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The Republicans have accepted that Obama will be the Democratic nominee for President, even if the Clintonistas have not.  They've used the last two special elections for House seats to test aggressive ad campaigns attacking the presumptive Democratic nominee.  The approach has primarily been guilt by association.  Including linking the local candidate to Rev. Jeremiah Wright via Obama.

The voters in these two hard-core Republican House seats have rejected that entire approach.  It could be that the association with Obama might even have helped the Democrats Don Cazayoux (LA-06) and Travis Childers (MS-01).  There's been a lot of fearmongering from the Clinton camp that Obama won't hold up in a general election where everyone is voting, and the Republican attack machine is up an running.  That Obama will not be an asset for down-ticket races.

These results (plus in IL-14, where Obama deployed volunteers to help Bill Foster's win) show that there is zero merit to that argument.  Check out some of the failed advertising below the fold.

Washington Post 5/3/08:

Yet in the run-up to Saturday's special election, the state representative's image popped up time and again in local television ads, paired with that of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). One spot had side-by-side photos of Cazayoux and Obama with the words "big government scheme" describing the local candidate's stance on health care. Another showed Cazayoux with Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and charged that Cazayoux supports a "radical liberal agenda." Another spot mocked him as "Don Tax You."

Here's an NRCC scare piece on Cazayoux and taxes:

It didn't work!

The NRCC blew over a million bucks on this race, trying to convince the people around Baton Rouge in LA-06 that a vote for Cazayoux was a vote for Obama.  It is tantalizing to think that there was a backlash against the vilification that has been thrown at Obama from all sides.  The junior senator from Illinois's dignity and focus throughout his political "40 days in the desert" might have made more of an impression on the electorate than on the impressionable chatterers.

But WaPo tells us:

And this Baton Rouge-based district's ad war, which is being fought largely on policy positions, is softball compared with the high and tight pitches Republicans are throwing in northern Mississippi. With a surprisingly competitive House special election there set for May 13, Republicans are running ads showing the Democratic candidate with Obama; his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.; and outtakes from Wright's controversial sermons.

That's the one we just won.  I'm gonna go look for something on those MS-01 ads:

It's interesting that the Republican attack ads are mirroring the anti-Obama thread of the public narrative in the presidential primaries during April and May.  It gave me a great sense of relief to realize how that narrative doesn't seem to be doing so well.  Not if voters in two very Republican districts in the south have responded to it by electing Democrats in districts held by the Republican party since Nixon's "Southern Strategy".  This is big.  MS-01 is very good news.

This is very good news, and totally demolishes Clintonista arguments about how this Reverend Wright stuff will affect electability, and so down ticket races.  Meanwhile, there is no joy in the NRCC mud-slinging-ville tonight.  They've got three strikes against them now:  Bill Foster in IL-14; Don Cazayoux in LA-06, and now Travis Childers in MS-01.

And it sure looks to me like having Obama at the top of the ticket will not - to say the very least - be a problem.

Bonus: Scott Kleeb
Plus Scott Kleeb's primary victory today, that's good, too.  Obama's gonna help him in a tough battle for the Senate, too.  The TV is going on and on trying to generate drama in the primary.  It's time to move on to the general, and start actively speculating about the seismic changes we're likely to see in the House and Senate this fall.  That filibuster-proof (so-called) majority may not be out of reach.

I think today's news is good.  I'm excited about what I see shaping up for the fall.  This West Virginia stuff is nothing more than a transitory distraction in the big picture.

Originally posted to Land of Enchantment on Wed May 14, 2008 at 08:52 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I prepared this last night... (21+ / 0-)

    ... because of stuff that turned up while looking for something else.  But had already posted yesterday, so had to wait half an hour.  kos posted another of the ads about 7 minutes before I could post, so I saved it till this morning.

    YouTube gives us new ways to review this stuff.  Clearly these hatemongering, guilt by association ads failed.  GOP lost some of their very reliable seats.  Great prelude for the fall.

    "You can't depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus."
    . . . . . . . . . Mark Twain

    by Land of Enchantment on Wed May 14, 2008 at 08:55:03 AM PDT

    •  It's a combination of things, I think happening (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, Land of Enchantment

      here .. it's apparent that even some Republicans are not buying the links being forced down their throats by the RNC/RNCC, trying to equate local candidates elections to national themes.

      The real 'guilt by association' thing is Bush and Cheney with the letter 'R' beside the candidate's name. And Democrats don't even need to spend a nickel to make that happen: it happens all by itself.

      "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We need to go far, quickly.

      by shpilk on Wed May 14, 2008 at 09:02:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I cannot express enough... (5+ / 0-)

      ...how wonderful it was, living in Memphis as I do, to see the constant barrage of brutal ads unleashed against Childers attempting to, as was outlined in this fine entry, link him to Jeremiah Wright. Beyond shameless.

      And, I cannot express to you all enough how wonderful it was that that approach was rejected, and rejected by the one set of voters that it should have worked with. There has not been a D rep from that district in Miss in two decades. As solidly red as you can imagine.

      That Childers won by 8 points it staggering on any of a number of levels.

      Unreal.

  •  I seriously think Republicans are scared of Obama (10+ / 0-)

    because it seems that attacking him tends to have the opposite result of the original intent. Look@ poor Hillary. She attacked, and attacked, and attacked, and yes, it drove up his negatives and drove down his positives, but it had the same effect on her, and the effect was larger.

    As the GOP already has that "attack dog" persona that they've worked so hard to cultivate, I think any unreasonable attacks on Obama will have the same effect and turn people off to the GOP, especially if he doesn't choose to go the same negative route.

    Barack can hit McCain on the issues in ways McCain can't hit Obama, and as far as associations, McCain hasn't even begun to have his associations vetted, meanwhile we are all sick of hearing about Obama's so-called associations.

    Yep, I think they are scared, and all they can do is play on the fears of people who don't know who Barack is. Once people get to know him, he does much better and they love him for the most part.

    I can't wait for this primary to be over so we can keep our focus on McCain without the distractions.

    And the people that come out and vote for Obama will probably vote D all the way down the ticket.

    "If Bill Clinton had done for elk in Idaho everything he did for Democrats, we'd have far fewer elk," said Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Keith Roark.

    by Muzikal203 on Wed May 14, 2008 at 08:59:55 AM PDT

  •  Slime Tactics Being Rejected By Voters Who Knew (5+ / 0-)

    That They Cared More About The Economy, Healthcare, Social Security, College Tuition and The War In Iraq, You Know "The Real" Issues.

    Obama '08
    Dont Be Fooled. CHANGE Is Real And It Starts In YOU?

    by DFutureIsNow on Wed May 14, 2008 at 09:01:54 AM PDT

  •  It is... (5+ / 0-)

    ..wonderful to see Obama's coattails having a positive influence even before the general elections.  What a relief from the nasty "gotcha" politics we have become used to since Reagan.
     It is well past time for Gingrich's give no quarter brand of confrontational politics, and no better person than Barack Obama to bring it about!
     

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

    by drchelo on Wed May 14, 2008 at 09:03:18 AM PDT

  •  I read an article, that Al Franken wins in MN (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Land of Enchantment, pamelabrown

    if Senator Obama is the Presidential nominee.  

    As soon as I stop worrying, worrying how the story ends, I let go and I let God, let God have His way. "It's the soldier, not.."

    by Lady Bird Johnson on Wed May 14, 2008 at 09:03:27 AM PDT

  •  Hey Rethugs Its Not The CHANGE Slogan That Beats (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Land of Enchantment

    You. Its The Messenger Stupid!


    GOBAMA!

    Obama '08
    Dont Be Fooled. CHANGE Is Real And It Starts In YOU?

    by DFutureIsNow on Wed May 14, 2008 at 09:04:29 AM PDT

  •  yay for mutual coattails! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote, Land of Enchantment

    "Obama's gonna help him in a tough battle for the Senate, too. "

    And you can bet association with Kleeb will also help Obama.  I expect relationships like this, with a popular home-grown candidate for Congress strategically pairing up with Obama for events, will be very common and mutually beneficial.

    It's important to save the frog.

    by mtundu on Wed May 14, 2008 at 09:11:48 AM PDT

    •  Kleeb has the advantage... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote

      ... of being well known to the rural western part of the state because of his house run last time.  He's a bit of a long shot.  But the timing is good.  This is the kind of race that, if won, could lead to a so-called "filibuster proof" Senate.  Then, if we don't like what's happening, we'll have no choice but to start going after bad Dems in primary season.

      "You can't depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus."
      . . . . . . . . . Mark Twain

      by Land of Enchantment on Wed May 14, 2008 at 09:45:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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