You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.
Posting a Diary Entry
Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as
is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.
When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.
If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.
ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.
One diary daily maximum.
Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries
that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
Wednesday night, Cory Booker became just the fourth African-American senator elected by popular vote in the history of the nation, defeating Republican Steve Lonegan by 55 percent to 44 percent. With Booker's win coming the same night as Republicans faced the defeat of not getting to drag the country into default or take health care from millions of people, they have a lot to spin.
In the days leading up to the special election, Republicans sent Reince Priebus and Sarah Palin to stump for Lonegan and make wild claims about the importance of the election. According to Priebus, Lonegan was going to "bring our party together." To Palin:
"New Jersey, know that the eyes of America are on you now," Palin said. "You can turn things around. Something big is happening here," the former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor told an enthusiastic crowd of about 4,000 people at the New Egypt Speedway.
The eyes of the nation were probably much more on the possibility of default, but all that high-level Republican optimism about Lonegan's importance left them spinning desperately Thursday morning. The spin? Booker didn't win New Jersey by as much as Obama, and also the polls narrowed from Booker's gaudy early leads.
If you know absolutely nothing about elections, not the first thing, maybe this is convincing. If you know even a little about elections, though, you know that polls are always going to tighten when one candidate starts out with hugely more name recognition than the other and that the Republican base is made up of much more reliable voters than the Democratic base. Scheduling the election for Wednesday, not Tuesday, made it even less likely that irregular voters would vote. In the end, as Steve Singiser wrote last night, "Turnout, as would be expected in a midweek special election, was dismal, with most fully reporting counties reporting roughly a third of their 2012 presidential turnout." The recipe for a disproportionately Republican electorate, in other words.
Combine Booker's 11-point win with the Democratic victory in a Florida special election for state legislature and the overwhelming likelihood that Virginia will soon have a Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and what you have is exactly the reverse of a sign that Democrats are weak.
Booker's 55 percent was the most any candidate's won in an open seat race for U.S. Senate in New Jersey since the 1930 election of Dwight Morrow. It's vanishingly rare for a New Jersey candidate to crack 60 percent statewide; it hadn't been done since 1984, the first re-election of Bill Bradley.
Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 07:11 AM PDT.