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Screenshot of U.S. Chamber of Commerce ad against Alex Sink.
Screenshot from a U.S. Chamber of Commerce advertisement in FL-13

Right before the polls close in a special election for a seat in the U.S. House, everyone sagely offers the traditional note of caution: special elections are a peculiar beast, and it is probably best not to try to draw too many firm conclusions from them.

Of course, once the results are known, everyone sagely proceeds to ... draw as many firm conclusions from them as their creative minds are able to fashion.

For whatever reason, the special election earlier this week in Florida's 13th congressional district invited an avalanche of such analysis, much of it devolving into outright spin. Normally, in situations like these, at least some of the spin would look like foreshadowing after November, while some of it, inevitably, is going to be worthy of mockery. This time around, though, it seems to me that there is an unusual amount to mock.

While realizing the abject lack of sexiness in this take, I offer it nonetheless: I don't think we know a hell of a lot more about 2014 now than we did on Monday night. A dispassionate look at the numbers said it was a swing district that could go either way. It went the way of the GOP, narrowly. While it is disappointing for the Democrats, the crowing from the right (and many of the usual suspects in pundit-land) that this is the bat signal that another GOP wave is cresting looks premature at best, and silly at worst.

Follow me past the fold for a look at the numbers, a look at some truly bad spin on the left and the right, and why 2014 is, in a paraphrase of the immortal words of former NFL coach Dennis Green, what we think it is.

Let's begin the analysis by stipulating one thing. A lot of the spin, both official and unofficial, coming from Democrats on Tuesday night was awful. Following the post-game on Twitter was cringeworthy, as several "official" Democrats, as well as other party advocates, kept talking about how Democrats nearly won a "heavily Republican district."

Ugh. But for every ill-advised attempt to paint the Florida 13th as some kind of blood-red conservative stronghold, there was some Republican cheerleader (or pundit/media enabler) who would inevitably refer to it as an "Obama district," which made the win for David Jolly all the more impressive.

Both of those statements are simplistic to the point of silliness.

Though voter registration in the district may lean GOP, it certainly has not performed that way on Election Day. Democrats can carry the district, to be sure. Indeed, Alex Sink carried the district (although narrowly) when she suffered that close loss to Rick Scott in the Florida gubernatorial election of 2010. Bill Nelson has won the region consistently in his races for the Senate for quite some time. And, yes, Barack Obama outpolled both of his GOP challengers in the current confines of the Florida 13th.

Having said that, to call it a "pro-Obama" district is pretty absurd. While he earned more votes out of the 13th than either John McCain or Mitt Romney, he never ran better than his national margins there. And that may be the best place to start understanding how little we should draw from Tuesday's result. Barack Obama won the 2012 presidential election nationally by 3.9 percent. But he won the Florida 13th by 1.5 percent. To put it another way, in a perfectly neutral electoral environment (assuming a uniform swing), the GOP should enjoy an edge of about 2.4 percentage points in the Florida 13th. For the record, this hews fairly closely to 2008, as well, when Obama ran about 2 points on the margin behind his national numbers in FL-13.

David Jolly won on Tuesday night by ... 1.9 percent. This would seem to imply that the media interpretation that this portends an awful environment for Democrats is awfully overblown (instructive examples can be found here and here). The numbers seem to hint that if Democrats were nearly as politically toxic as some in the pundit class are alleging, Jolly would have not only won, but the margin would've been considerably larger than it was. As it was, the numbers imply (as generic polling has done, when you average it out) a fairly neutral environment.

Now, make no mistake: a neutral environment is not good news for Democrats. As we learned in 2012, the combination of residential patterns and creative mapmaking has created a House environment in which the Democrats have to carry the national popular vote for the House, and by a pretty healthy margin, in order to get anywhere near a majority. And, with some near-certain losses on the docket for the Democrats, they need better than a neutral environment, in all probability, to gain any seats at all or even hold steady.

But to imply that a special election, where the outcome was a margin that was almost identical to the status quo, portends an electoral tsunami seems like enormous overkill.

At the end of the day, I'd argue that we know almost exactly as much about the 2014 elections now as we did prior to Sink v. Jolly. If either candidate had won by a healthier margin, you might've been able to argue that there was a serious undercurrent developing.

Many are trying to tie in the Senate races to Tuesday's outcome, as well. In an interesting postmortem by David Weigel, he says the following:

[Sink] came to a slightly blue district and watched it go red. A fall-off like that in other districts and states would be devastating to the 2014 Democrats. Montana, Alaska, Louisiana, South Dakota, West Virginia, North Carolina—all of those states are redder than FL-13, and all have Republicans running to take Democratic Senate seats.
Having already addressed the first point, let's focus on the second point. Weigel is absolutely correct: FL-13 was more amenable turf, at least as it relates to Democratic presidential performance in the last two races, than any of the half dozen Senate races he describes.

Well, yeah, sure. But that's been established for quite some time. Even when Democrats looked pretty good after the GOP messed the bed in the shutdown fracas and polls showed outsized Democratic leads, there was still the persistent concern that the Senate map just looked bad for the blue team, because so many seats happened to be on Romney '12 turf. Retirements in South Dakota and West Virginia only served to add to the misery (just as House retirements early in 2014 changed the entire complexion of the battle for that chamber).

Nothing that happened to Alex Sink on Tuesday night changed that, nor did it really seem to intensify that. Again, if Sink had gotten blown out on neutral turf on Tuesday night, that'd be a major cause for alarm. But a defeat by 2 points, in a district whose generic lean, national results being equal, is about R+2 on the margin?

Once again, none of this is good news for the Democrats. None of it. But my point is simply this: all of this not-so-damned-good news was known well before March 11th. We knew the 2014 Senate map was a little fugly for the Democrats, just like Republicans probably know that 2016 is going to be their turn in the penalty box, in terms of Senate geography. We knew Democrats would need a real tailwind to make marked gains in the House, and the clock is ticking down rapidly on that. This is all nothing new under the sun. Which is why the wave of 2014 ZOMG GOP WAVE (!!1!!) stories floating around this week seem to be a tad disproportionate.

What's more, special elections are ... as the cautionary notes of last Monday noted ... peculiar beasts. The DCCC got roundly lampooned for their post-election press release (mostly for the headline: "In Heavily Republican District, Democrats Proved They Can Compete"). But deeper in the piece was an interesting walk down memory lane:

·         In the 2006 cycle, Democrats lost every competitive special election, and went on to pick up 31 seats and gain the majority.
·         In the 2010 cycle, when House Democrats would lose 63 seats and control of the chamber in the fall, they won every single competitive special election leading up to November.
·         As NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said the morning of the race: “Whether we win it or lose it, the special elections aren’t too predictive for either side going forward.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/11/14]
(Election junkies will rate that as "mostly true," as a look at the special elections of recent vintage reminds us that Charles Djou did steal a Democratic seat in 2010, albeit under very peculiar circumstances.)

A favorite example of this phenomenon was one not cited by the D-Trip: 2004. Democrats were convinced that the wins for Ben Chandler (KY-06) and Stephanie Herseth (SD-AL), in turf far more hostile than FL-13, were signs of a growing wave of Bush fatigue. It was a pair of special elections that far too many folks predicted would usher in a number of bountiful outcomes: a John Kerry victory in November, and legitimate shots at reclaiming the House and Senate. None of those things, of course, materialized.

At this point, the 2014 picture, in the midst of breathless predictions of Democrats being buried under a wave of Obamacare hate and Koch cash, seems rather simple. Democrats look like they are a betting favorite to (a) lose Senate seats, (b) do no better than hold serve in the House, and (c) pick off some governorships. The main goal, then, is preservation. If they can avoid slipping into the Senate minority, it seems likely that they can recoup their losses in 2016, when the map looks as good for them then as it looks bad for them in 2014. That's what it seems to come down to.

And, essentially, that's what I would have told you last Sunday, as well.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 06:14 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Voting Against Their Kids & Grandkids Health Care (14+ / 0-)

    My mother tells me that her retired friends are seeing their adult children dying off from chronic health problems and lack of insurance.

    The Dems need start telling the elderly GOP base that they are voting against health care for their grandkids.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 06:28:32 PM PDT

  •  "none of this is good news for the Democrats. None (10+ / 0-)

    of it."

    That's my takeaway.

    Also, too. Assuming GOPers manage to take the Senate in a few months, we're in uncharted waters for the next two years ... The combination of ODS and GOPer batshitcrazyism is likely to create a completely unique presidential race in 2016, where historic data won't matter diddly. Could be a Democratic landslide election, or could be a debilitating loss to someone who Isn't Obama.

    The whole thing is a nightmare.

    •  Walden's Reverse Kerry--he was against before... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      waterstreet2013

      NRCC Chairman Walden did a reverse Kerry--he was against making the race a harbinger before he was for it.

      I've said, posting to a previous diary that politics should have point spreads like in football; and if we had, Sink would have beat the spread.

      Walden thought that Sink had a good enough chance at winning that he didn't want her victory to be seen as a sign that Republicans would be in trouble. Then when she lost, he turned around and demanded that we take this race as a predictor.

      Freedom's just another word for not enough to eat. --Paul Krugman's characterization of conservative attitudes.

      by Judge Moonbox on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 08:03:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  CoC started running ads 6 months earlier (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judge Moonbox

        than Dems, who couldn't add 2+2.

        GOPers are good at running campaigns when they nominate sane candidates. But they can't govern sensibly.

        Dems need massive outside assistance to get started early and follow through working the critical selling points. But they're damn good at governance.

        Strange.

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Paul Ryan

        by waterstreet2013 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:03:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Again, this is not news. (0+ / 0-)

      The diarist's point is that special elections predict bupkis.

      So don't look at FL-13 as a bellwether.

      Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

      by Phoenix Woman on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:43:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "NOT US" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, abgin, Judge Moonbox

    .... the irony, of course, is that it is exactly US that benefits from Obamacare!

    every adult is responsible for every child

    by ridemybike on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 06:31:31 PM PDT

  •  I would add a couple of points (23+ / 0-)

    that speak to the local failure in this race, both of the candidate and the turnout operation:

    (1) Jolly was in fact a weak candidate. It was not neutral in that respect.

    (2) Sink was a good fundraiser with good name recognition. Another non-neutral factor.

    Lessons to be drawn - naming a generic, don't rock the boat, "I;m bipartisany" race simply does not get your the base turnout you need to win off year.

    Thus, while it was easier to run a Sink campaign, because she had name recongition and fundraising prowess, it simply is not good enough in offyear elections.

    Either by Grayson style demogoguery or pointed base energizing policies and politics, you have to get the base enaged.

    Sink and her campaign put them to sleep.

    It was a textbook lesson in what everyone should know by know, the base decides off year elections.

    Not "independents."

  •  Sufficient (if not satsifying) goal for 2014 is... (7+ / 0-)

    ...holding the Senate at least 52-48 or 53-47, and minor gains or losses (+/-5 seats) in the house.

    Point is, if we can get past 2014 essentially without losing any strategic ground (hold enough margin in Senate that Joe Manchin isn't positioned to be the WVa version of Joe Liebarman)...and no significant loss of ground in House, we're poised in 2016 for a strong progressive comeback in Congressional elections (especially the Senate) and maybe narrow capture of the house, plus (assuming she runs) a second Clinton presidency.

    I know, I know...many of us (including me) wish the democratic part was ready to nominate, and the country was ready to elect Elizabeth Warren...but the vastly overwhelming strategic item of importance is to get to the point where demographic factors begin to overwhelm residual GOP advantages.  Because if the GOP manages even two year where they control all three branches of government, they will ruthlessly attempt (and have a chance at success) at dismantling a huge swath of the established structure of progressive government, and creating structural impediments that may take two to four decades to reverse, if not longer.  They intend to salt the ground to make it impossible for progressive government to take root again for decades.  Think what their control of six or seven justices of the SCOTUS could bring, for example, instead of only three and sometimes four hard-core radical conservatives and a swing vote that sides with them more often than not (Kennedy).

  •  Have the Dems forgotten Virginia (15+ / 0-)

    Where they ran the table at the state level?  

    •  Great minds.... n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright

      "If you are cast on a desert island with only a screwdriver, a hatchet, and a chisel to make a boat...go make the best one you can. It would be better if you had a saw, but you haven't." T.Roosevelt on politics.

      by NCJan on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 06:47:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Math Tells Us The Dynamics Were the Same.... (6+ / 0-)

      The Gov and LG races in Virginia are tough to treat as generic races, because the GOP candidates were both underfunded and sucky.

      But let's look at the AG's race, which is the closest we get to a "generic" statewide race there. It was decided by a fraction-of-a-fraction of a percent in favor of the Democrats. As it happened, the outcome in Virginia at the prez level in 2012 was almost precisely what it was nationally.

      Here is the math:
      2012 President (National): Obama +3.86%
      2012 President (Virginia): Obama +3.88%

      So, the "lean" for the Dems in Virginia was a wholly insignificant 0.02%, assuming the climate is dead-even nationally (and assuming a uniform swing).

      Herring beat Obenshain in that Attorney General's race by 0.04%. So...like FL-13...the election outcome was almost precisely where that "lean" would've predicted.

      In other words, the generic environment is not overwhelmingly R, nor is it leaning D. It is pretty neutral. Which, given WHERE the Senate races are this year, and the nature of the House, points to what was described in the piece: a not-good, but not-totally-devastating, 2014.

      "Every one is king when there's no one left to pawn" (BRMC)
      Contributing Editor, Daily Kos/Daily Kos Elections

      by Steve Singiser on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:01:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Difference between VA and FL (6+ / 0-)

        Besides the fact that one's statewide and the other isn't, from what I heard McAuliffe ran a progressive campaign, went after Cuccinelli's crazy right wing ideas on gender and race, promised to work to extend the Medicaid expansion to VA.

        Sink, on the other hand, tried to woo independents rather than the Democratic base, equivocated on Obamacare, and didn't put Jolly into any tough spots when it came to women and minorities.

        "If you are cast on a desert island with only a screwdriver, a hatchet, and a chisel to make a boat...go make the best one you can. It would be better if you had a saw, but you haven't." T.Roosevelt on politics.

        by NCJan on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:40:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama also equivocates ObamaCare. See my comments (0+ / 0-)

          up thread.

          It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

          by auapplemac on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:22:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  We do need to turn out the base (12+ / 0-)

    Having said that, I wonder why no one is pointing to the fact that Senatorial elections are statewide and this was not.

    Maybe a better indicator would be, say, Virginia's gubernatorial race.  That switched to Dem as I recall, and it was a statewide race, as are other Senatorial races.

    The second thing I'd like to point out is that we were all but ready to lose the Senate in 2010 as well.  In fact, I'm sure it was widely predicted at this point too.  How much was Harry Reid losing by?

    It's not over until it's over.

    But Dems really do have to step up the game, and now.

    "If you are cast on a desert island with only a screwdriver, a hatchet, and a chisel to make a boat...go make the best one you can. It would be better if you had a saw, but you haven't." T.Roosevelt on politics.

    by NCJan on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 06:47:10 PM PDT

  •  sigh.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV
    At this point, the 2014 picture, in the midst of breathless predictions of Democrats being buried under a wave of Obamacare hate and Koch cash, seems rather simple. Democrats look like they are a betting favorite to
    (a) lose Senate seats,
    (b) do no better than hold serve in the House, and
    (c) pick off some governorships.

    The main goal, then, is preservation. If they can avoid slipping into the Senate minority, it seems likely that they can recoup their losses in 2016, when the map looks as good for them then as it looks bad for them in 2014. That's what it seems to come down to.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 06:51:26 PM PDT

  •  The number you didn't mention... (9+ / 0-)

    Of the precincts that were Sink's only 34% showed up, opposed to 50% for those in Jolly's precincts.

    I know she was a pretty bad candidate. She lost to Rick Scott, for crying out loud, but I don't think that explains it all.

    If we don't show up, we're screwed.  

    •  what can be done about that? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright

      this is a serious question ... now that the problem has been ID'd, how should it be addressed?

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:21:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama's 2012 campaign (4+ / 0-)

        has the metrics and the databases to do this. Write them.

        I am already a member of Organizing for Action and the first question that I will have next meeting is...

        "When do we start calling everywhere for the 2014 election?"

        They are concentrating on getting out the message for Healthcare.gov, but that will be over on March 31st.

        After that, we need to get going.

        We outnumber them in terms of volunteers (if all of us get involved).

        We need to also instill some fear in people here and other places that letting them win will be a catastrophe.

        •  thanks - has this been done before or is it a new (0+ / 0-)

          strategy?

          to "call everyone," I mean.

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:44:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Truer words (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse, Stude Dude, wishingwell

          By this time in 2012 Obama had a campaign office and paid staff in Chapel Hill.

          The work involved registering people to vote (at public places like grocery stores, etc.) and going door to door.

          It also involved phone banking to identify and motivate volunteers.

          The same thing has to happen now.

          I know for a fact that in NC there is a growing progressive movement and the GOP governor and legislature are wildly unpopular.

          I also know that the Democratic Party here is in disarray.

          If we didn't have Rev. Barber and Moral Mondays, we'd have little to base our hopes on.

          "If you are cast on a desert island with only a screwdriver, a hatchet, and a chisel to make a boat...go make the best one you can. It would be better if you had a saw, but you haven't." T.Roosevelt on politics.

          by NCJan on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:45:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  how to stem the disarray? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NCJan

            My impression is that most of the energy comes from the individual campaigns (or not, each one is different).

            A more coherent party would help ... at least we know what a well-run campaign looks like.

            good luck in NC!!

            An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

            by mightymouse on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:51:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It is a serious issue... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, mightymouse

        I've had a bit of back and forth with David Nir about this in terms of starting a group/series devoted to GOTV (can't do it this week, and not sure if I can at all, but)

        Open it up to share ideas that work, ones that don't,  network, post voter reg success stories,  selfies.

        One idea I had I call neighbor to neighbor...Ask anyone who can to commit to getting one neighbor, friend, family member, co-worker registered and help them get to the polls.  Give them a ride, ride with them on the bus, walk with them there (all of course would absolutely need  to be done within electoral regulations).  Something maybe pretty easy for people to do who don't have a lot of time, can't get to meetings...etc.

        I understand that the Michigan Democratic Party is already working on building infrastructure and I am thinking of starting by asking them what they are doing.   And as noted upthread, we did great in Virginia so maybe there is another source of good info.

        In any case, GOTV is crucial, just crucial in 2014.

        sh

  •  the scott walker emails show why dems lost another (4+ / 0-)

    election to the ALEC teapublicans.

    there are a number of examples in those emails of walker and staff communicating and coordinating with local milwaukee rw radio hosts (one in particular) to make excuses for them and attack their enemies - to the point of feeding them talking points and coaching them on spin. maybe i'll do a diary on it.

    that is a free and significant advantage for every republican who runs for office yet the left ignores it.

    sink lost by 2% points- what is it worth to have a bunch of florida blowhards attacking sink, lying without being corrected, defending jolly. and getting out the vote. that's on top of years of unchallenged lying about obama and the ACA. and some of those megaphones have state funded college sports logos on them.

    i'll wager it was a lot more than 2%.

    one of these days the left will figure out they can win a lot more elections if they stop giving rw radio a free speech free ride.

    i hope it happens soon- we cant afford another 2 years of irresponsibility global warming.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 06:55:27 PM PDT

    •  Really? ... really? (0+ / 0-)

      did you really just say "stop giving rw radio a free speech free ride"?

      My god, some on the left are as bad about silencing dissent as those on the right. Free speech is free speech, dude.

      TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D). Senate ratings map (as of 3/10/14)

      by Le Champignon on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 08:28:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The RW free speech is a gift (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Avedee

        that keeps on giving.  If anything the left should be using it to drive up turnout not squelch it.  

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 08:43:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  so money's free speech, and corporations are peopl (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        people.... right.

        rw radio is a monopoly, a propaganda/psyops operation designed to short circuit democratic feedback mechanisms, and nothing has been more effective the last 25 years reducing free speech.

        there is no bigger PC cop and sensor-by-threat than rw radio

        talk radio is an expression of free speech like corporations are people- it is a loudspeaker blasting the country with coordinated messaging. we wouldn't have citizens united without it.

        your sister is a whore, your's brother a thief, and your ideas are treasonous.... that's what they say all day, from every corner and stump in the country, and you would just walk by whistling "stick and stones"?

        pretty soon your neighbors will believe the carnival barker's lies about you.

        you can't keep free speech if you don't talk back, dude.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 09:23:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you'd have a point if RW radio wasn't a monopoly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        and if it was actually an expression of market forces

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 09:30:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not a monopoly (0+ / 0-)

          It's just that no one likes liberal talk radio. Remember Air America? It failed due to lack of listeners. Well, more specifically the fact that our demographic almost universally disdains talk radio, preferring something that doesn't make us feel as technologically advanced as cave men.

          They have talk radio. We, however, own the internet. Between the two, I choose the latter.

          TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D). Senate ratings map (as of 3/10/14)

          by Le Champignon on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 09:55:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  if you think 95% of americans who would listen (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse, ChuckChuckerson

            to talk radio prefer the wit and wisdom of limbaugh and hannity then you are insulting americans.

            it is definitely a monopoly. 1200 think tank coordinated radio stations. you haven't been paying attention- there have been a lot of people at kos talking about how their progressive stations in heavy blue areas get switched for rw blowhards.

            air america was actually sabotaged. there's a documentary about it.

            you don't own the internet -  the right works it too but it's still mainly small d democratic and unrestricted and in that sense a better representation of free speech and what the majority of americans want. that's why it looks like an advantage for the left- free speech is an advantage for the left- rw radio is not an expression of free speech. and they're working hard to restrict it, and their best tool for passing that kind of legislation (and voter suppression, etc) is rw radio- there's no bigger buzz machine and media intimidator than 1200 coordinate radio stations reaching 50 mil a week.

            internet, TV, newspapers, money, etc are in play to all involved- some more than others. rw radio is not in play for the left. it's an invisible political 2x4 used to beat liberals and tell the country what the 1% deems acceptable and not acceptable.

            because of their total fucking stupidity and the laziness of people who think they can walk past that carnival barker on the corner with their fingers in theirears while he attacks them all day long and everything's ok, rw radio is in a different class of media.

            it is a well protected and very effective propaganda operation that kicks internet ass that almost pays for itself, and lucky for those fascists and klanners,  the left completely ignores it because it hurts their little heads and music is much more fun.

            rw radio is the advantage the right has that causes people to put their fingers to their temples and ask, why do the polls say 75% support A but we can't get A?

             

            This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

            by certainot on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 10:53:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Limbaugh's rise was well planned/funded (0+ / 0-)

            As part of the media, think tank and academia takeover planned by conservatives like Nixon intimates Lewis Powell (of "Powell Memo" infamy) and William Simon (who wrote the books A Time for Truth and A Time for Action) and funded by the Wylys, the Olins, the Kochs, and other Daddy Warbucks families of the far right.

            Aside from Limbaugh's original flagship station, most of his early expansion was done in rural areas whose small radio stations were looking for cheap-to-free programming so they didn't have to pay for actual on-air staff.  Limbaugh's patrons offered these stations hours of such programming, which the stations gladly took.

            When Limbaugh had a few hundred of these stations lined up, he then touted the size of his station network to advertisers who weren't aware that many of his stations had fewer than a thousand listeners each.  The advertisers fell for it, and then Limbaugh went full-bore after the big-city markets, where the real money was.

            Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

            by Phoenix Woman on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:57:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Sink Lost Because They Won The Medicare Lie..... (22+ / 0-)

    Dems did little to counter the lie that Obama would cut their Medicare.  Florida is loaded w/ old people.  Old people like
    their Medicare.  I oughta know.....I'm one of them.

    Republicans sunk Sink because they won the Medicare lie.  Paul Ryan went to Florida in 2012 & convinced the old people that Obama was going to cut their Medicare.  Nevermind that the same "cuts" were included in Ryan's budget.

    Dems lose because they assume voters are smarter than they really are.  Obama makes that same mistake.  John Kerry made that mistake when he was swiftboated & didn't fight back.  Republicans are masters of taking a positive (like Kerry's military service) & turning into a negative.

    Do not give voters the benefit of the doubt.  Defend every lie the minute it happens.  Don't let it be repeated.  Counter it, slam it into the ground, then make ad after
    ad after ad proving that it was a lie.  And.....while you're at it, call out the liars.

  •  Indeed a lesson here! (6+ / 0-)

    Republican-light doesn't win elections.
    There are more progressives by far in the US. But they are not motivated to vote (at least the critical wedge) unless someone shows them that they are truly progrgessive.

    Mark Prior, Alex Sink...you can't win by trying to veer to the center. Those who have bravely committed to what is right and progressive have won. Elizabeth Warren!

    If you want an office, excite those who do not feel they have represented in the past. And let young women in particular know what is at stake if they do not vote.

  •  Right on the money (4+ / 0-)
    At the end of the day, I'd argue that we know almost exactly as much about the 2014 elections now as we did prior to Sink v. Jolly.
    I've been reading the spin on both sides -- and it comes from a place of yellow hackishness and fear/bias.

    This might not always be the case seven months out from any particular mid-term -- but in 2014 we have some game-changing black swans coming in for landing.

    Case in point -- PPACA enrollment has not even finished yet. There is going to be some major paradigm shifting during the six months after the first REAL human right that USians have every received. (They still do not have the human right to vote, to food, to shelter, and 20 more that other nations enjoy. But it's a start...)

    Six months from now -- USians are going to "get" it.

    And in October 2014 -- a full month before the mid-terms -- they will be given another chance to save their lives and the lives of their children by enrolling again.

    They have a full month before the mid-terms to enroll in the PPACA and live with a sense of security, for once in their lives.

    And that's just one of the black swans a-coming.

    •  It all depends (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Pluto

      When they get that health insurance, will they think "I should go vote for the people that gave this to me" "I shouldn't vote against them, I'll just not vote at all" or "SCREW IT COMMUNIST MARXIST OBAMA DICTATOR IOJASIODHJAFIHFIODAHFOADH" (Because that's about where I stop understanding what the Right-Wingers say)? If most of them want to reward our party then yeah it'll work, but I don't foresee them being energetic enough to turn out.

      There's still parts of the law that likely won't be popular by then, I.E. Individual mandate and penalty. To be clear, I don't foresee the PPACA HURTING us that much, but I don't see it being a large enough force to help us by then. Neutral kind of thing. But even so, neutralizing it would increase our chances of holding the senate greatly.

  •  Correct Me If I'm Wrong... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, NCJan, Jacob1145

    ...but isn't Alex Sink one of those perennial losers the Democrats keep dragging out because they've got no one else? Sort of like Lee Fisher in Ohio?

    •  Is she the Erskine Bowles (NC) of Florida? n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jacob1145

      "If you are cast on a desert island with only a screwdriver, a hatchet, and a chisel to make a boat...go make the best one you can. It would be better if you had a saw, but you haven't." T.Roosevelt on politics.

      by NCJan on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:47:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Former statewide elected official (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      So no, no, she's really not a "perennial loser". This was her second lost race, and her first loss was in 2010. I forgive her that.

      I don't forgive her this one though. We nominated her because she was supposed to win. She didn't.

      TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D). Senate ratings map (as of 3/10/14)

      by Le Champignon on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 08:29:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're far more forgiving than I am (10+ / 0-)

        She's losing her way down.  Maybe next race she'll lose is for the local Board of Ed.  She shouldn't have lost either race.  Both were bad candidates, both were close races and in both races she failed to attack her opponents on their weakest points and took weak positions on what should have been our strongest points.  For example WTF did she have to dust off Simpson/Bowles for in a community of older white voters in a base election for?  You know they're gonna turn out.  Embrace strengthening SS and Medicare, especially if the guy you're running against is running on slashing the benefits.  Instead she embraced the bipartisan suck.  And for fucks sake if you're running against a guy who fucking ripped off Medicare as the CEO or a for profit healthcare company in a state with a large number of people on Medicare, why wouldn't you repeat that shit every chance you had.  'I want to strengthen Medicare and make sure that people like Rick Scott cannot steal from the Medicare system so you can be secure it will always be there'.  Of all the losses on that night in 2010, Florida Governor's race was the one I scratched my head over the most.  I know people are sometimes fucking stupid and will vote against their own interests but DAMN, that's like Kentucky chickens voting for Col. Sanders.  

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 08:56:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think that was part of the problem though: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phoenix Woman, mjd in florida

        "we" didn't nominate her. Democratic voters in FL-13 (including me) had no say in making her the candidate.

        The Democratic Party "cleared the field" and declared her to be the candidate, even though we had a real Democratic running (Ehrlich) that had the right message to win this race.

        This race was lost by the Very Serious People within the party.

  •  One more thing (6+ / 0-)

    Alex Sink is not a good politician. The commercials I saw were terrible. She tried to take the position of Obamacare sucks but it's here no matter what we do so let's try and make it better. Any Democrat is going to lose a close election taking that tack.

  •  Surprisingly, I originally took a positive sign (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman

    Originally, when I learned it had been a Republican district for over 30 years and in past elections we lost by as much as 30+ but lost this time by only 2%, despite the GOP almost doubling their output (30% vs 50%), I didn't think we did horrible.

    Sure we lost. But they ran on Obamacare and it wasn't the blowout they the GOP was screaming about. In fact, according to recent polls, most Americans want to keep the law, not repeal it. Plus, Nov is still a bit away, so the opinion of the law might improve even more.

    Then of course you have the fact that special elections are usually low turn out and low turn out almost always benefits the GOP.

    So despite the loss, my own personal take from this isn't that bad.

    I was much more concerned when Scott Brown won in 2010, even though his opponent was a bad candidate. But this isn't that. Yet that's what the GOP is trying to make it out to be.

  •  turnout not TV ads (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax

    I'd like to see far more emphasis on money for turnout and far less on TV spots.

    Again and again Democratic candidates win when more people turn out. And Republicans win when turnout is low.

    TV ads do not increase Democratic voter turnout. Face to face relationships increase turnout.

  •  Most voters don't care about healthcare... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax, mightymouse

    15% of Americans are uninsured.  I know the health care law was very important, but, jobs and the economy trump everything and no one wants to discuss this.  No wonder people don't want to vote.  The economy is anemic and no one in government has a clue on how to fix it.  Thus, the party of the president takes the hit, even though the GOP is completely clueless about almost every issue.  

    Give voters a reason to show up to the polls!!!!!!!

  •  Easy lessons that some (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida

    Dems just don't get.

    1.Don't run against Obamacare, run for Obamacare. Lots of positives there.

    2. Strongly support Social Security and Medicare, as in "keep your hands off my benefits."    You will not get one extra vote if you go down the austerity path. (President Obama finally seems to have figured this out. (Make believe the 2nd Amendment mentions SS and Medicare if necccessary)

    3.Attack the government wrecking, obstructionist Republicans for what they are. Attack, Attack Attack. It's all their fault. (and mostly, it is)

    Stop apologizing for the website. It's fixed now, just move on!!!!!  

  •  Sink: bad candidate running on bad ideas (0+ / 0-)
  •  message... DON"T RUN FROM OBAMACARE (0+ / 0-)

    sink disappointed... again

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    The Seminole Democrat
    Confronting the criminally insane who rule our state; as well as the apathy of the vast majority who let them.

    by SemDem on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:31:13 AM PDT

  •  not so sure (0+ / 0-)

    OBAMACARE is/was a great idea.  It has had some execution issues.  To blanketly say that it is perfect is wrong and people can see right through that just as they see through the Republicans who say it is crap.  Tell the truth.  

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