The political party that defends your right to own guns, keep your income, and worship freely is probably not the party to fear.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Connecticut – Fruit, Maybe, But Not Low Hanging

Connecticut, like all of New England, is a Democratic stronghold. Chris Shays, defeated in 2008, was the last Connecticut Republican to serve in the House of Representatives.

With no Republicans representing the state, the future might look grim. Considering that Shays was not the most conservative Republican in the House, or that Connecticut has not sent conservatives to Congress in decades, it looks even more grim. (Shays, however, did point out that the economy now belonged to Obama, a point in his favor.) That being said, the election of Republicans would still be considered an improvement. But it won’t be easy. Only two districts provide any hope: CT-04 (Shays old district) and CT-05.

CT-04: Jim Himes – D

Himes defeated Shays in the 2008 debacle. The district, however, has some comfort with Republicans, since Shays served for 12 years. The Cook PVI rating for CT-04 is D+5, significant but not impossible. If the Obama shine begins to fade, a Republican may become viable again. Still, it will take a considerable effort to organize and finance a Republican.

CT-05: Chris Murphy – D

CT-05 has been an on-off proposition for both parties. It was merged with CT-06 in 2006, the year that Murphy was elected. However, both CT-05 and CT-06 have a history of electing both Democrats and Republicans. The Cook PVI rating is D+2, which is a more positive sign for Republicans.

Like most of New England, conservatives rarely fair well in elections. A moderate Republican is the best we could hope for, but even a moderate will be much more conservative than the Democrats. At least, we hope so. Shays would be an improvement, as would any moderate Republican of the Shays or Lindsey Graham model.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Colorado - Low Hanging Fruit (maybe)

“Rocky Mountain High, Colorado.”

It pretty much sums up what happened to Colorado. A hippy starts singing about how wonderful the place is, then more hippies show up, and before long, it’s a mess. To be fair, the West has always had a strong libertarian streak, morally speaking. They also had a strong libertarian streak with regard to taxes, land use, politics and freedom, but liberals in our society have shown a remarkable ability to preempt moral libertarianism as a wedge to begin their socialist march. Then the citizens of California moved to Colorado, bringing their statist views with them, and the place starts to go downhill. But still no state fruit. What’s up with that, Colorado?

Conservatives have an opportunity in Colorado, but it will take work. Colorado was a 2004 Red state but a 2008 Blue state. Does that represent the massive demographic shift heralded by the Democrats, or dissatisfaction with the Bush administration and the weak campaign of McCain?

Colorado has seven members in the House of Representatives, and four of them are Democrats. Only one, CO-03, provides a chance for conservatives, according to the Croaker Norge Sliding Scale of Despair®. The rest of the Democrat districts: C0-01, CO-02, and CO-07, appear to be firmly Democrat, with Cook PVI ratings of D+4 (CO-07) to D+21 (CO-01).

CO-03: John Salazar – D
Salazar is a Blue Dog Democrat, who may currently be the most ineffective and vulnerable politicians. Moderation is not a virtue currently valued by Pelosi and company, and the ability of Blue Dogs to influence to the center is non-existent. CO-03 is Republican, but not overwhelmingly so: Cook PVI rating of R+5. Bush carried the district in 2004 with a decent 55% total, but I can’t find any information on McCain’s 2008 totals in the district. I suspect McCain lost the district, since Salazar won almost 2-1 in 2008.

Taking CO-03 will require organization and a viable conservative candidate.

Any rumors of a conservative running for CO-03?

Monday, May 25, 2009

California - I'm not sure that it's safe to say low hanging fruit

If you know what I mean, and I think you do. Because obviously, California is the most socialist state, and federal funds have been used for years to protect a Democrat majority.

If there is a ray of hope, it is only in the imminent bankruptcy, and even that probably won't work. All of the potentially conservative voters, i.e., employed people, people with businesses, are leaving California in droves, apparently. It seems that it cost eight to ten times as much to rent a UHaul truck to leave California than to enter California. (Note: I have not done the exercise myself. I can only hope that it's true, since I'm posting it here.)

Arkansas - Low Hanging Fruit

Arkansas has more potential for conservatives than any other state. Currently, three Democrats represent the state in the House, and two Democrats represent the state in the Senate. All three representatives must run in 2010, and one of the Senators, Blanche Lincoln, must run in 2010, as well. There is no reason that all of them cannot be defeated in 2010.

House of Representatives

AR-03: Representative: John Boozman- R
Boozman is Arkansas only Republican representative. Barring scandal, Boozman should be safe. He has served since 2001, so he is well known to District 03. District 3 has a strong Republican base, voting against Obama by almost 2-1.

AR-01: Representative: Marion Berry – D (No, not that Marion Berry)
Berry has served in the House since 1996. AR-01 is a conservative district, at least more conservative than he is. The Cook PVI (Partisan Voting Index) for AR-01 is R+8. The last time the district voted for a Democrat was in 2000, when the district voted for Gore. Since then, Bush received 62% of the votes in 2004, and McCain 64% of the vote in 2008. Berry also voted for the Obama stimulus bill, and that should also hurt him in conservative Arkansas.

Berry has a challenger in 2010: Rick Crawford. With the declining popularity of Pelosi and the ineffectiveness of Blue Dog Democrats to represent their conservative districts, Crawford’s chances look good.

AR-02: Vic Snyder – D
Like Berry, Snyder is an old hand. He was also elected in 1996, but he also represents a conservative district. His chances look a bit better than Berry’s. AR-02 has a Cook PVI rating of R+5, and while McCain carried the district in 2008, he did so by 11 points fewer than his totals in AR-01 (64% vs. 53%). He faces the same challenges as all Blue Dog Democrats: Pelosi, Obama’s budgets, increasingly liberal social policies such as abortion, gay marriage, etc.

AR-02, where is a challenger for this seat?

AR-04: Mike Ross – D

Ross’ vulnerabilities are closer to Berry than Snyder. The Cook PVI for AR-04 is R+7, only 1 point lower than AR-01. The Republican turnout in 2008 was 58%, only six points less than AR-01. Like all Democrats in Arkansas, Ross is vulnerable.

Ar-04, where is a challenger for this seat?


Blanche Lincoln – D

There is no reason for Blanche Lincoln to continue in the Senate. She knows that she is vulnerable, which is why she announced her opposition to Card Check after it was pronounce dead letter. It will be interesting to see what happens when the issue comes up again. Card Check is not the only issue that she is vulnerable on. Obama’s SCOTUS appointee will be liberal, very liberal. Her vote on the appointee will affect national recognition of gay marriage, national security, and a host of other issues near and dear to Arkansas.

Mike Huckabee, where are you?

Arizona - Low Hanging Fruit

This is bad. Arizona sort of just fell of the edge of the cliff recently. Democrats represent five of the eight districts, and three of the five districts went Democrat since the 2006 election.

AR-01: Ann Kirkpatrick – D
Kirkpatrick was elected in 2008, the first Democrat since 1995. The Cook PVI rating for AR-01 is R+6. The district voted for Bush (twice) and McCain.

AR-05: Harry Mitchell – D

AR-05 may be changing to a permanent D. The Cook PVI rating for AR-05 is R+5, but McCain only carried the district by 52%, not good numbers for the local boy. Redistricting has taken its toll, and it is difficult to judge, for me at least. Some of you smart people in AR-05 may be able to help.

AR-08: Gabrielle Giffords – D

AR-08 is about the same as AR-05. Cook PVI rating; R+4. McCain barely carried the district. Like AR-05, someone on the ground there should be able to provide some information on what is happening.

(Arizona has no state fruit, which I thought was a constitutional requirement. Who knew? Does this help explain the state of affairs in Arizona?

Alaska - Low Hanging Fruit

On paper, Alaska should be safe, and it may be. Alaska has one congressional representative, Republican Don Young, who has been serving since 1973. That should indicate deep support for Young.

The problem for conservatives is that Young has been under investigation since 2007 for misuse of funds. He is a well known user of earmarks, a trait that many conservatives think indicates trouble. Alaska has more than its fair share of politicians lining up for earmarks, and charges of corruption are disturbing, since Ted Stevens resigned after his conviction for corruption. The charges against Stevens have been dropped, but the damage was done. He was replaced by a Democrat, making the Obama agenda more likely.

Unfortunately, it looks like Young may be the low hanging fruit here. It seems likely that the Obama Department of Justice could taint another election and swing another vote into the D column. Young is innocent until proven guilty, of course, but maybe Alaskans should look elsewhere for a conservative Representative.

Alabama - Low Hanging Fruit - Updated

Alabama is a conservative state, with four of the seven congressional districts represented by Republicans. Of the three districts represented by Democrats, only one should be safe for the Democrats: AL-07, represented by Artur Davis.

Of the other two districts currently represented by Democrats: AL-02 and AL-05, the only question that can be raised is WT…heck happened?

AL-02: Bobby Bright –
Bright should not be representing AL-02. The Cook PVI rating for AL-02 is R+16. McCain carried the district by 63% of the vote. Bright is the first Democrat to be elected to represent AL-02 since 1965. However, it is clear that Bright understands his district, since he was one of the eleven Democrats in the House of Representatives that voted against the Obama Stimulus. The rest of his record is not so conservative.

Update: Bright has an opponent: Martha Robey. You go, girl!

Alabama conservatives, it’s time to wake up. This is not low hanging fruit. This is fruit that wants to fall in your basket.

AL-05: Parker Griffith – D

Like Bright, Griffith is also an anomaly. The Cook PVI rating for AL-05 is R+12, and both Bush and McCain carried the district by 60% of the vote. Like Bright, Griffith is a Blue Dog, voting against the Obama Stimulus. And like Bright, there is no way he should remain in office.

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