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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Paul Babeu to Paul Gosar: 'Are you insane?' (198 comments)

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  •  I wish Clark would run against her again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    or that we could recruit a top tier challenger.

    Bachmann should definitely be beatable... I would imagine her approval/disapproval to be somewhere in the 34/58 range in her district.

    •  Beatable (0+ / 0-)

      That depends on how her district is drawn this time around.

      22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

      by wwmiv on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 06:47:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you think it can be held (0+ / 0-)

        even if it is won?

        •  No (0+ / 0-)

          Probably not.

          22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

          by wwmiv on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:39:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

            •  Too Republican (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Allen

              The Republican Party has a strong bench there.

              22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

              by wwmiv on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:48:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And that's the only reason? (0+ / 0-)

                Yesterday I was told that suburban Republicans just don't vote for Democrats, ever, and after I listed a bunch of districts that seemed to challenge that,  I was told that they don't qualify for one reason or another. It's not clear to be if there's any precise classification of what constitutes a suburb. I don't mean to sound dense, but it's important to have this down. My town isn't very big, and it's not right outside of New York City, but I consider it a suburb. The east end of Long Island could be classified as rural, but where I live? (And yes, I think exurbs count in the suburb category here.) Wikipedia classifies my congressional district as almost 100 percent urban, which is ridiculous, and for all districts, it only has the "rural" and "urban" tags. You can, as sacman said, use your own knowledge and common sense, but this isn't an exact unit of measurement.

                I ask you because you seem to disagree with me a lot about this stuff, and I figured you might have something good to add.

                Overall, I think the problem is that we just give up. We have to pick good targets, of course, but while states and districts are different, I think the following sentiment applies: they are red, until they aren't. If we win, barring some very unusual circumstances, we can win again. And then once we do that, perhaps we can hold it. And then it's not so red any more, is it?

                •  Urbanity (0+ / 0-)

                  http://www.raconline.org/...

                  This is a good outline. For non urban area classifications, the government typically uses a 100 ppsm delineation between urban and rural. For government purposes, urbanity and suburbanity are two halves of the same concept: a built up environment.

                  As for what constitutes a suburb, that is a question rife with racial and ethnic considerations. In my modern view, however, a suburb is any bedroom community within a moderate distance from a central dense node wherein a significant chunk of its residents commute to that dense node for work, leisure, or cultural amenities.

                  And as for this:

                  I ask you because you seem to disagree with me a lot about this stuff, and I figured you might have something good to add.

                  I actually agree with most of what you say. Perhaps it seems this way because I only feel it necessary (at least usually) to comment when I disagree? If so, I'm sorry for that. :(

                  22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

                  by wwmiv on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 09:40:12 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Long Island is suburban NYC (0+ / 0-)

                  the districts you cited are definitely not suburban. (Exactly what city's orbit do you think MI-01 is a part of? It's nowhere near Detroit or even Grand Rapids.)

                  21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

                  by sapelcovits on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 09:47:03 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  MI 01 was one example. (0+ / 0-)

                    But what about NY-20?

                    And yes, Long Island is suburban NYC. That was point as far as discussing the failings of using Wikipedia for this.

                    •  Wikipedia doesn't classify anything as (0+ / 0-)

                      suburban.

                      As for NY-20, suburban? Maybe a veeeeery little tiny bit at the southern end, but the district overall is definitely not. NY-19 might be a decent example but even then that's better classified as exurban IMO (it's not a bunch of Levittowns built up post-WWII, but rather an outer-ring currently-expanding area, which certainly fits my and probably most people's definition of exurban as opposed to suburban).

                      21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

                      by sapelcovits on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 11:07:26 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't want you to feel like I'm attacking you (0+ / 0-)

                      at all by constantly responding on this point, because I'm not, and I enjoy having you here on this site.

                      But the population of Albany's suburbs is definitely under 150,000, and is in my estimation closer to 50,000.

                      NY-20 is nearly entirely rural.
                      I wouldn't use Wikipedia; I'd use DRA.

                      Load up the state, and check out when the precincts start having under 2 or 3 thousand people.  That's generally when the suburbs end.

                      19, D, new CA-18 (home) new CA-13 (college). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. Put your age and CD here :) -.5.38, -3.23

                      by jncca on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 11:11:04 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Even if she loses, it's a one-term Dem gain (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sawolf, Setsuna Mudo, James Allen

      almost certainly--Bachmann under-performs a generic Republican in her district, and there is unlikely to be a shortage of generic Republicans in her district.

      26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

      by Xenocrypt on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 06:54:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, and I said as much yesterday (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo

        but it's still a gain, and one that's worth having if it helps us gain or pad a majority next year.

        •  Incumbency means nothing? (0+ / 0-)

          I think you, along with jncca, were one of the people challenging me to find districts I was talking about yesterday. I have to look into it more, but as I asked Xenocrypt, doesn't incumbency mean something?

          I happen to think the argument of a deep bench is stronger, but then, it's not a law of physics or something. Unless an area is so thoroughly partisan, I continue to believe that we can compete there and hold on unless scandals or waves or something factor in. Perhaps the key is, in part, to build up our Democratic bench in such areas.

          •  Oh no, it probably matters marginally (0+ / 0-)

            but this district is probably going to remain as Republican, if not more.  The only reason Clark was able to raise so much money in 2010 was because Bachmann is batshit insane.  I would expect 2014 to at best favor Dems by about D+3, which might be enough to overcome the R+7 PVI of this district, but midterm turnout and the district's Republican roots and deep bench will make it a very tough hold.

            Jason Altmire's seat is really the only one I can think of that is comparable to this, and he barely held on in 2010 against a 2nd tier challenger.

            •  What if Elwyn Tinklenberg had won? (0+ / 0-)

              I get that it's the exception rather thanthe rule, but that makes sense. After all, why would these districts always be held by Republicans if they were so completely open to voting for Democrats?

              But let's say Elwyn Tinklenberg had won in 2008. (I don't what to think of the third-party vote, so I just assumed it went away; splitting it would have the same effect. The margin is roughly the same.) He probably would have lost in 2010, but if if he hadn't, and he won by a small margin, he would have developed something of a base beyond what any Democrat has in the district. Maybe he would have been screwed in redistricting, but maybe not. If not, and if he were willing to work for it, he might be able to keep holding down that seat for at least a few more terms. In the mean time, the Democrats could work on developing a stronger bench.

              I get that there are only a handful of districts where we could even plausibly discuss something like this, but why should this hold us back? If we think big and act on it, we will eventually see some successes. That's how we become a powerful party.

          •  I don't think I chimed in with jncca yesterday (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Allen, jncca

            But I largely agree with him--also recall Nate Silver's "Partisan Propensity Index", which found that House Dems do the best job of winning PVI-hostile districts with lower incomes, and House Republicans do the best job of winning PVI-hostile districts with higher incomes.  And Bachmann's district is wealthy--much wealthier than Peterson's, as well as having a more-hostile PVI.

            http://proximityone.com/...

            I think the question is precisely whether or not a "suburban analogue of Colin Peterson" exists.  Incumbency is certainly an advantage--but Peterson is drawing on 22 years of incumbency.  I don't think our hypothetical Democrat's one term of incumbency, while it would be some advantage, would be enough against a decently generic business-friendly Republican who didn't become such a lightning rod on social issues.  In other words, it might not be Jefferson/Cao, but it might well be Musgrave/Markey.  (Yes, 2010 was a wave year--all recent examples are wave years!  Think also of Boyda losing to Jenkins after beating Ryun,  Lampson losing to Olson after beating Gibbs, or Mahoney losing to Rooney after beating Negron--all in 2008.  Admittedly, those districts are quite a bit more Republican than Bachmann's except for Mahoney/Rooney's.)

            26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

            by Xenocrypt on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 09:58:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nancy Boyda is a good example. (0+ / 0-)

              Her district is different than Bachmann's, as I understand it, but that aside, she came very close in 2008. Perhaps there was no way to get around that, but I don't think that much is clear.  What is clear, I think, is that being the incumbent meant she had the ability to get the resources necessary to compete and establish something of a base with voters. One term doesn't mean much, but it's better than nothing.

              You know, in a lot of ways, it is like throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks, or rather hoping something does. But that's how we get really big numbers in congress or at least make the Republicans work their asses off getting their big numbers.

              •  The only suburban district in Kansas (0+ / 0-)

                is KS-03. Which is R+3.

                21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

                by sapelcovits on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 11:10:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Right (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sapelcovits

                  I mentioned Nate's "partisan propensity index".  It's worth pointing out that he intends it only to cover open seat races--that's all he looked at in his regression.  But Bachmann's district comes out as harder for a Democrat to win in an open-seat race than Jenkins'--even though Jenkins has a higher PVI.

                  http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/...

                  Namely, Democrats would have a 5.3% chance of winning Bachmann's and a 15.4% chance of winning Jenkins'.  Also by the way, Nate uses "the percentage of households with incomes below $25,000", not median income--although he says that education would be highly correlated, so presumably median income would be as well.

                  Take that for whatever it's worth--but it's one more piece of evidence that our sense that some districts are harder for Democrats than others, separate from or on top of PVI, isn't totally out-of-nowhere.

                  26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

                  by Xenocrypt on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 11:36:22 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Boyda came close in 2008 (0+ / 0-)

                which might have been a friendly environment for Democrats across-the-board, however Obama did in their particular district.  More precisely, Boyda's seat was R+9.  Republicans got 42.5% of the overall House vote that year, and Democrats got 53% of it.  So, very loosely, you might expect a Republican to get 51.5% of the vote in this House seat, and a Democrat to get 42%.  That's not too far from what happened--Jenkins got 50.6% and Boyda got 46.2%.

                Alternately--Democrats got 55% of the national two-party House vote and Republicans got 45%.  In an R+9 seat, then, you'd expect a Republican to get 54% of the two-party vote and a Democrat to get 46%.  Boyda got 48% of the two-party vote to Jenkins' 52%.  

                In other words, I think the incumbency effect might shave a few points off the PVI, but the PVI and the national environment will likely still matter most in most cases.  

                More broadly: I think I understand that, in general, you think Democrats should put more effort into more "long shot" races as part of an overall electoral strategy.  I think we often end up talking about two different things--I say that such-and-such district would be really unlikely for Democrats to win or make competitive, and you say maybe, but they may as well try, since that's good strategy, and so on.  I don't really have a reaction or suggestion to that--I just think it's worth noting the difference in approach.

                26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

                by Xenocrypt on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 11:21:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I understand the difference to our approaches (0+ / 0-)

                  and notions about how to think about such a strategy.

                  I guess you sum my views by saying that we shouldn't always get lost in numbers and models but rather use them as a guide. Such things reflect underlying attitudes and trends, but they also illustrate the specific actions we take in response to such attitudes and trends.

            •  also Mahoney had his own problems (0+ / 0-)

              but yes, I think Boyda is a good example.  Or Markey in 2010.  Or Minnick.

              I don't think Markey or Minnick would've survived a neutral year either, simply because they won due to who they faced, not who they were.

              19, D, new CA-18 (home) new CA-13 (college). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. Put your age and CD here :) -.5.38, -3.23

              by jncca on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 11:12:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  You don't think the power of incumbency (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tietack

        helps us at all? I know a district like that has a deep bench of Republicans, but why would they elect a Democrat in the first place if they are so against them? We're not talking about a Jefferson/Cao situation here.

      •  I think I'm with bjssp on this one (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bumiputera

        While MN-06 has a PVI of R+7, MN-07 has a PVI of R+5.

        In other words, a suburban analogue of Colin Peterson could beat Bachmann and hold this district in '14.

        I do not know if any of the potential Ds meet that "Colin Peterson" standard, however. Rick Nolan, maybe.

        "I hope; therefore, I can live."
        For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

        by tietack on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:46:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But isn't MN-07 more ancestrally Dem than (0+ / 0-)

          that, and MN-06 ancestrally Republican?  Anyway, the rural people in MN-07 are not as bad as the exurban/suburban Republicans in MN-06.

          I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

          by James Allen on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:52:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good to know I am not completely out to sea (0+ / 0-)

          on this one.

          Like I said above, I think this notion applies: the districts are red, until they aren't. That's usually said about swing states, but I think it works here, too. I don't think anyone is predicting that there's going to be some sort of long-term trend away from Republicans in a district like MN 06 or 05, but does there need to be? Even if we only hold such a district for two or three terms, a lot can be accomplished if similar victories occur in other places.

        •  But the 6th and 7th have very different profiles (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen, tietack, sapelcovits, jncca

          the 7th was a longtime Democratic-Farmer-Labor stronghold and is far more rural than the 6th.  Further, Peterson was chairman, now ranking member, of the house agriculture committee which allows him to bring back a lot of pork for his district.

          •  Having driven through the 6th (0+ / 0-)

            to see my wife's family in the 7th, I think you're right only in part. There is a lot of farming in the 6th, and St. Cloud is no slouch of a D stronghold.

            However, I don't know the proportions w/r/t exurbs / farms / St. Cloud in MN-06. So you could be correct enough for the purpose of this discussion.

            "I hope; therefore, I can live."
            For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

            by tietack on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 10:30:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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