Tuesday, April 11, 2006

election in San Diego

Something to watch tomorrow: there's an election today in the newly convicted Republican scumbag Duke Cunningham's old district, CA-50 (which I believe covers San Diego). This solidly red district is having a special election to see who will take his place, and a Democrat, Francine Busby, holds a commanding lead. Chris Bowers at MyDD has a nice rundown of the race here. Whoever wins between the Democrats (so, Busby) and the 18 or so Republican contenders will face off in a run-off later this year. However, if Busby gets 50% +1 vote, she wins outright, and becomes the district's new congresswoman.

In the latest poll, Busby is clocking 47%.

This race is worth watching b/c of its import for the November midterms. This race, though certainly not a bellwether, is sort of a political weathervane: if Busby takes home 47% in a district where only 30% of registered voters identify themselves as Democrats, it's pretty dire news for the Republicans heading into November. If she pulls off the win, expect to see serious political ramifications: swarms of turncoat conservatives and Republicans trying to wash their hands of the current government before it drags their careers down with it, flurries of media stories smearing the Democrats, Bush pulling a fair bit of political buckshot out of his rear, and maybe even some sudden and serious (but, of course, transient) attempts at actual governing.

You want more evidence that change may be at hand? How about this, from the Washington Post:
A majority of registered voters, 55 percent, say they plan to vote for the Democratic candidate in their House district, while 40 percent support the Republican candidate. That is the largest share of the electorate favoring Democrats in Post-ABC polls since the mid-1980s.

This grim news for the GOP is offset somewhat by the finding that 59 percent of voters still say they approve of their own representative. But even these numbers are weaker than in recent off-year election cycles and identical to support of congressional incumbents in June 1994 -- five months before Democrats lost control of Congress to Republicans.

People tend to be skeptical of the generic poll question, but notice, this doesn't ask who the respondents like more, or who they'll vote for generally, but who they'll vote for in their own congressional race. And I remind you, in November of '94 the Republicans gained 52 seats, while the Democrats in '06 only need 17 (16 if Busby wins).

Seriously, do you really think a political bloodhound like the Newt would jump ship if something wasn't up?

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