So. We got Maryland Governor and DGA head Martin O’Malley out there SNEERING about us awful, awful racist Republicans (for the full effect, assume that I’m fluttering my hands like I’ve got the St. Vitus’ dance):
Using Governor Rick Perry (formerly) of the RGA for that, too. You see, good old Martin here really, really respects the heck out of Rick, you understand; despite the fact that he’s voluntarily a member of a racist and prejudiced group like the GOP. Isn’t that just… well, Caucasian… of Ol’ Whitebread O’Malley?
No, my sneer’s deliberate, too. And much more justified. Consider this:
The progressive, inclusive DGA currently being run by Whitebread O’Malley has precisely one racial minority among its members: MA governor Deval Patrick. Apparently Democrats don’t like voting for ethnic minorities – at least, not statewide.
They’re claiming that their group “exceeded expectations” by holding the RGA to a ‘mere’ +6 GOP gain overall, with five Democratic pickups and one Independent one. To begin with, that number is still up in the air: the Minnesota results have not yet come in… but even if you spot the Democrats that one, this is, well, a silly thing for the DGA to say. Let’s look at the battlefield, shall we?
Democratic pickups. CA, CT, HI, MN, RI*, VT. First off, gaining California? Worth crowing over, sure. CT likewise. We fought for both of those pretty hard. Minnesota likewise, although the state legislature flipping to GOP rules out the primary reason that the Democrats wanted the state (ie, gerrymandering Michele Bachmann’s seat out of existence). Nonetheless, the DGA’s pickups were all in safely Blue states (Minnesota is the purplest), which means that they gained effectively nothing when it comes to the Presidential election in 2012. And as for redistricting: aside from Minnesota, the only fertile ground there would have been California… which has just taken redistricting out of the hands of the legislature. Oops. Continue reading The DGA spins a bad night.
Seeing as the one that the Democratic Governors Association came up with recently was simultaneously: foul-mouthed; pathetically lame; and very possibly in violation of American copyright law… I’d thought that I’d take pity on the poor, doomed fellows and let them take a look at what a good campaign ad looks like. From the RGA, a reminder that there’s an election in 14 weeks:
Major Dem donors who wrote checks to the Democratic Governors Association funded a below-the-radar campaign that attacked Pres. Obama and other Dem all-stars, all in hopes of knocking off a strong GOP challenger.
Iowans for Responsible Government is a 527 group founded by Rob Tully, the former state Dem Party chairman. Reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service this morning show the group raised $782K and spent $767K in the second quarter. That money came entirely from the DGA, in 3 contributions in May and June.
…And that money was spent trying – and failing – to get rid of Terry Branstad in the primary by claiming that he was a liberal Obama supporter. If it had worked, it might have revived Chet Culver’s collapsing campaign; as it stands, it’s over three quarters of a million dollars of Democratic money piled on the ground and set on fire. Branstad can now point to pretty much any criticism that he’s not conservative enough and plausibly claim that it’s just more Democratic smear-mongering. He’s already started. I imagine that Reps. Bruce Bailey and Leonard Boswell aren’t too happy about this, either: both need top-ticket support this cycle if they want to survive. Continue reading DGA spent 800K… attacking Obama.
Nick Ayers, the executive director of the Republican Governors Association, offers this preview of what’s at stake in the 37 gubernatorial races in November. Between now and Election Day, the association and its Democratic counterpart will be engaged in “a $100 million-plus chess match for control of the foundation of American politics for the next 10 years.”
…the answer is: very seriously. Besides redistricting, the states are where both parties typically recruit their Presidential candidates*; the bigger the pool to draw from, the better. The House and Senate races are important, sure – and we’re now in a position where a Republican gain of 38 in the former will be spun as a failure, and a gain of 8 in the latter will be defined as mediocre – but in terms of long-term advantage the governorships are key. The Democrats are worried, particularly in light of the massive fundraising disparity that’s going on with the RGA & DGA right now.
As to whether the Democrats are right to be worried, let me put it this way: of the Democratic governors mentioned by name in this story (via Hot Air), precisely one (Beebe)up for re-election has good odds of still being a Governor next year. Of the rest: Manchin’s bailing out in favor of a Senate bid, Ritter didn’t dare run for re-election, Quinn is on-track to lose in November, Patrick is counting on a third-party bid to survive (no, seriously, that’s his entire re-election strategy), Culver has actual vultures escorting him everywhere he goes, and Gregoire is thanking her lucky stars that she was able to run in 2008 and not 2010.
*With the 2008 election becoming an increasingly powerful counter-example of why the parties should recruit their Presidential candidates from the Executive branch.