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Wednesday, November 03, 2010



Granted. Based on current evidence, I'll give you no more guff about Rasmussen's numbers.


We are all subject to wishful thinking. Also to a nearly perfect capacity for self-frustration. I think most Republicans feel slightly disappointed this morning.

Donald Pay

Here's one idea of what happened to SHS. The Dems made a mistake in not putting up a solid liberal against Thune. Thune would have won against a liberal, but that race (1) would have drawn attention away from the Congressional race, (2) SHS then looks more moderate, even conservative, by comparison to the other Democrat, (3) this allows more moderate Republicans to consider ticket splitting.

The SHS loss looks to me to be a pretty classic way that Dems lose in SD, so I'm not sure you can draw too many conclusions from this race.

Turning to Wisconsin, there was much less ticket splitting this year. The Democrats did a tremendous job in driving the turnout in their strongholds, but it wasn't enough this year. The race came down to the Fox Valley and Kenosha County, both areas hit hard by manufacturing losses. Democrats in statewide races have to split the vote in the Fox Valley area 50-50 to have a solid chance of winning. Since Ron Johnson is from the Fox Valley, it was going to be hard. These areas have been trending Democrat, but swung back to Republican this year. My guess is they will likely swing back again next election.

Anyway, it sounds as if Feingold could run for Herb Kohl's Senate seat if Kohl (age 77) does not run. Paul Ryan wouldn't run against Kohl, but he might run against Feingold.


Donald: I think your argument about the failure of the Democrats to oppose Thune is dead spot on. A liberal would have made SHS look more moderate. But I am not sure it would have saved her. She did, after all, look moderate compared to the national Democratic Party.


Donald, my 2 cents. If John had been in a race with a liberal democrat this year, it would likely have driven up GOP turnout even higher. It was always going to be a tight race and Stephanie hasn't really been in one for awhile. I don't think she was as well prepared for the campaign fight she ended up in as she needed to be. Kristi was also a much better candidate than Stephanie expected to be up against.

Miranda Flint

On the other hand, not running someone made Thune's win look less impressive than it would have had he beaten a popular liberal candidate. It also meant that Thune had less screen time, which may have been a good strategy if the Democrats had Thune's presidential ambitions in mind.


Miranda: yes. If Thune had beaten a liberal, and especially a thoughtful and serious liberal, that would have raised his profile even higher in the state. But he hardly needs a better position in SD right now.

I repeat a rumor I heard in my post above: that SD Democrats decided not to run a candidate against Thune to keep him as uninvolved as possible in this year's election. If true, that is very bad. Whatever effect it has on Thune's standing, it is devastating for the status of the SD Democratic party.

Bill Fleming

KB, your logic is silly. Thune's non-involvement has nothing to do with anything the Dems might do.
Had he WANTED to be involved, he would have been. No one was going to stop him, especially not
any Democrat. Would that we had such power.


Bill: it's not my logic. It's the Democrat's logic. A friend of mine who is a very active Democrat told me that the Heidepriem campaign talked a couple of people out of running against Thune. Why? To give him no incentive to be involved in local politics. He didn't have to debate or weasel out of a debate. In fact, Senator Thune remained largely aloof until the end, when he spent some political capital on the Noem race. It wasn't a matter of "stopping" Thune. It was a matter of giving him no incentive to show up.

Bill Fleming

That's ridiculous, KB.
The Dem's function in SD is to give Republicans "incentive"?
Pardon me, but I'm dying laughing over here.
Have you looked at this year's election returns?
I'll say it again.
Thune didn't engage because he didn't want to.
It's as simple as that.
And, as it turned out, the SD GOP (except for Noem) didn't need him either.
There's perhaps a lesson here, KB, but not the one you're promoting.


Obviously, John Thune was not as prominent during the campaigns as he would have been with an opponent but he was certainly not disengaged. I think the benefits of his behind the scenes support was valuable, although not obvious. The weakness of the Democrat's slate of candidates ultimately determined the outcomes.


Bill: I am not arguing the point! I am only telling you what they told me. The decision not to run a candidate against Thune was, as I am told, a consciousness decision not to run a candidate. It wasn't just a failure to find one. Those are the reasons I have heard.

My point was simply that not to run a candidate was very bad for the Dems and bad for South Dakota.

Bill Fleming

So you're saying that a one party system is bad for South Dakota, KB? How so?

Bill Fleming

KB, would you mind telling us watching John Thune humiliate someone like Mark St. Pierre would have been good for SD in any conceivable way? The natural person to run against JT would have been Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, and she chose not to do it. (I still don't understand why.)

Meanwhile, have you read Sam Hurst's latest installment? If no, take a look. It might help you understand what some of the regular, rank and file, non-Blue Dog Dems are thinking these days:


Bill Fleming

Oops, left out a word above, sorry... "would you mind telling us HOW watching John Thune humiliate..."


Bill: I looked at the article you linked to. I notice this: "[Kristi Noem] is a walking, talking, cliché machine of godliness and small town virtue". Maybe, just maybe, a party that is dripping with contempt for godliness and small town virtue is not well positioned to win elections in South Dakota. I have yet to see evidence that South Dakota voters in general, or Republicans in particular, are contemptuous of SHS because of her education. The words quoted above are evidence that the writer is contemptuous of KN precisely because of who she is and what her life experience has been. Maybe that explains why the Democrats got shellacked in every statewide race.

Yes, I am saying that a one party state is bad for South Dakota. As to why I say that, see the original post.

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