Jun 07 2006

Bilbray Wins CA-50, Not Good For Dem

Published by at 6:12 am under 2006 Elections,All General Discussions

In what was to be the ‘throw the bums out’ bellweather house race for Democratic hopes to take control of Congress this year, the Democrats came up short:

The California Congressional seat vacated by jailed former representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham will remain in Republican hands, after a lobbyist and former GOP lawmaker narrowly defeated a Democratic school board member in elections held on Tuesday.

Republican Brian Bilbray beat Democrat Francine Busby after an combative and expensive race that centered on issues of government corruption and illegal immigration.

But with 90 percent of precincts reporting, Bilbray had 56,016 votes or 49.5 percent, the Associated Press reported, and Busby trailed with 51,202 votes or 45 percent.

Democrats are of the simple mind that a scandal by the former office holder Cunningham would taint all Republicans. It is a quaintly naive concept that never worked for Reps during the Clinton years and did not work here. Americans have, by and large, shunned the broad brush smear approach (which is why the Dubai Port fiasco was so disturbing to so many).

Busby had done a lot of things right. She came out for comprehensive immigration solutions instead of the narrow House idea of all punishment all the time. I think this is what gave her some of her boost to get as close as she did. Her minor mistatement on immigrants participating in campaigns may have had an impact, making her seem too lenient and willing to go to real amnesty. Who knows. But the good news is the Reps are not heading to an avoidable disaster this fall – not yet.

But the district is heavily Republican (2-1 I believe) so there are warning singns all over this race for Reps. This race was on a day when Democrats in California were out to select their challenger to Governor Schwarzenegger, so the theory is there was motivation on their side to get out and vote. Hopefully someone did some polling to see what the dynamics were in voters minds. Turnout was low, which meant voters are probably being turned off by both parties.

This leaves us with lots of questions, but one clear answer. The Democrat takeover of Congress is not a sure bet by a long shot. But Republicans cannot weather any more mistakes, even though the seemed poised to make them (e.g., defending Rep William Jefferson from his bribery investigation). This is not the time to give ultimatums to the conservative coalition or to stay home if you don’t get your way.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Bilbray Wins CA-50, Not Good For Dem”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:

    Politics is not one of my front burner issues. Mainly because it somehow seems to have a neverending disconnect that no logic could explain.

    My only passing involvement is to determine what the final law and regulation results, and not the interim posturing will do to effect our economy, world standing, and try to practice damage control about thier results.

    What I consider interesting in this joust, is the seeming conventional wisdom that major power shifts can be occurring in the short term.

    I don’t discount this can happen with the current political climate.

    I for one think it would be instructive to consider what would be the result of either of the extreme possibilities.

    1) The Dems pick up every contested seat…ooops Cal 50 just put a blemish on that

    2) The Dems get “none of the above” ..ie zero gains

    Most would suggest a middle road, with variance of the degree of shift.

    Like I said at the start, politics is not my game, but it would be instructive if choice 2 occurred.

    The left, should this happen would devolve into a feeding frenzy of eating their young.

    Not a good sign.

  2. The Sandbox says:

    Republican Wins California Congressional Race…

    Here’s the Washington Post story:The California Congressional seat vacated by jailed former representative Randy Duke Cunningham will remain in Republican hands after a special election Tuesday in which a lobbyist narrowly defeated a Democratic school…

  3. MikesAmerica says:

    Busby went from a nearly three to one advantage over Bilbray in the April 11th to a 4% loss.

    And when you factor in that MORE voters voted in the April 11th special than cast ballots in this race yesterday, Bilbray’s victory is all the more important.

    Dems can spin until they are dizzy, but the numbers do not lie.

  4. MerlinOS2 says:

    I just got thru reading the rationalization of the loss over at the Daily Kos.


    He did everything but complain of another “stolen” election.
    At least he had enough sense to admit that the recent comment by Busby did not help the issue.

    And if a Democrat doesn’t provide the easy ammo, it doesn’t matter. They’ll simply make it up.

    His prior post on this issue claimed the dems needed a win and not another “close but no bannana” moral victory.

    If Kos has become the vanguard and the apologist for the dems, then this does not bode well.

    But hey, on the bright side, he managed to keep his perfect record of election predictions intact.