Political Wisdom: Could Tancredo Provide the Final Big Upset?
By Gerald F. Seib
In an upsetting kind of year, there are bound to be more surprise upsets when votes actually are counted next week. So this is a good time to look ahead in an attempt to figure out where those final upsets might pop up.
Bryan Curtis on The Daily Beast offers up one potential shocker: Immigration hawk Tom Tamcerdo, running as a third-party candidate, could win the Colorado governor’s race:
Let’s stipulate that at least one wild and inexplicable event will occur on Election Night. Here’s a nominee: Tom Tancredo, a man whose immigration rhetoric was so rough that he was banned from the Bush White House, becomes governor of Colorado.
We feel fantastic,” Bay Buchanan, Tancredo’s campaign manager, said Tuesday. “We’ve gone from 14 points in August to the low 40s now. It’s a climb of nearly 30 points in a couple months.”
This is Posturing Week in American politics, and all numbers tend to be highly bogus. But in a year in which immigration has captured the public imagination, the notion of Governor Tancredo is gaining currency. An October 25 Public Policy Polling survey showed Tancredo three points behind the Democratic candidate, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. That tracks with a Republican poll last week that showed Tancredo trailing by just one point among likely voters. A Denver Post poll from the weekend showed Hickenlooper with a 10-point lead.
John Rossomando of the Daily Caller suggests another potential upset coming out of the blue:
Democratic Rep. Jim Moran’s 8th Congressional District is considered the second bluest district in Virginia, and the 19-year incumbent has consistently demolished his GOP challengers, but internal polling conducted by his current GOP opponent’s campaign suggests this year could be different.
Republican candidate Col. Patrick Murray’s most recent internal numbers from the last four days show Moran leading with 32.3 percent compared with Murray’s 29.7 percent. 30.5 percent are shown to be undecided.
The Murray campaign’s internal numbers also suggest Moran has high negatives (you can read more about why the anti-gun, anti-semetic Moran needs to lose this race below). A Sept. 22 poll conducted by McLaughlin & Associates found Moran’s support at below 50 percent ̶ with only 42 percent of those polled rating him as good or excellent and 41 percent rating him as fair or poor.
Meanwhile, there’s one race that was defying conventional wisdom because the vulnerable Democratic incumbent seemed to be in pretty good shape. Now, Michael Ames of Politics Daily says that picture may be changing:
The Idaho congressional race that had been defying national trends seems to be finally conforming. A new Mason-Dixon poll sponsored by seven Idaho newspapers shows conservative Republican challenger Raul Labrador pulling into a statistical dead heat with incumbent Blue Dog Democrat Walt Minnick. The poll has Minnick leading Labrador 44 to 41 percent, a seven point tightening since the last Mason-Dixon survey in mid-September.
The poll spells out explicitly what many insiders have been saying about this race for months — regardless of Minnick’s wide leads in fundraising and name recognition, the freshman Democrat is an endangered incumbent in one of the most conservative districts in the country.
A Virginian congressman facing a tough political battle for reelection made comments about his opponents qualifications that have resulted in a backlash against his own campaign and political party.
During this election cycle, when Democrats are facing a potential tidal wave of opposition, Democrat incumbents are disparaging their opponents while boasting about their own service with statements they believe will resonant with voters fed up with the Washington, DC status quo.
The strategy is to diminish the achievements and service of their opponents while puffing up their own. And they are kicking honesty and integrity to the wayside. For example, Nevada Senator Harry Reid, the current Senate Majority Leader, said during a television interview that had it not been for him, there would have been a worldwide economic depression. Of course, MSNBC host Ed Schultz, a staunch progressive and decidedly partisan television commentator, did not ask Reid to explain how he achieved his miraculous feat.
Unfortunately, the whoppers don't stop at the U.S. Congress. On Sunday, President Barack Obama told the American people that Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi is the best Speaker of the House who ever served.
This past week, Rep. Jim Moran, the longtime Democrat incumbent in Virginia’s 8th district, unleashed a firestorm of controversy when he disparaged the service of millions of troops and veterans. Moran diminished the value of their service by implying that the sacrifices and service our troops give while on active duty did not count as “public service” in the same way that elected officials are public servants.
The statement shocked and offended millions of veterans around the country as well as patriots who all agree that military service is a more pure and essential public service than being a politician, according to Betty Presley of Move America Forward Freedom PAC.
Moran was at a private meeting with other Democrats, deriding his opponent, Republican Patrick Murray, when he said this:
“What [Republicans] do is find candidates, usually stealth candidates, that haven’t been in office, haven’t served or performed in any kind of public service. My opponent [Murray] is typical, frankly." n reality, Colonel Patrick Murray is a 24-year U.S. Army Veteran. And most Americans will agree a veteran with a decades-long record of defending our country deserves better.
After enrolling in the Reserve Officers Training Corp (ROTC) program at Oklahoma State University, Murray graduated as an officer in the US Army and went on to train as a tank commander and later, an intelligence officer. Murray has been deployed to Russia, Belarus, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, and most recently Iraq as part of the Bush Surge -- a successful military operation that Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden claimed as their own.
"Murray has been an outstanding soldier and his life of PUBLIC SERVICE has been marked by selflessness and dedication," said Presley.
"What’s more of a PUBLIC SERVICE? Spending 24 years defending your nation, or 20 years (that’s how long Jim Moran has been in congress) behind a desk taxing hardworking Americans and spending their money?" Presley asks.
Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Moran told an antiwar audience in Reston, Virginia, that "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this. The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should."