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Good News: The Democrats' Southern Comeback Edition

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Dob Bole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 05:50 PM
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Good News: The Democrats' Southern Comeback Edition
I'm 24 years old, born between Mobile, AL and the Mississippi state line. In my not-quite quarter-century of life, I have held public office in the Deep South, attended the same college as Jimmy Carter, and occasionally visit his church, and vice-versa. I have been to about 72 different churches and a synagogue; in fact, my father became a Christian (and later a Baptist minister) when I was about 11. I spill these few sentences of biography to assure you that I know what I'm talking about when it comes to Southern culture and politics.

I'm therefore proud to announce something of a comeback this year. It's not ideology-based, as Newt Gingrich's was in 1994, but it's real nonetheless. After defeating all of the Southern Democratic senators who voted for the Iraq war in 2004, Republicans have saturated Dixie and now hold all of the seats that they ever possibly could have. Another way of saying this (pessimists) is that Southern Democrats have hit rock bottom, and have no way but up ;)

Please allow me to highlight a few important races this year:

The Majority Leaders' Seats

After Tom Delay's resignation from Congress, Democrat Nick Lampson will pick up TX-22 with very little trouble at all. Meanwhile in Tennessee, Democrats have had no Senate representation since 2001, when Al Gore ceased to be the President of the Senate. Harold Ford (D-TN) is in a dead even contest for Bill Frist's seat, and the outcome will probably depend on GOTV more than anything else.

Other Senate seats

Two other states adjacent to Tennessee, Virginia and Missouri, also find incumbent Republican senators fighting for their political lives, and are toss-ups. Something that was completely unexpected to me a year ago is this: Bill Nelson (D-FL) will win re-election to the Senate in a landslide. Robert Byrd (D-WV) will too, though that generally goes without saying.

Florida

Aside from Bill Nelson's easy Senate win, we now have the Foley scandal. This gives a no-name Democrat (who?) the seat from FL-16 without really trying. Not to mention this orgy of possible Democratic winners, according to the Southern Political Report

"Across the South, beginning with Foley's own 16th District -- where voters have to cast a ballot for Foley for it to count for the GOPs new nominee, Joe Negron -- the Democrats should be major gainers. Southern Political Report now ranks the 16th as Likely Democratic; safe Democratic might even be more appropriate. In Florida, the 13th and 22nd Districts, both with competitive races before the scandal broke, are adjacent to Foley's district and voters have been subject to the same media onslaught. In the 13th (Sarasota, etc.), Katherine Harris's (R) district, Democrat Christine Jennings (R) has released a poll showing her lead has increased from 8 points to 12 points in the past three weeks. My best guess is that both the 13th and 22nd will join the 16th in electing Democrats next month. And Florida's 8th District, with another competitive race, is further north, but could still be affected by the story. After all, Foley was the leading Republican US Senate contender in Florida for months in 2004 and is not unknown..."

Other house races:

CQ Politics rates nearly 50 Southern Democratic house seats as "Safe Democratic" or "Democrat Favored." While this number does not quite match the Republicans, the estimate also does not reflect the new situation in Florida.

According to http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... >this thread, Kellam (D-VA) leads in Virginia Beach, Pat Robertson's home district.

Governorships

While most governors are currently incumbents and expected to win re-election, the governorship of Arkansas is expected to change to Democratic hands. This victory will give Democrats a majority in the Southern Governor's Association.

The War in Iraq

"...support for the war is deteriorating in the South -- and by some measures, opposition is stronger in Southern states than in other parts of the country..." -Institute for Southern Studies/North Carolina state, via Political Wire.

and finally, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball (UVA) now predicts a Democratic takeover of the House: http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball

So enjoy your victory! But not from the couch...and by all means, help Harold Ford out!

DB
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks
:kick:
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Dob Bole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. kick
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Jade Fox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:31 PM
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3. Can you say "Dixiecrat?"
Thanks for the report. That's pretty exciting about the Democrat Majority in the Southern Governor's Association.
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Dob Bole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Well, I could...but it kind of has bad connotations...
due to, you know, that thing that happened in 1948.

At least Strom Thurmond finally left office.
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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:34 PM
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4. Harold Ford, Jr. is the best debater of the election cycle.
And I honestly believe he is going to win.

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Dob Bole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I missed that debate...
maybe I'll catch it again on C-SPAN
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Dob Bole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Anyone have a transcript, perhaps?
I'd like to see it. I think Ford still has a bit of an uphill climb, but I also think that he's the only candidate who has the kind of machinery necessary to win that Senate race.
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Dob Bole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
7. kick
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