Thursday, August 04, 2005

Victory! No for real that's what it is.

Yesterday in a special election in Ohio the Republicans held on to a seat that was under challenge from a very strong democratic challenger. The challenger Paul Hackett is an Iraqi war vet. He's also a flaming liberal who is vehemently against the war. However you wouldn't know it from his tv campaign spot:
This is a hack job of the worst kind. Show the voters an ad with President Bush speaking, say you 'agree' with the President and hide the fact that you are a democrat. Try to fool the voters. That's the strategy. Here's the truth about what DEMOCRAT Paul Hack-ett really thinks about our President:
Hackett told USA Today that Bush's taunting line, "Bring 'em on!" was "the most incredibly stupid comment I've ever heard a president of the United States make." He also told the newspaper that, while he was willing to put his life on the line for the president, "I've said that I don't like the son-of-a-[expletive] that lives in the White House."
None of that helped him as he lost the election by 4 points to Jean Schmidt.

But here's where it gets interesting, the blog Raising Kaine which is campaigning for Tim Kaine here in Virginia thinks that this is a good sign for Democrats in Virginia:
True, Paul Hackett (D) ended up losing to Jean Schmidt (R) yesterday. And true, Ohio is not Virginia. However, I say that Hackett's extremely narrow (52%-48%) loss to Schmidt, in a Congressional district that went heavily for President Bush in November 2004 - more than any Virginia Congressional district, by the way) - is great news for Democrats in Virginia, and nationwide for that matter.
Democrats everywhere are insisting that this special election in one district in Ohio represents a colossal shift away from the Republican Partyall over the nation. The Democrats are getting so desperate now that they are reduced to pointing at electoral defeats and calling them victories. Kind of like the way they accuse Republicans of voter intimidation and then set out to intimidate voters. According to this ACVR report:
While Democrats routinely accuse Republicans of voter intimidation and suppression, neither party has a clean record on the issue. Instead, the evidence shows that Democrats waged aggressive intimidation and suppression campaigns against Republican voters and volunteers in 2004. Republicans have not been exempt from similar criticism in this area, as alleged voter intimidation and suppression activity by GOP operatives led the Republican National Committee to sign a consent decree repudiating such tactics in 1982. However, a careful review of the facts shows that in 2004, paid Democrat operatives were far more involved in voter intimidation and suppression efforts than their Republican counterparts. Examples include:

* Paid Democrat operatives charged with slashing tires of 25 Republican get-out-the-vote vans in Milwaukee on the morning of Election Day.

* Misleading telephone calls made by Democrat operatives targeting Republican voters in Ohio with the wrong date for the election and faulty polling place information.

* Intimidating and deceiving mailings and telephone calls paid for by the DNC threatening Republican volunteers in Florida with legal action.

* Union-coordinated intimidation and violence campaign targeting Republican campaign offices and volunteers resulting in a broken arm for a GOP volunteer in Florida.
George Orwell would be so proud.

But back to Ohio, Michael Barone says that we should be more worried at the low turnout. Which while it is typical of special elections is still something we have to work at here in Virginia. If the turnout is high then I think Kilgore should have no problem. If the Republicans are passive then there could be problems.

More comments on Ohio election here of the election. More here.