There is some political news in the 2nd District race. Late yesterday the Cook Political Report downgraded Rep. Lee Terry’s chances of victory over Democrat challenger Jim Esch from “Likely Republican” to “Lean Republican”.
CQPolitics also changed their rating on this race from “Safe Republican” to “Republican Favored”. CQ explained:
Esch’s inclusion on the DCCC’s Red to Blue list will give him access to more campaign cash, and he’ll probably will wind up spending more than the $420,000 that his 2006 campaign laid out. And the Terry campaign this week aired a television advertisement that attacks Esch on energy policy — something it probably would not have done if it though
t Esch wasn’t at least a potential threat.
To flesh out Cook’s and the DCCC’s input a little more, we go to Joe Jordan’s blog where he says:
Cook isn’t banking on any polls he’s seen, instead he’s counting on what insiders with the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) are telling him.
According to Cook the DCCC is saying this: Their coming to Omaha with T-V ads targeting Terry’s “links to Big Oil, and his congressional pay raises.” [Neither of which is going to stick to Terry.]
Those are ads Esch wouldn’t have to pay for and would mark the first time the National Democratic Party has gone after Terry.
- Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign has Iowa in play, so they need to advertise in Omaha to reach Western Iowa. They also think the whole race could possibly come down to one Electoral Vote, so they are doubling down in Omaha, since they’re advertising there anyway.
- Since Obama is putting money into Omaha, the DCCC is doubling down themselves with Esch, in the hopes that he can ride Obama’s coat tails.
- Because of Obama’s and the DCCC’s money in the race, and because of a closer than planned race in 2006 (the year of the Democrat), Terry has gone on the air early against Esch.
- Because of Obama’s money, the DCCC’s money, and the Terry ads, Cook and apparently CQ think the 2nd District race is closer than expected.
But at no time have we seen:
- any actual polls that indicate the 2nd District race is close.
- any indication that Esch could actually beat Terry.
- seen that Esch has a competent campaign organization.
What we do have is a lot of betting by the Dems that if they put a lot of money into a race they think could be close, that it will become a close race. And while that might not be the strangest circular argument in history, keep in mind that all the while…they’re betting on Jim Esch.
At some point, to get over the hump, Esch is going to have to be more than “the Democrat” in the race. He will have to show that he has some sort of experience, some sort of qualifications or some magnificent ideas for him to represent the District.
Just being the anti-Terry won’t do it.
And that is Jim Esch’s biggest problem and ultimately will be his fatal flaw in this race.
But one thing that Esch does have, that Terry doesn’t, is a sympathetic alternative press looking out for him.
They took a photo of Terry in front of a gas station and apparently indicated to him that they would photo-shop out the station’s name.
But then… they photo-shopped in fake gas prices. And, for some reason, they added in a couple of nuclear reactor cooling towers. Hey, guess what kids, that ain’t Fort Calhoun.
(And just in case you’re still wondering about The Reader’s intentions, they saved the photo as “Terry Gets Gas“.)
They may as well have put added in an elephant with “GOP” stamped on it goring your baby to death. What an utter joke. And by the way Reader fact-checkers, the 2006 race was an over nine-point spread, not six points.
But the gas prices particularly are what get us. What is with Dems and inflating actual prices? First Scott Kleeb claims you are paying almost $9 per gallon, and now Team Esch at The Reader claim it’s $6.
Their message to you? You’re an idiot.
Nice to see that the Nebraska Republicans came out swinging against Chuck Hagel. Hagel’s Republican bashing has been given a free ride by many because of his past support for the state party. But his cheap shots against Sarah Palin (particularly the “passport” line) were uncalled for.
Governor Heineman put it politely when asked if Hagel would be welcome at a Republican event:
“I don’t know how to answer that for sure. Nebraskans are polite and respectful people, but I would say right now they disagree with Senator Hagel.”
Interesting way for Hagel to choose to close out his career in Nebraska…