HR-4213-BLOCKED,Fair Pay Act of 2009-BLOCKED AND DEFEATED. The real story of a party that does not care for the welfare of all citizens of this country, All Americans..




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