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Elon University. 10/22-26. All voters. MoE 5% (No trend lines)

Taylor (R) 26
Shuler (D) 46

The race is tighter than that, since 2/3rds of poll respondents probably won't vote. And as you've seen in the CNN polling blogged earlier, the general populace is much more anti-Republican than likely voters. That's been one of our crutches the past few cycles.

But I blog this to make a different point.

While we look to CT, PA, NY, IN, and OH to produce the bulk of our House pickups, and while we focus on the Mountain West for the next wave of Democratic gains, fact is we're extremely competitive in the South.

GA-08 and GA-12 are two of only three Democratic-held seats in any danger of flipping, both of them victims of mid-decade redistricting that made them more Republican. But aside from that, we are looking at legitimate pickup opportunities in Arkansas (governor), Florida (FL-08, FL-09, FL-13, FL-16, FL-22, and FL-24), Kentucky (KY-02, KY-03, KY-04), North Carolina (NC-11, NC-08), Tennessee (Senate), Texas (TX-21, TX-22, TX-23), and Virginia (Senate, VA-02, VA-10).

Sure, this is still the stronghold of a Republican Party looking more and more like a regional party than a national one. But even here we're wreaking havoc behind enemy lines, forcing Republicans to play defense in their strongest region.

We won't surrender any corner of this country to the GOP. That's what a 50-state strategy looks like. And while our attention is focused mostly elsewhere at this time, we won't leave our progressive brothers and sisters in the South behind.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:18 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

    that is really 26%

    46/26 is pretty close to a 64/36 lead

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:18:56 AM PST

  •  Ummm (5+ / 0-)

    What about KY-04?

    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire -8.25, -6.51

    by Superribbie on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:19:00 AM PST

  •  That's Absolutely Right (12+ / 0-)

    I often see comments suggesting that we cede the south and focus on the west.  That would be a big mistake.

    You don't win national elections by ceding a huge percentage of the country to the other side.  You also can't truly be a national party, in my view, unless you're trying to compete everywhere.

    The truth is that we can win in the south.  And some parts of the south are changing and represent some of our biggest chances to change the electoral map going forward.  I expect VA and NC to be blue in the next 15-20 years.

  •  Supposedly (0+ / 0-)

    These same people are going to put out an NC-08 poll pretty soon.  This is after saying that our race "wasnt even worth polling".

    These guys are not good pollsters and are very right wing.  But, the point about making gains in the South is well made.

  •  Even the South (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rolfyboy6, hyperstation

    is going to realize that the Democratic party has a lot to offer them, as demographics dilute out their historical legacies of outright and implicit racism.

    It is good to see us being more competitive there.  Go 50 state strategy!

    9/11 didn't change the Constitution!

    by Prof Dave on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:19:25 AM PST

    •  Demographics... (0+ / 0-)

      Haven't really diluted out the racial features of politics in the North (at least in large cities), so I wouldn't necessarily count on that.  The only way to get around the racial politics is to offer these voters a bigger carrot.

      Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

      by ChicagoDem on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:29:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  not exactly true (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChicagoDem, gradinski chai

        Illinois has elected two African American senators. Massachusetts long ago elected the first (that is, popularly elected), and is about to elect an African American governor, as did Virginia. How about Ford? These are some of the signs that whites actually will vote for minorities these days. There was never any doubt that minorities will vote for whites who pursue their interests.

        One key to expanding both African American clout and liberal influence is to get Democrats on board with working against "packing" minorities into districts that are overwhelmingly minority and Democratic. Republicans gladly play that game, minimizing liberal influence in the near suburbs.

        •  Good point... (0+ / 0-)

          Although the underlying issues are still there.  There was a definite racial spin on the attacks on Mosely-Braun when she was IL's Senator, and we'll see how things go if Obama ever gets in any trouble.  Hell, the current Cook County Board President election has some of this tension bubbling, with a lot of conservative Tony Peraica's support coming from the socially liberal North Side, while Stroger's machine is drawing heavily from African-American areas of the city.

          And the GOP, at least, thought they could depend on Massachusetts voters' racial opinions to skew their way based on the "Willie Horton 2.0" ad they launched against Patrick.  I'm glad it didn't, but Patrick is a strong candidate and this is NOT a good year for the GOP.  There are still big hurdles for black candidates.

          I mean there's definitely been some progress made on race, but the idea that time and changing demographics are just going to wipe out political divisions based on skin color is unlikely, IMHO.

          Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

          by ChicagoDem on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:57:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  With any luck... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sccs, Catrina

    ...Lampson will win in Texas and give the Republicans in his district the chance to see that Democrats are not the spawn of Satan and can govern effectively.

  •  South (6+ / 0-)

    Not all of the South is Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina.  Most of the South is still fairly receptive to Democrats.  What boggles the mind are the suburban districts around Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas, Houston, etc., with so many people who apparently will never even consider voting for a Democrat.  It seems that way, anyway.  You notice that while "safe" Republican districts in rural areas of the Midwest and West are threatening to go Democratic in their House races this year, "safe" Republican districts in suburban areas in the South are ... going Republican again.

    •  We need to be able to tap into those (0+ / 0-)

      There's got to be some way to do it.  It's not like the concerns of voters living in Nashville's suburbs are that different from those of voters around Columbus or St. Louis.  What do you think is keeping these voters from responding to the Democratic message the same way?

      Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

      by ChicagoDem on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:27:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  money (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hens Teeth

        they are "country club republicans" and we will win them back by screwing over the rest of the country so that they can make even more money.

      •  Megachurches... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RoIn, GoldnI

        ...we need to infiltrate those somehow.  Get the pastors in line, and we've got something to work with.

        There is NO reason why we can't!

        We ignore faithful christians at our peril.



      •  Christian conservatives + money (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChicagoDem, jrcjr, esquimaux, Hens Teeth

        equals Republicans every time.  The phenomenon of suburban areas in the South is that you have people who are socially conservative, and who tend to be well off financially.  This differs from suburban areas elsewhere in the country (Northeast, Midwest, West Coast) where people are well off financially but relatively liberal on social issues, or rural areas (like Nebraska's 3rd) where people are socially conservative but financially not so well off.

        The combination of Christian conservatism (spawned in the megachurches) and capitalist greed found in the suburbs expanding from Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas, and Houston (among other places in the South) makes these areas almost ridiculously Republican.  You can throw the race card into that mix, too, which I would guess helps the GOP more in the South than anywhere else.

        •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

          But this is also going to be the albotros around the GOPs neck going into the next decade.  Most of the West has been Republican but really more Libertarian.  They do not like the religious right telling them what they can and can not do anymore than they like environmentalists telling them what they can and can not do.

          The GOP in the South is extremely right wing, and also extremely interventionalist.  They want to control every aspect of peoples lives.   Since the Suburban south is now the headquarters of the GOP, it is going to be very hard for the GOP in congress to stop moving in that direction.  That is the main reason the Democrats can now be competative in Western states like Montana and Idaho.  They still may not trust all Democrats, but they are starting to move in that direction.

          •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

            Notice where many of the GOP's leaders of the last decade came from.  Newt Gingrich was from suburban Atlanta.  Tom DeLay, from suburban Houston.  Dick Armey, from suburban Dallas.  It's so odd that the GOP has much appeal anywhere outside these places, but now people across the country are seeing that the GOP is bad for them.  Many Republican candidates seem to be following the model that wins in the South and are getting hurt by it because people outside the South seem to think that issue positions like that are batshit insane.

            As people are seeing how bad GOP government is, the stigma of running as a Democrat is being lessened as a result.  The suburban South just doesn't seem to realize it, though.  I grew up in suburban Memphis and I can tell you that those people really are batshit insane.

      •  Time (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, Hens Teeth

        You don't change a populous' voting pattern in a single election year.  You have effective campaigns and candidates carrying the Democratic message there for a decade or more before you win, if necessary.  People want leadership, people want to hear what we have to say.  We need people there delivering our message.  Over and over again.  Every day of every year.

      •  Keep Your Eye On The Main Chance (0+ / 0-)

           I think you'll find a much larger percentage of evangelical Christians in the Nashville suburbs than around Columbus or St. Louis. Tennessee may have the largest percentage of evangelicals of any state in the country, which is mostly why Gore lost and the Democrats have struggled here.
            In any event, I agree we should compete in the Nashville suburbs. It's areas south of the state line that I have doubts about.
            Let's go hunting where the ducks are! We're much more likely to achieve progressive goals by winning Congressional races in upstate New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and the Mountain West than we are to add more than a handful to the 13 seats now held by White Democrats in the seven southernmost states--South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
            We've tried for two generations to win with progressive white Democrats in this region, and it simply hasn't worked. Now, we have more attractive options at building Congressional, Senate, and Presidential majorities by gains elsewhere in the country--in the House, by winning a super-majority of seats in the Northeast and West Coast, and a majority in the Midwest and Mountain states, and in the Senate and presidential races by winning Ohio, Virginia, Missouri, and the southwest. All of them are better bets for Democratic gains in the next decade than the deep South.

    •  even those more rural places (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hens Teeth

      which I'm intimately familiar with, like AL and MS, should be natural dem constituents.  It may just take a while longer.

      I actually think the rural areas of MS, AL and SC have a better shot at turning blue than the well-off megasuburbs around atlanta.

      Does your church support torture?

      by jrcjr on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 11:01:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  AL and MS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hens Teeth

        Unfortunately, racial issues are still a big deal.  I think that much of the problem in the states with very large black populations (Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana) is that Democrats are largely seen as the party of blacks.  Republicans benefit because many white voters just want to vote against "the party of black people."  This makes it harder for us.  These are the five states where GOP's playing on racial fears really helps them, I think.

        •  that puts it in the clearest terms I've heard yet (0+ / 0-)

          And it's not just "the party of blacks" to a lot of middle-class whites.  it's the "party of gays", etc, etc.  The party of "others" in general.

          I've heard my own family members in AL tell the joke of a certain group once wanting to be called "gay", but now just wanting to be called "democrats".

          Does your church support torture?

          by jrcjr on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 01:57:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  the surburban districts are quite different (0+ / 0-)

      There's parts of the south that are distinguishably southern, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad, but the suburban districts aren't really among them.  Suburban Atlanta, Houston, etc. is made up mostly of upper-middle-class professionals and businessmen, many of whom aren't even from the south.  They vote Republican for the same reasons suburban upper-middle-class professionals and businessmen elsewhere do---think of suburban Houston as Texas's version of Orange County, California.

      "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

      by Delirium on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 01:29:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well part of it is... (2+ / 0-)

    this year Republicans are these Southern Dems are running basically as Republicans but not calling themselves that so it is easier for some conservatives to vote for them if they are unsatisfied with the GOP Congress. Now I'm not poo-pooing the South here...and I'm not saying don't competer but we have to be realistic about what type of candidates can win in most of the South: conservative Democrats who will vote with us 40-50% of the time--which is better than 5% for sure. But all I'm saying those purity trolls and others (which at times I'm included) who are dissapointed by Southern defections in crucial votes, don't expect much from these Democrats--they are conservatives.

    "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible." --J.R.

    by michael1104 on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:22:39 AM PST

  •  This reinforces the notion (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rolfyboy6, RoIn, GoldnI, Catrina, Blue South

    that we should challenge the Republicans everywhere.

  •  Exactly... (4+ / 0-)

    I've been posting at MyDD --- this just looks like an extraordinary geographic collapse for the GOP.

    Everywhere you look -- the NE GOP 'moderates' are sure to lose a couple seats, the Mountain West is imploding, moving westward across inland WA, we're looking at possible gains, possibly 2 or 3 of few GOP CA seats in trouble, another 2-3 seats in the SW, the midwest - centered in OH, but don't forget possible seats in MI & MN, and 3 IN seats that look better and better... recently, the wave has reached into the plains, with NE and KS seats coming into play.  

    There's work to do in the 'deep south' -- but with competitive Senate seats in TN and VA, maybe as many as 3 house seats across VA and NC, 2-3 more in FL -- we're slowly encroaching there, too.

    It's complete geographic meltdown.

    The map is changing before our eyes....

    Give us a charismatic Prez candidate and 08, and I really think we're on the cusp of a seismic "Reagan Revolution" flip-side realignment.

    I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

    by zonk on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:25:04 AM PST

  •  Wow. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    iCaroline, Blue South

    This race was profiled extensively by CNN--very interesting watch, they'll probably run it again, it's been on a couple of times.

    What's scary is that the Ashville area, which apparently is fairly blue, the Dems there were saying "well, he's a Democrat...." but not with a whole lot of conviction.

    It goes to show the difficulty of winning these type districts. But I don't want to open that wound, lets sort it out after we take the House back.

    All I can say is I'm sure glad Heath is running in North Carolina. He's not highly thought of in the Washington Redskin fan base (which prior to the NFL expansion, would have included North Carolina).

    •  Heath Schuler was awesome! (3+ / 0-)

      He didn't get a fair shake in D.C.

      But, man was he good in Tennessee! (did I spell that right?)



    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      as a democrat from asheville:

      he doesn't claim to be a democrat on his website.  i asked his campaign about it when i signed up to volunteer in january (yes, i was that excited) and got NO response.  on his endorsement page, there are a couple of democratic groups but otherwise - nothing.  it's a disappointment, but one i swallowed when i voted for him (absentee).

      the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

      by bsmcneil on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 11:07:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Howard Dean should get a lot (10+ / 0-)

    of credit for this. Thank you Howard!

    •  great minds think alike! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tabbycat in tenn, Catrina

      we'll stand him up against a wall and pop goes the weasel /rufus t. firefly

      by 2nd balcony on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:31:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More Rahm Emanuel than Howard Dean (0+ / 0-)

      to be honest. This is Rahm's cycle, and he recruited all these candidates (most of them, anyway).

      •  Sorry, I disagree. Rahm would not have (0+ / 0-)

        put the money into every state had it not been for Dean's 50 state program. I'm sure he deserves some credit, but it was Dean who insisted that Democrats should not give up on red states.

      •  you mean the same rahm... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...who chided dean for sending volunteers to states like montana so they could "pick their noses?"  i respectfully disagree.  rahm is an old-line triple-bank-shot dem.

        it's a round world, last time i checked. - bill hicks (-8.00, -7.18)

        by liberalsouth on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:46:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  actually... (0+ / 0-)

          it was Paul Begala who made the "nose-picking" crack. but yeah, your point is still correct - Rahm deserves some credit for potential successes, but Dean deserves more because of the 50-state strategy, IMHO.

          -8.25, -6.26 "Joe Scarborough - not retarded. Tucker Carlson? Jury's still out." - Stephen Colbert

          by snookybeh on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 02:52:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        curtadams, Catrina

        there were a fair number of Rahm-supported recruits that were actually beat in their primaries by netroots candidates (McNerny for example).

        I say this firmly as a Deaniac -- Dean doesn't deserve all the credit, but I do think it's at beast, a 50-50 split.   The most recent "red to blue" added races... Kleeb, Kissell, lots of others -- hard to call them Rahm recruits.   That doesn't necessarily mean they're Dean recruits, either -- but...   I'd just say that the 'netroots' was behind a lot of folks who have a shot at winning, maybe as many as 2 dozen -- that weren't even on Rahm's radar this summer.

        Now... netroots does not automatically equate to the DNC/Dean -- but when you read everyone from Kos to Digby to Atrios to you-name-it (heck... virtually everywhere except TPM) - I think it's pretty clear on side of the intradsquad battle the overwhelming majority of the 'netroots' sit on and where the idea to focus on such broad, long-shot races months ago came from.

        Like I said -- Rahm deserves a lot of credit.  DCCC fundraising has been good and yes, he's recruited some good candidates... but we aren't in the position we're in without the 50-state strategy, the netroots, and a whole bunch of great candidates who are from 'ordained on high'.

        I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

        by zonk on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:47:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rahm (0+ / 0-)

          He lobbied Heath Shuler hard to convince him to run.

          •  Sure, like I said... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            curtadams, Catrina

            Rahm's recruited some great candidates... but there are lots of others he didn't recruit -- and in some cases, actually recruited the primary challengers that lost against these folks...

            Charlie Brown, for example -- is no Rahm recruit.  Neither is Eric Massa...  Paul Hodes, I believe, beat back a DCCC backed primary challenger.

            If we went district-by-district, I'm quite certain the "Rahm recruits" outnumber Dems not handpicked or supported by the DCCC.... but -- that's how it should be, after all.   It's one of the DCCC's specific jobs to recruit candidates.  

            But -- there's just no way that anyone is going to convince me that, going back to late 05 and early/mid-06 -- Rahm had a grand plan to be competing for seats like WY-AL, ID-01, NE-03, IL-10, NC-08, CO-05, and countless other seats.   We certainly won't win all -- or even most -- of these seats, but if Rahm's grand plan was to compete on such a broad level -- he certainly did an outstanding job headfaking not just the media, but us as well.

            I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

            by zonk on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 11:06:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  This isn't all about the candidates (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        curtadams, Catrina

        Yes, Rahm gets his share of the credit (primarily for 3 things: he's done some good recruitments, he's masterful at getting the hell out of the way when Republicans are forming a circular firing squad and shooting at each other, and he's a prolific fund raiser), but I submit to you that (1) Rahm did not recruit "most" of the 425 Democratic candidates running in House districts across the country, and that (2) it is not all about the candidates.

        The people that the state parties put on the ground starting in February 2005 with money from DNC (chair Howard Dean) are building up a strong apparatus for supporting the candidates, recruiting an army of volunteers to carry the Democratic message, and instill a Democratic presence in the communities all year long, not just 4 months before a crucial election.  Our candidates are not going to win simply based on how great they are, nor are they going to win simply based on a bad year for Republicans.  The crucial component to their victories will be these armies of volunteers and small donors that Dean and the DNC helped usher in.  As always though, the lion's share of the credit belongs not to Rahm Emanuel or the DCCC or Howard Dean or the DNC.  It blongs to people like us - millions of us - who go out and help out at our party HQ to take our country back.  After all, this election is not about Rahm or Howard or Nancy Pelosi or Dennis Hastart.  It's about us.

  •  I could not agree more (7+ / 0-)

    with your statement that "we won't leave our progressive brothers and sisters in the South behind."

    In Missouri, we have to do the same with the folks in SW Mo., which is one of the most Republican areas of the state.  Yet Dems are competitive in a few state House races in SW Mo.  A Springfield, Mo. (center of the Bible Belt here) State House seat actually was won in a special election last year.    

    It's not just every state; it's every county.  It's everywhere.

    •  Is Aunt Norma gonna win again?? (0+ / 0-)

      How is the race between her and Harpool???

    •  O_o Seriously? (0+ / 0-)
      A Democrat won in the very heart of Assemblies of God territory?  In the city where the very headquarters of the very inventors of modern political dominionism is located?


      Guys, this pretty much tears it.  If we can win in Springfield, Missouri--we can win damn near just about anywhere if we sufficiently bust our asses to support candidates and GOTV.

      Reportedly we're also being competitive in (of all places) Colorado Springs--one of the few places even more infested with hardcore dominionists than Springfield is!

      If we can win in Springfield and if Ashcroft (who literally had financial backing from the Assemblies, much less the dominionist GOTV machine) could be beaten by a dead man...well, if we bust our asses, we can beat anyone.

      So long as we survive, we are not defeated.  If we can win in these places, we can win anywhere, with sufficient inspiration and perspiration.

  •  Impressed With Shuler (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RoIn, Plays in Traffic, Blue South

    CNN's "Broken Government" series had a profile of Shuler's campaign against Taylor last night. Shuler came off great, while Taylor looked like a tool...

  •  let's not kid ourselves (0+ / 0-)

    this is a freak year. The South is still Republican central and will stay that way for awhile.

    Keep in mind a lot of our leads nationwide -- not Shuler's -- are still very tight and could go the other way just as easily.

    I personally am envisioning the narrowest possible Dem House takeover, one that could then be taken away by various GOP legal challenges after the election.

    •  You may well be right... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But I just remember 1994, talking with friends in college over beers and proclaiming "No way the GOP takes the House... and if they do -- they'll lose it right back in 2 years."  

      Seismic shifts happen -- I think whatever gains we see this election probably are a little ahead of that curve, but the GOP was a minority party for generations before a genial B movie actor came into office and cracks appeared in the midwest... then, a generation later -- the scions of the Reagan revolution amped up the old Lee Atwater playbook and voila -- the decade of crap we've had.

      We're not at the mountain top yet -- but I'm just not sure the peak isn't in view, albeit off in the distance.

      I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

      by zonk on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:36:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some folks don't know the south (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      saucy monkey

      I grew up in LA. Have lived in the South the last 3 years, the last 6 months in Asheville.

      Asheville is like Austin like Madison, like SF. It is a very blue city folks. It's in the midst of Red, but the city itself is filled with vegetarian restaurants, health food stores, live music of all sorts, the UCC preacher in town is famous for refusing to do straight weddings until gays can do them too.

      This is not hee-haw country here and I do get a bit tired of people well acting like I did before I moved to the south. The stereotypical south does exist, but that isn't all there is to it. Liberals are moving into the Asheville area like droves. This seat will be a safe democrat seat once Taylor's incumbency is popped.

      Don't like crooks in D.C.? Vote Against Charles Taylor (NC-11) who is one of them.

      by trifecta on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 03:49:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  when do we start promoting gov. dean (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    randompost, SecondComing, Catrina

    in the iconic "branding" manner the wingnuts made (and still make) of reagan?

    if things work out, i'm hoping for no later than @11:45 p.m. est on nov.7.


    we'll stand him up against a wall and pop goes the weasel /rufus t. firefly

    by 2nd balcony on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:28:39 AM PST

  •  Don't forget Indiana (0+ / 0-)

    Looks like we might pick up 2-3 there.

    If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve.

    by jhecht on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:28:45 AM PST

  •  Not since Jamie Clarke (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RoIn, Blue South

    has NC-11 seen a Democrat fill the office. Charles Taylor has been a disgrace from day one, but only now do people realize how many millions of dollars he has raked in through real estate deals engineered through his Congressional work.

    Asheville (the center of NC-11) is becoming more liberal as it draws more and more people from the West (some call it "Boulder East"). This seat should be a stronghold from which the party can make further inroads into NC and Tennessee.

    •  funny (0+ / 0-)

      Funny thing is that Heath is not liberal enough for some in Asheville.

      •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blue South

        There seems to be a lot of people who, even after Florida in 2000, insist on ideologial purity.

        I'm not sure what it is going to take to wake people like that up.  If the last 6 years haven't done that, I fear nothing will.

        •  ford (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Blue South

          i REALLY, REALLY don't like harold ford.  it disturbs me greatly that he has the 10 commandments on his business card.  but he's one of ours, so i defend him.  people really need to realize that a D is better than an R, any time.

          it's a round world, last time i checked. - bill hicks (-8.00, -7.18)

          by liberalsouth on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:45:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  why (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Why does that disturb you?

            The fact is that if people were actually reading the bible instead of listening to greedy preachers we wouldnt even have the phrase "christian conservative".  There is a lot in the bible that a normal person would use to point them to being the type of Democrat that Heath or Ford are instead of the type of Republicans Ralph Reed and Tom Delay are.

          •  He's running in the South. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            What's wrong with emphasizing faith and values if you're a Democrat?  Who says Republicans have a monopoly on talking a big game about faith and values while simultaneously doing nothing about them in Washington?

          •  What's wrong with the 10 commandments? (0+ / 0-)

            As far as I'm concerned, the Republicans have broken almost every one of them.

    •  Jamie Clarke (0+ / 0-)

      He was such a lovely humanitarian a first rate environmentalist, and a kind and gentle soul.  NC-11 has been a sadder place without him.

    •  And South Carolina! (0+ / 0-)

      The current Repug representing the NW upstate is a total fuckin' tool. I only hope that "help is on the way" for 2008. Our party is really hurtin' and we need so much needed lovin'. As far as I'm concerned, you have no right using us a front-loaded primary state if you ain't going to help us retake what is rightfully ours. This state is blue God damnit!

  •  Thank you -- and more coverage ... (4+ / 0-)

    Markos, thanks for pointing this out. This election shows why a Southern Strategy for progressives is absolutely essential. We need to ignore those people (like Tom Schaller) who keep saying the South isn't winnable.

    Of course it is -- fast-moving events (like Iraq and the Foley scandal) combined with a long-term strategy make it contested territory. And besides, we CAN'T ignore the fastest-growing region in the country -- that would be political suicide.

    Those interested in reading more about Southern politics and progressive prospects there should check out Facing South

    Blogging for a Progressive South //

    by ProgressiveSouth on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:31:30 AM PST

  •  ASDF (8+ / 0-)

    We won't surrender any corner of this country to the GOP. That's what a 50-state strategy looks like. And while our attention is focused mostly elsewhere at this time, we won't leave our progressive brothers and sisters in the South behind.

    Can I get a hallelujah!

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

    by Erik the Red on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:31:53 AM PST

  •  Reagan Democrats coming home (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    New Deal democrat, Blue South

    Plus running candidates who fit their districts pretty damn well, Shuler especially, shows to me that Democratic Party as a whole are beginning to recognize the fact that moderate and conservative Democrats are necessary to win in the Congress.  Charlie Rangel and Dennis Kucinich fit there district well, and on the flip Stephanie Herseth and Chet Edwards fit their districts well.

    "Dude, Wheres the soul of the Democratic Party"

    by marcvstraianvs on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:33:34 AM PST

  •  NC-11 (4+ / 0-)

    NC-11 has always been more competitive than it appears at first blush.  Given that the area was fiercely divided during the Civil War it had a Republican presence even during the days when NC and the south was a one party state (although Democrats held the upper hand in the district).  It was so competitive that it dumped incumbent Congressmen in the elections of 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1990.  Taylor has held the seat since 1990 and though he has usually drawn spirited opposition he has always won with plenty of wiggle room in part because of missteps by Democrats and he has pulled out of tight spots before, usually by launching nasty whispering campaigns in the last week or so of each election.

    Today the district is a mix of blue collar voters, generally conservative on social issues, but often receptive to Democrats who are populist of economic issues who don't get bogged down in the social issues (John Edwards did well in the district in his 1998 Senate bid) and obscenely wealthy retirees who build their McMansions and bring their John Birch Society politics with them.  Asheville, the district's largest city is deeply blue, but only casts about 10-12% of the total vote.

    Heath Shuler is a very different kind of candidate though.  He can appeal to the blue collar voters anxious about the regions loss of manufacturing jobs and can neutralize Taylor's appeal on social issues.  Some more progressive voters in the Asheville area have been grumbling over Shuler more conservative stances on social issues, but he also has the support of many big wheels in that community, notably bona fide progressives like Asheville City Council members like Robin Cape, Holly Jones, and Brownie Newman.

    Shuler has been running a good campaign and has Taylor on the run.  I'm not ready to call the race yet given Taylor's abilty for last minute smears that have worked for him in the past, but I am definetly keeping my fingers crossed!

    •  Re: NC-11 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NC Voter

      "Taylor has held the seat since 1990 and though he has usually drawn spirited opposition he has always won with plenty of wiggle room in part because of missteps by Democrats and he has pulled out of tight spots before, usually by launching nasty whispering campaigns in the last week or so of each election."

      Yep. I'm registered as an independent in NC-11 and I've been getting robocalls every day for weeks now, all beginning "Let me tell you something about Heath Shuler..." The calls are mostly about tardy tax payments, which is cheeky in view of the fact that Taylor, one of the richest men in the county, has been an infamous tax deadbeat himself.

      I don't know about RoIn's characterization of wealthy retirees with Birchite politics. Seems to me that that the influx of retirees, many from places like New York, has made the Asheville area bluer, not redder. But maybe RoIn moves in different circles...

      A factor in this race is Shuler's support in the normally conservative western counties, from whence he sprang. So he doesn't need Asheville to put him over the top.

      Also, Shuler has a hell of a lot more cash than Taylor's previous challengers.

      •  Clarifcation (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know about RoIn's characterization of wealthy retirees with Birchite politics. Seems to me that that the influx of retirees, many from places like New York, has made the Asheville area bluer, not redder. But maybe RoIn moves in different circles...

        I was referring to places like Henderson Country which id deeply red in large part to the wealthy retirees.  Asheville is very, very, blue but the city only makes up about 10-12% of the district's overall population.  The areas of Buncombe County outside the city limits are mostly red, although as a whole Buncombe leans blue, but Henderson County, although it has slightly less than half the population of Buncombe, usually delivers huge Repug margins that can wipe out the more modest Democratic margins coming out of Buncombe.

        The central part of the district, Haywood, Jackson, Madison, Yancey and Swain counties are usually blue below the Presidential level, although Taylor has carried them all in recent years, (except for Jackson, arguably the bluest country in the district).  The rest is pretty red, although there are pockets of places where a Democrat running with a populist message, like Shuler is doing, can have an opening.

  •  Florida (0+ / 0-)

    Florida (FL-08, FL-09, FL-13, FL-16, FL-22, and FL-24)

    This makes me happy.  

    Regardless of the outcome, there's still a lot of work to do here though, especially in turning around the state legislature and building up a strong bench of candidates to run for higher office. We need to get this state back.

    A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over. - Benjamin Franklin

    by meowmissy on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:36:23 AM PST

  •  these numbers are not head to head (0+ / 0-)

    The Elon poll I saw on the news last night measures favorability ratings, not choices between two candidates.

    Still nice numbers though.

    JRE 2008
    "We should ask the American people to be patriotic about something other than war."
    -John Edwards

    by DrFrankLives on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:37:34 AM PST

  •  regional party (0+ / 0-)

    ...more and more like a regional party than a national one

    Absolutely. I've thought for a while that we need to push this theme, especially after Tuesday. There is a strong case to be made that the House Republicans are a regional party: the deep South and the vertical strip of the plains states.

    Just as 1994 virtually washed away the last of the Southern Dems, 2006 will do the same to the northeastern Repubs. The northeast will be solid blue, the coast not far behind. Sure, Republicans will remain competitive in parts of the midwest, Rockies, and southwest, but they are increasingly surrounded and the fights for the foreseeable future will be in their territory.

  •  Well, you know, North Carolina is one of the (4+ / 0-)
    few southern states with a Democratic governor and state legislature.  I live in the fifth district which is gerrymandered to be Republican.  But we have an absolutely horrible U.S. Congresswoman, Virginia Foxx. She is arrogant and to the right of Attila the Hun. She voted NOT to send money to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, she voted for the Torture bill and everything George Bush has asked for.  She is in a self-generated war with the Winston-Salem Journal. She refuses to debate, Roger Sharpe, her Democratic opponent who went to Harvard and  who worked in the Carter Adminstration, if there are any reporters present (she has refused to debate him at all until the last few days before the election). That's because the Journal has been very critical of her and indeed endorsed Roger.
    This is nothing short of amazing because Winston-Salem is pure Republican country.  

    Roger has very little money, but when I was in Winston a few days ago, I saw Sharpe signs everywhere.  Can he have any help?  Kos do you have any idea what the polls are in the fifth district?  I too feel that no progressives should be left to fend for themselves, but he is having to.

  •  Plus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hens Teeth

    Doesn't it help to begin educating voters through local campaigns about what the Democrats really stand for?

    Maybe we don't win these this year, but the next couple of elections won't more people be more receptive to Democratic messages, and more voters encouraged to vote because victory at last seems possible?

    Just asking.

    "Control of the initiative is control of the battle. In the alley, at the poker table or in politics. One must raise." David Mamet

    by coral on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:41:41 AM PST

  •  THANK YOU! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RoIn, Plays in Traffic, sccs

    We won't surrender any corner of this country to the GOP. That's what a 50-state strategy looks like. And while our attention is focused mostly elsewhere at this time, we won't leave our progressive brothers and sisters in the South behind.

    that's all i've ever asked for.  it's so nice to see someone say this!

    it's a round world, last time i checked. - bill hicks (-8.00, -7.18)

    by liberalsouth on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:42:52 AM PST

  •  Kos, have I told you lately how much I love you? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In a poli-wonky, platonic, Mrs. Kos-approvable kind of way...

    The past year or so you've scraped away tons of Beltway barnacles, and retaught us all that "It's amazing how much you can get done when you don't care who gets credit."


    W: Has never felt the touch of war, has never felt the touch of want, feels no pain.

    by MaryCh on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:47:27 AM PST

  •  The South (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hens Teeth

        Note that the Southern pickup possibilities are in the periphery of the South--the Upper South, Florida, and one flukish one in Texas. There is virtually no chance that Democrats will gain any seats in the Black Belt from Louisiana east through Missississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to South Carolina. These are the five Southern states that voted for Goldwater in 1964. In addition to its Black Congressmen, each of these states has one white Democratic Congressmen, and Georgia has the two who were the target of the Republicans' new map.

    •  50 States (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ron Thompson, Hens Teeth

      Note that the Southern pickup possibilities are in the periphery of the South--the Upper South, Florida, and one flukish one in Texas. There is virtually no chance that Democrats will gain any seats in the Black Belt from Louisiana east through Missississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to South Carolina. These are the five Southern states that voted for Goldwater in 1964. In addition to its Black Congressmen, each of these states has one white Democratic Congressmen, and Georgia has the two who were the target of the Republicans' new map.

      True, but even Howard Dean has said that a fifty state strategy is going to take some time for a full payoff.

      •  What makes the South so Republican (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plays in Traffic, Ron Thompson

        are the suburbs.  Outside of the traditionally Republican areas, most of the rural areas are pretty closely divided, and the inner cities are Democratic.  The giant suburban tracts are the places that are responsible for Gov. Sonny Perdue, Bill Frist, etc.

        The most Democratic state in the South is probably Arkansas, and the suburban population there is fairly small (though northwest Arkansas is like one giant suburb... how fitting, given that its economy is based largely around Wal-Mart.)

        •  Heh......... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I live in the Arkansas 3rd.  It is one giant suburb+retirement community.   And let's give credit where credit is due.  It just ain' all about Wal-Mart here.  Those retirees come in from everywhere, and they are HARD CORE Republican.

          •  In NC-11 Too (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Those retirees come in from everywhere, and they are HARD CORE Republican.

            It is similar in NC-11.  Many parts in the district, particularly areas along the SC and GA borders are heavily Repug thanks to wealthy retirees who move there, build gaudy McMansions and bring their ultra right wing politics with them.  This has turned places like Henderson County into staunchly Repug strongholds.  Democrats are lucky if they get close to 40% in Henderson County, the distrtct's second largest county.

            Traditionally NC-11 has had a strong Republican presence due to the fact that there were many Union supporters during the Civil War, but Appalachian mountain Republicans have been of a much different stripe -- more libertarian on social issues, and not always opposed to economic help to those in need.  Sadly, mountain Republicanism is dying out thanks to the influx of John Birchers.

          •  Forgot about the retirees (0+ / 0-)

            Didn't realize there were Democrats in AR-03. :)

  •  It was not all that long ago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that the South was 'solid' for DEMOCRaTS.  Of course, those were not exactly the most progressive Democrats.  

    But a lot of the people who would 'never consider' voting for a Democrat had parents who would never have considered voting for a Republican.

    I think the big problem with the wave we are having now is that we are not so much winning races as the Repubs are losing them.  The Republicans are having a classic bad year - but we need to turn it into a good year for us, not just a bad year for them.

    And, after the election, I think there should be a lot of discussion here on what the Demoratic party is.  Is it just Ned Lamont and Bernie Sanders and John Conyers?  Does it reach all the way to Harold Ford?

    Let the Rethugs self-distruct.  But then we have to self-construct.

    •  Dixiecrats (0+ / 0-)

      Not many of them left in the Democratic Party.  Tapping into the New Deal Democrats in the South though is the way to go.  Economical populism goes a LONG way in Appalachia and the South....thats why people like Fritz Hollings, Robert Byrd and co are/were able to hang on to their seats for so darn long.

      "Dude, Wheres the soul of the Democratic Party"

      by marcvstraianvs on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:59:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  2004 Delay (0+ / 0-)

    I had always been an occassional visitor to this site, but your work in 2004 on putting pressure on Delay and forcing the Republicans to spend money in his district is what makes me a regular visitor.

    Keep up the good work.

  •  Damn Straight, the South's Competitive! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You must respect our...authorit-ah. :)

    If you're not on the crazy wild-eyed zealot bandwagon, then you're with the terrorists. :)

    by cskendrick on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 10:56:21 AM PST

  •  THNAKS KOS (0+ / 0-)

    I am very happy Kos posted this.  From his prior posts, I am almost positive that he is deeply tied into the belief that the Democratic Party's future growth lies in the libertarian, mountain west.  To some extent an argument can be made that we can't extend to the west and the south becuase the former is libertarian socially and the latter is not.  Yet, I disagree.  I think with the proper progressive message and the changing demographics of both areas, we can turn the mountain states and at least the "peripheral" southern states (VA, NC, TN, AK, FL) purple.  This election proves it.

  •  Taylor In Serious Trouble (0+ / 0-)

    I live in Greenville SC, in the same media market as this race, and I can tell you first hand that Taylor's desperation is obvious. He's got an ad with Dean,Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton I believe, saying "Shuler and the liberals in Congress want to raise your taxes". At the end of the ad shuler pops out from behind Dean and Pelosi. This ad is running at least 5 times an hour, everyday since the world series began. No telling how much he's spending (probably out of his own pocket since he is one of the wealthiest members of congress)on this blitz.

    The the RNC has been running ads about Shuler's "late tax payments" and one about a woman supposedly falling through a floor of housing that Shuler owned. Basically it accuses him of being a slum lord.

    These are the only personal negatives they can find on squeeky clean Shuler.I laugh everytime I see them. The GOP/Taylor ads shown just how bad it is for them. Too bad for the GOP Shuler isn't black.  

    •  Taylors Hypocrisy (0+ / 0-)

      The the RNC has been running ads about Shuler's "late tax payments" and one about a woman supposedly falling through a floor of housing that Shuler owned. Basically it accuses him of being a slum lord.

      These charges are laughable.  First of all Taylor was late on his taxes as well, in fact when he refused to pay property taxes on some land he owned in Jackson County, the country began the process of trying to get his Congressional wages garnhised!

      One of the few social programs Taylor has supported in the past is Section 8 housing.  It turns out that his wife was owned some Section 8 housing of her own.  Coincidence?

      Taylor also got some bad publicity last summer when land he owned in Translyvania County was in bad shape and neighbors where complaining about it not having been cleaned up in a bajillion years.

      •  GOP Double Standard Never Fails To Amaze (0+ / 0-)

        Man i didn't know all of that info you gave about Taylor, but I can't say I'm surprised. These are the same people who gay-bash in public, yet conceal/condone Foley even when everyone in the party new he was a homosexual. Guess a safe seat and a fat RNC contribution from Foley  eased their conscious. The Repulicans are full of shit and don't even believe their own rhetoric.

    •  And the one about Heath Shuler, slumlord (0+ / 0-)

      That's the commercial I have found most laughable here lately: apparently Heath Shuler's Tennessee real estate firm rented a place to a woman who fell through the floor, and the place was condemned and she sued (I don't think the ad says WHO she sued, exactly).

      The kicker? The announcer who concludes, based on this flimsy evidence, that "Heath Shuler: Cares only about himself." Personally, I don't see the logic of that statement, even if everything else in the commercial is 100-percent bona-fide verifiable truth ... which, of course, is highly unlikely.

      Around Transylvania County, where I live (and Charles Taylor's native county), Taylor has something of a reputation as a slumlord: one of his rental properties got some press coverage back in the spring or summer for being too trashy, and he had to pay money to have it cleaned up.

      It's like the Taylor campaign (and the NRCC and RNC) pick the sorest points about their OWN candidate (not paying taxes, not being a good landlord, not being a friend to the environment, etc.) and try desperately to tar the opponent with similar allegations and accusations. With often hilarious results....

      The past is never dead. It's not even past. --William Faulkner

      by Padge on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 12:14:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just Like Newt (0+ / 0-)

        It's like the Taylor campaign (and the NRCC and RNC) pick the sorest points about their OWN candidate (not paying taxes, not being a good landlord, not being a friend to the environment, etc.) and try desperately to tar the opponent with similar allegations and accusations. With often hilarious results....

        Someone once said that if you want to know what Newt is up to, just listen to whatever type of behvaior he is railing against in public  -- like when he was bashing Speaker Jim Wright for a book deal (Newt had a similar one) or against Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky (Newt was at that time having an affair with a much youner woman on his staff etc).  This seems to go for Repugs in general.  

  •  Strange Poll (0+ / 0-)

    According to the article at the link in Kos's text:

    he poll surveyed the general population. More than 66 percent said they were "extremely likely" to vote in the election.

    In another poll question, residents were asked whether they would support the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate in the U.S. House race, though the candidates were not mentioned by name.

    Twenty-six percent said they would support the Republican, and 46 percent said they would support the Democrat

    A 66% voter turnout?  28% undecided?  only 26% for a 16 year incumbent?

    Am I missing something, or is this poll pretty fishy?

    •  This is all voters (0+ / 0-)

      It's not likely voters or even registered voters... apparently this is a poll of everybody eligible to vote in the district, whether they're registered or not.  Some of the "undecideds" probably have no plans to vote at all.

  •  I have written diaries before (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But I seriously wonder about why the GA Dems collapsed like they did in 2002. I understand 9/11 and the confederate flag issue stoked a mass turnout by rural Republicans, but what of the apparent consolidation of power by the GOP since? I expected some sort of rebound by the Dems.

    Also, this was touched on by an earlier comment, but what makes the Atlanta and Nashville suburbs and exurbs so staunchly Republican? The Washington and Raleigh suburbs, and even those in the Hampton Roads area don't faintly resemble the lock step GOP support that Nashville and Atlanta burbs show.

    Mark my words, Dems WILL make a come back in Georgia. It will take time and organization. There are many, many blacks moving the GA and I believe their influx outnumbers the influx of whites. Further, hispanics need to be mobilized. As soon as the Dems establish a stronger beachhead in metro Atlanta (unifying Clayton, Dekalb, Atlanta and south Fulton with Gwinnett, Cobb, north Fulton, Rockdale and perhaps Henry in the west) they will be competitive. That's no short order, but the latter counties are witnessing demographic changes that are only going to accelerate. Mobilizing rural black Democrats in south and middle Georgia could help neutralize whiter north and east Georgia.  

    •  Not sure (0+ / 0-)

      East Shelby County and Williamson County outside Nashville are both wealthy and uber-Republican.

      Having grown up in east Shelby County (that's Memphis, for those who don't know) and not knowing a lot about D.C. or Raleigh/Durham, etc., here's what I can tell you.

      1.  Racial politics.  White voters in east Shelby County vote Republican to vote against the black Democratic machine politics in Memphis.  Don't know whether this applies anywhere else.
      1.  Megachurches.  They have thousands of members and apparently they all vote Republican.  These are the bastions of Christian conservatism.  Anybody who has ever driven by Bellevue Baptist Church outside Memphis knows where their priorities are: spending money to build an exit off I-40 and to light three gigantic crosses along the interstate, rather than, you know, helping the poor.
      1.  Money.  I've said it before: Christian conservatives with money to spend are the most Republican voters in the nation.

      That's my best explanation.  My guess is that the megachurches don't have as much pull in D.C. as they do in Memphis or Nashville.

      •  True (0+ / 0-)

        And I think you hit at the root of it. These voters are upper middle class, financially secure (which translates into a strong disdain for "high" taxes) and also socially conservative (altho, I would argue, not necessarily naturally so- more like "fitting in" socially conservative) that makes them the most pro-Republican in the nation. If you look at the numbers, rural residents are not the voters providing the GOP with its biggest numbers. In fact, Orange county Republicans and their relatives in Williamson county and north Fulton county are the culprits.

    •  BTW... (0+ / 0-)

      Tennessee has the highest percentage of evangelical Christians in the nation.  That could explain a lot.


  •  Give Us Some Love! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks, kos, for frontpaging our race here in NC-11.  For those of you who haven't already looked, there is a lot of netroots activity in this race.

    Scrutiny Hooligans has been closely covering this race for a year.

    WNCNN has oodles of video up at YouTube:  Shuler, Taylor, Edwards, and a Faux News program.

    Also BlueNC and Brainshrub have been posting coverage.  A moderate at West and Center has interviews with the candidates.

  •  Florida's not exactly "the South"... (0+ / 0-)

    Draw a line from Jacksonville through just north of Gainesville and extend to the Gulf.  North of that line is the South.  South of that line is Peninsular Florida, which is the most cosmopolitan area of its size east of the Mississippi and south of the Potomac.  A native Floridian here is the exception.  Mostly the stew of folks here are from the northeast, midwest, plus a good bit of Caribbean, and of course the Cubans down in Miami-Dade.

    Peninsular Florida is very purple and shows all the culture clash that the rest of the country shows.  There's both very secular and ultra-religious types here.  The biggest difference with the rest of the country is the economics.  Tourism is the leading moneymaker here and we have no state income tax.  The big issue this campaign is property insurance costs, which have skyrocketed. Another difference is demographics - we are the nation's oldest state.

    There is a lot of discontent now because of job and financial insecurity, plus the retirees are dependent on good health care, which is costly.  The Medicare Part D "donut hole" in drug coverage is affecting a number of folks.

    The fact that Republican Tom Feeney (FL-24 & Abramoff) is in trouble against a challenger with 1% of the war chest he has, in a district Feeney himself drew up when he was State House Speaker, suggests that the Repubs were too greedy when they drew the gerrymandered districts here.  They went for more seats and so diluted the Republican pluralities, making them vulnerable if the Indies and minor party constituents go big for the Democratic challengers, and the turnout of the Republican base suffers.

  •  Thank you, Kos. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frenchman, sccs


    "And while our attention is focused mostly elsewhere at this time, we won't leave our progressive brothers and sisters in the South behind."

    I appreciate you saying that.  And, by the way, one of my donations was to Darcy Burner, way up in the opposite corner of These United States from where I am.  We've all got to stick together.


    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 12:25:24 PM PST

  •  While not as many pick-up ops as other regions (0+ / 0-)

    certainly not as much as the midwest or northeast, it's great to see us competing there. Two southern Senate races will more or less decide control of the senate. I doubt we win the house by a smaller margin than what seats we win in the south but it's great for the extra margin of seats. I can imagine if the DNC chairman wasn't Dean and that person didn't instatute the 50 State Strategy a bit fewer southern races would be cometitive. Thanks Dean your work is paying off.

  •  As noted above, this poll is screwy (0+ / 0-)

    Elon never asked which specific candidate the respondent planned to vote for.  They asked this questions:

    Which party will you be supporting in the upcoming Congressional elections, will you be voting for the Republican Candidate or the Democratic Candidate?

    The "Democratic Candidate" response got 46% -- not Heath Shuler.  Likewise, the "Republican Candidate" only got 26% -- not Charles Taylor.

    Still, as I blog here, the poll was pretty good for Heath.  I think he's sealed the deal.  But citing the Elon poll as Shuler 46%, Taylor 26% is probably incorrect.


  •  Happy to be fighting with John Courage inTX-21 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks for the post Kos!  We are winning the South once again, with some hard work.

    We're fighting back hard and we're not giving up.  As many of you know Lamar Smith's poll numbers are not looking so good.  We're in one of those districts with an open primary this Nov. 7th due to the illegal gerrymandering redistricting that Tom DeLay shoved through in Texas.  It was TX23 that was ruled illegal, and that spilled into other districts like TX21.  Now we have an excellent opportunity to take down another one of DeLay's corrupt cronies - Lamar Smith - The Enabler.  John has a new ad that's hitting back at Lamar Smith for his do nothing service on the Ethics Committee. YouTube link here.

    Smith was put on the Ethics Committee to enable more of the GOP corruption.  His first priority was just happened to be protecting Tom DeLay.

    The Center for Media and Democracy explains the back story to Smith's Ethics Committee service. This is exactly why we think that Smith has been part of the corruption in Congress.

    On February 3, 2005, at the start of the 109th Congress, Hastert replaced Hefley with Rep. Doc Hastings, a Washington Republican seen as more loyal to the Republican leadership. Hastert also ousted two other Republican panel members, Reps. Kenny Hulshof and Steve LaTourette, who had voted with Hefley to admonish DeLay and voted against an internal Republican rule change meant to protect DeLay as majority leader in the case of his indictment in a Texas investigation into his behavior. In the place of the removed lawmakers, Hastert appointed Reps. Melissa Hart (R-Pa.), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), and Tom Cole (R-Okla.). According to Common Cause, all three voted for the caucus rule change. Even more notably, Smith and Cole donated thousands of dollars ($10,000 and $5,000 respectively) to DeLay’s legal defense fund.

  •  Thanks, from this Texan (3+ / 0-)
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    SoniaS, Carbide Bit, frenchman

    We won't surrender any corner of this country to the GOP. That's what a 50-state strategy looks like. And while our attention is focused mostly elsewhere at this time, we won't leave our progressive brothers and sisters in the South behind.

    Just want to say thanks for that.  

    We have to become the leaders we seek. --boadicea

    by sccs on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 12:52:31 PM PST

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
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    Carbide Bit

    And while our attention is focused mostly elsewhere at this time, we won't leave our progressive brothers and sisters in the South behind.

    I'll hold you to that, living in the heart of Georgia as I do.  Thanks for remembering that even "way down south in Dixie", Progressives are fighting the good fight.

    A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat, except a man. e.e.cummings. -6.25 -5.69

    by Heiuan on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 02:46:04 PM PST

  •  50-State Rocks! (1+ / 0-)
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    I think the Republicans are being haunted and frightenned by that scary Howard Dean this Halloween.  His 50-State Strategy is bringing on the imminent potential collapse of the Republican congressional campaign.  They mocked him, they laughed at him. Now they'll learn to fear him and his far-reaching vision for our Party.

    Let's all give a Howard "scream" as we exit the polling booths on November 7th!

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