Monday, June 12, 2006

Election roundup for early June

The big election news nationally for early June is the CA-50 House race (Busby v Bilbray). The result of that race shows how beatable Republicans are this year: in a heavily Republican Congressional district (44% registered Republican) where the Republicans spent $11 million (the Democrats spent $4.7 million), the Republican candidate (Bilbray) got only 49% of the vote. Francine Busby (the Democratic candidate) got 45% of the vote, compared to 37% when she ran in 2004. That much improvement spells trouble for Republicans across the country.

At the same time, it shows that we can't just sit back and hope Republican incumbents collapse under the weight of their own incompetence and corruption - we have to go out there and work to beat them.

Here's WFP-endorsed candidate Mike Arcuri doing just that:

From a New York Times article:
"In New York's highly contested 24th District, left vacant by the retirement of Representative Sherwood Boehlert, a Republican, the Democratic candidate, Michael A. Acuri, called for the United States to get out of Iraq as soon as possible."
And from an Oneida-Dispatch article:
"Arcuri said that if elected he would support increasing the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25, a $2.10 increase . . . 'How do people making minimum wage who are trying to raise a family even survive.'"
There's a growing recognition in the press of what we already know, that New York is the central front in the battle to take back the House.

From a June 6th Wall Street Journal article (behind a firewall):
"If the current mood holds, Democrats are in a position to win the 15 seats they need to take control of the House. They have a harder task, however, snagging the six seats needed in the Senate. As the list of vulnerable Republicans grows, all sides are scouting for signs of an electoral wave like that of 1994, which swept away the Democrats' four-decade control of Congress. A key factor is the president's approval ratings, which are even lower in states featuring key battles than they are nationally. A recent poll had him at 23% in New York, home to as many as six endangered Republicans . . . Even the head of Republicans' House campaign committee, Rep. Tom Reynolds of New York, now is on some handicappers' watch lists. Republican turnout in New York could be particularly low because the party doesn't have strong candidates to excite voters running against Democrats Sen. Hillary Clinton and gubernatorial aspirant Eliot Spitzer. On election night, northwest Connecticut's Rep. Nancy Johnson will be 'my canary in the coal mine,' says Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report. In a normal year, the 12-term Republican congresswoman would be safe, even though Mr. Bush twice failed to carry her district. If Mrs. Johnson loses, Ms. Walter says expect a national Republican wipe-out. Mrs. Johnson is a popular, well-funded moderate who is already running TV ads."
Reinforcing that, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), in town to raise money for Republican incumbent Tom Reynolds (CD26), admitted "that the GOP's majority in the House and Senate is at risk." WFP-endorsed Jack Davis, running for the 26th district Congressional seat a second time, took Reynolds to task, saying, "I think he should be bringing in jobs, not big shots . . . He's not creating jobs in western New York." In the 2004 Congressional election, Reynolds beat Davis 56% to 44%; if Davis improves this time around as much as Busby did in CA-50 then he'll win the election.

Congressional Quarterly thinks there are five New York Congressional districts with competitive races in this election:
CD24, where the WFP has endorsed Mike Arcuri
CD19, Sue Kelly's (R) seat
CD20, where the WFP has endorsed Kirsten Gillibrand
CD25, where the WFP has endorsed Dan Maffei
CD29, where the WFP has endorsed Eric Massa
Meanwhile, Republican candidates are happily calling on George Bush for money, but they don't want to be seen with him. Sleddy Sweeney in CD20 is a case in point: Sweeney won't say he's a Republican in his TV ads, campaign literature or reelection announcement and he skipped the Republican Party State Convention, but Sweeney admits he's a good friend and ardent supporter of George Bush.

Here's WFP-endorsed Kirsten Gillibrand, Sweeney's opponent, quoted in an AP article speaking about the people in her district:
"They don't agree with this administration at all. They don't agree with the lack of fiscal discipline."
We couldn't agree more.

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Anonymous said...

Way to go, WFP!

Seriously, it's time to stop hoping the Republicans fail and start offering a real choice to voters. People who stand for something and who will fight.

NoMoreArcuri said...

Considering Mike Arcuri's lack of apparent campaigning, coupled with more than a few paople who like myself have issues with his becoming Congressman, I'm wondering if the WFC endorsement might have been misplaced...

Steve Perez said...

anonymous, we're going to take it to them.

NoMoreArcuri, don't let your personal dislike confuse you - Mike Arcuri's a winning candidate.

NoMoreArcuri said...

Now a month later, still no new content on his site... Whats confusing about this? Mike has been dropped by the DCCC for underperformance, the HilPac attempt to get campaign donations only netted $7000! And the Meier campaign has started questioning Mike's contributions from felons and his children..

Yeah, he sure looks like a "winning candidate" to me!