Why Lee Terry will win

The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee has finally air-dropped into Nebraska on behalf of Jim Esch.
See their first negative ad here:

The DCCC’s ad-buy looks like this:
$521,000 total for three weeks.
That is broken down as $479,000 on broadcast, $42,000 on cable.

As far as the spot itself goes, it is on the busy (and green) side, and frankly Esch’s ad which addressed the exact same issue was better produced.

Of course Lee Terry already has a response ad on this issue playing now
And as we fleshed it out further here, the ad is factually incorrect about Terry’s position on this issue.

***

As we figured, the first ad by the DCCC is a negative ad. Also note that Jim Esch has not run any positive ads introducing himself, his experience, what he can offer to Nebraska. He is simply the empty suit with a “D” next to his name, hoping he can slide in with The One.

And because of Obama’s campaign efforts in Omaha, the chattering politicos in Washington are worried about Terry’s race. Heck, Lee is worried about his race. But then, Lee was also sweating when he won by nearly 10%, so maybe the candidate isn’t the best judge.

***

But The Politico found the DC Republicans worried about the Terry-Esch race.

Of course as Exhibit A they submit the “Obama-Terry voter” ad that was in The Reader:

“Terry just sent voters a piece of mail with a testimonial from a woman who plans to split her vote between the Republican congressman and the Democratic presidential contender — a sure sign that the GOP brand is lagging along with the economy and McCain’s own prospects for the White House.”

Except that that is wrong. As we noted, this was NOT mailed out. It was in a weekly arts and entertainment mag. And frankly, it is no different than when Democrat Jones runs a “Republicans for Jones” ad. But let’s not let rational thinking get in the way.

Of course what really has the Terry folks and their NRCC brethren uptight is the money that the DCCC is sending in, along with the Obama efforts.

***

But let us take a closer look at all that:

Just like the enthusiasm over Tony Raimondo’s chances in the Dem primary showed, irrational exuberance can sometimes overshadow sane thinking.

Many DC politico types (like those at The Politico) seem to think that Lee Terry’s campaign is in trouble against Jim Esch.
They are being driven to the cliffs by all the press that Obama is “competing” in Omaha.

But as has been shown in many other red states around the country, Obama is wont to overextend himself.
While many think that voter drives and pouring cash into TV ads will get Obama over the top — and thus let Jim Esch bask in Obama’s glow — they are wrong.

Why? Well because:

  • McCain’s poll number have been steady. Up by 13% in the latest.
  • Terry’s poll numbers have been steady. Up by 10% in the latest.
  • Voter registration number have been steady. Nearly the same as in 2004.
  • Republican voter enthusiasm, as evidenced by Palin’s visit, is high. Long lines to get in with less than 24 hours notice.
  • Turnout will be huge for all parties. In this contentious Presidential year.
  • Terry has plenty of cash to compete. Even if the DCCC adds theirs in.
  • Terry will not be out-spent. Even if the DCCC comes in, and if it’s close, expect the NRCC to add theirs.
  • Terry has already had the opportunity to define Jim Esch. And has done so since August, and will continue to do so.
  • The election is only three weeks away — how Terry defines him will be in the voters’ minds. Too short a time for Esch to turn it around.
  • Esch does not have some sort of super resume or campaign juggernaut that will overcome his polling numbers. Unlike Hagel in 1996.
  • If the Dems really felt that he would pull it out, they would have supported Esch much sooner than three weeks out. And they haven’t.

Unless some game-changing event occurs that allows Obama to have a tremendous surge in the 2nd District, and thus suppress GOP and Terry supporter turnout, this race is still Terry’s.

But show us a candidate who is sits on his laurels with a 10 point lead and we’ll show you a former Congressman. The Terry campaign will be fighting hard in what may well be a Democrat year. And NRCC input may be necessary to shore things up.

But let’s not get crazy now.

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47 comments

  1. OmaSteak says:

    Sweeper…Repubs should be more concerned about what McCain will do to suppress turnout in the NE 2nd. His support for the $850 billion bailout bill and constant flailing about on what to do for the economy isn’t helping motivate the base much. As for Terry, when is he going to run an ad highlighting Esch’s complete lack of any real world working experience, living off his parents and now becoming the potential puppet of San Fran Nan and her socialist cohorts? Note to Terry campaign, if you do an ad like this for God’s sake please don’t have Lee do the voiceover.

  2. Street Sweeper says:

    Anony,
    An Obama-Terry voter is someone who votes for Obama for Prez and Terry for Congress. Such as the woman in their ad.

    OmaSteak,
    I think the base will still turnout to vote for Prez.
    And no insight into Terry’s ads, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw such a spot.

    SS

  3. Anonymous says:

    Okay. I used to be convinced that Street Sweeper was either a current or former staffer of Lee Terry’s. Now I’m pretty sure it’s either Lee Sr. or Robyn Terry. I think Street Sweeper loves Lee Terry a little too much — they’re either family or getting paid by him.

  4. Right Wing Professor says:

    Now that negative advertising has started, the RNC should do a thirty-second spot focussing on Esch’s employment history — and then spend the last 25 seconds asking if a mid-30s layabout who’s never actually worked for a living is the right choice for Nebraskans.

  5. Cal says:

    I personally think SS is just appalled by the thought of a Jim Esch candidacy. And should be. We should all be.

    Not only has Esch lived off his parents, the biggest source of income is from… THE GOVERNMENT (via the CRP). Must be swell… wish I had that deal.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t realize Esch was a college professor. 😉 Talk about an easy job, tweny hour work weeks (when they don’t have guest speakers), summers off, and time to blog at will.

  7. Kyle Michaelis says:

    Wow. I’m dizzy from the spin. Very impressive, SS.

    The obvious question: if Terry’s in such a strong position and Obama’s just a bunch of media hype, why the hell would Terry feel the need to run ads to win over Obama voters?

    Please enlighten us.

    Some of your commenters recently accused me being out of touch with reality for recognizing Terry’s vulnerability in the recent Dkos poll. Like I wrote then, “if this race becomes a referendum on Lee Terry, he’s already lost this election.

    I stand by that assessment but would certainly welcome any further gynmastics of the imagination SS might offer as refutation.

  8. Street Sweeper says:

    Kyle,

    I always enjoy when you visit b/c I get to look at your “intense” close-up picture each time.

    Anyway, if Terry weren’t going for all voters it would be political malpractice. He is in a good position (10 points) b/c he covers all bases.

    “If” this race were simply generic R vs generic D, then the race would be closer, simply b/c of the cyclical nature of politics.

    However, we actually elect individuals to represent us. Terry’s record is known and Terry is known. While you and your minions may not like his politics, there are plenty of others who do and who vote.

    The best thing Esch had going for him in 2006 was that no one knew a thing about him.

    This year they will learn that their choice for D is a trust-fund baby, who hasn’t held a permanent job in years, and has tax-payer dollars as his main source of income.

    Lee Terry may have some generic anti-GOP sentiment against him. But he has Jim Esch’s resume’ going for him.

  9. OmaSteak says:

    Kyle, your candidate despite the ads is still a spoiled immature rich kid who lives off his parents money and doesn’t have a clue about such a wide range of everyday adult experiences that it’s hard to imagine anyone taking him seriously if he was running for dog catcher much less Congress. You can dislike Lee Terry all you want but at least he’s a grown-up. I don’t agree with Terry on a lot of issues but that doesn’t mean I’m going to vote for an empty suit.

  10. macdaddy says:

    SS: very well researched and reasoned, but you forgot one big thing: Jim Esch is the candidate. The candidate who is running ads about Lee Terry’s plan to privatize social security. The candidate who says not a word about his own plan for Social Security on his website. Don’t you think that if you’re going to criticize somebody about their plan then you should have an alternative of your own? What has Esch been doing since the last election? Obviously not thinking about the issues. No wonder Pelosi is salivating over the prospect of having this empty suit on her side of the aisle.

  11. Kyle Michaelis says:

    Second District Republicans (including SS and Omasteak) are really showing their desperation and hypocrisy when they accuse Jim Esch of being “an empty suit” then declare their support for Lee Terry.

    Terry has a 10 year record as nothing but a partisan “empty suit” who’s taken orders from his party bosses in Washington D.C. rather than listening to voters in Nebraska. That’s the whole reason he’s vulnerable in this election.

    Feel free to challenge Jim Esch as untested and unproven. After all, he’s still a young man and he’s never held public office. But, Esch’s lack of a record compares very favorably to Lee Terry’s 10 years of “empty suit” incompetence.

    Voters will make that same determination when they take a chance on Esch and make a vote for change rather than giving Terry another opportunity to let them down again.

  12. Street Sweeper says:

    Kyle,

    You might want to get your back checked out after your gymnastics of finding support for Esch.

    People know that Terry has a strong record and works hard to rep them. He isn’t running for Congress on a bar-bet from his buddies.

    And that’s why Terry will be elected again.

    SS

  13. Anonymous says:

    Talk about someone with short term memory loss. Lee must have that for sure. Shall we point to HR 4839, which was to create personal retirement accounts inside Social Security. For those who don’t think he did or would rather ignore the facts, here they are.

    Create personal retirement accounts within Social Security.

    Terry co-sponsored creating personal retirement accounts within Social Security.

    OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:

    Amends Social Security Act to add a new tax-exempt “Personal Retirement Account Program”.
    Designates a personal retirement account for each such individual that is funded by deposits from amounts in the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund not otherwise required for immediate withdrawal, and by rollover and other contributions made by eligible individuals.
    Directs the SEC to report to Congress on personal retirement account reinsurance.
    Amends the tax code to provide for: (1) annual $300 contributions (tax credits) on behalf of each eligible individual to a personal retirement account; and (2) an excise tax on excess contributions to such accounts.

    SPONSOR’S INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT: One of the things I have consistently heard from folks back home is the very simple idea that the first part of saving Social Security is making sure that Social Security taxes stay with Social Security. That is what this bill does because it takes the Social Security surplus, whatever that happens to be, and simply rebates it back to the people paying Social Security taxes, not to go out and fix up the car or buy a refrigerator with it, but instead to go into their own personal Social Security savings account that would be held by a fiduciary like the local bank.

    The individual could not get their hands on the money until they turn 65, but they would get a monthly statement and for the first time, because of the private property rights that come with an account like that, for the first time have a firewall created between political forces in D.C. and their Social Security surplus.

    LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means; never called for a House vote.

    Source: Personal Lockbox Act (H.R.4839) 00-HR4839 on Jul 12, 2000

    So, facts are that Terry did support Social Security privitization. His name was listed as a CO-SPONSOR on the legislation.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Furthermore, Terry voted to allow Congress to spend $$$ inside of the trust fund on general budget line items. Don’t believe me? Here is the information:

    Terry voted NO on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox.

    This would have Amended the Social Security Lockbox bill to require that any budget surplus cannot be spent until the solvency of Social Security and Medicare is guaranteed.

    Reference: Motion to Recommit introduced by Rangel, D-NY; Bill HR 1259 ; vote number 1999-163 on May 26, 1999

  15. macdaddy says:

    Anon 12:08 You should have stopped after saying Terry wanted to create private accounts WITHIN Social Security. If I get this right, he wanted to put $300 out of reach of the federal government into your own personal account. That’s $300 out of 12% of your income. Wow! I personally think $300 is way, way, too small, but Terry’s heart is in the right place. He wants to give the money to you, the taxpayer. He has a plan. As it stands now, the federal government can do whatever it wants with our social security taxes, even if we put it in a lock-box guarded by Dobermanns. I daresay that $300 a year would threaten anything other than Nancy Pelosi’s next harebrained gift to her liberal buddies. Certainly nothing like the dire warnings that Esch said in his ad. But in any event, Terry has a plan. Esch has, “I think Social Security needs to be protected.” That’s his plan? Really? That’s embarrassing for a Creighton grad who has had 2 YEARS to think about these things. Hell, he should be able to come up with something in even an hour. Creightion should ask for their diploma back.

  16. Street Sweeper says:

    Amen, Mac,

    I understand Jim’s position to mean that he is AGAINST letting individuals put a maximum of $300 PER YEAR of their SS money into an IRA.

    Jim is getting $34,000 per year from the government to NOT be a farmer, so why would he want everyone else to be able to use a tiny fraction of their money as they see fit.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Well, it was not his plan. Furthermore, It is Lee who is calling Jim a liar about distorting his record on privitization on Social Security.

    Fact is, Lee did support privitizing Social Security.

    What a dishonest ad.

  18. Anonymous says:

    So, they can see that IRA be worth less than $150 now after the stock market has lost over $2 trillion in one year. Yeah, AMEN, BRO!

    I can really retire on that.

    Hell, my 401k has lost over 30% this year alone. And that is being conservative.

  19. Anonymous says:

    What does Lee think of locking away that money for Social Security. Not much, he voted against the bill that would lockup the trust fund from being used for general budget line items.

    Thanks for being Conservative and voting for allowing more spending and less saving to take place in the budget.

  20. Right Wing Professor says:

    Hell, my 401k has lost over 30% this year alone. And that is being conservative.

    If you were conservative in your investments, you wouldn’t have lost 30%.

    People complain about ‘Wall Street greed’, and then stick 100% of their retirement in equities. Sheesh!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ummmmm, my 401k at my employment doesn’t have too many options. I have it in the most conservative portfolio there and it is down over 30%.

    I know people who have lost more than that. Take my parents – they have lost over $30,000 since September last year.

    Jackass.

  22. Anonymous says:

    After 10 years Lee Terry still sits at the "kiddie table" except now with the Dems in charge of the House, he doesn't even sit at a table, he sits on the floor with his toys.
    Its insane you guys rip Esch for his lack of work history. I don't care what type of background the guy has as long as he stands up for workers & the middle class not the fat cats that Lee Terry pals around with. Please inform your readers that Lee Terry said he's against A minimium wage, not just against an increase but against A minimium wage.
    And remember when Republicans cried about Peter Hoagland's frank mail? Now Lee Terry does the same thing.
    Remember the pleadge Terry made on term-limits?
    Things are bad, let's get some new people in.
    We've always had significant players in the 2nd District, John Cavanaugh & Hal Daub were rising stars in the House, Hoagland and Christiansen were on Ways and Means, with Terry we have nothing. And that's what Terry has delivered and done – a big, fat NOTHING!!!!!!

  23. macdaddy says:

    Your 401Ks are down 30%. Any idea what your Social Security is down to? We were $9 trllion in the hole before we took on Fannie/Freddie’s $5 trillion in obligations and now $700 billion for banks plus Pelosi’s new $300 billion stimulus package and who knows how many trillions President Obama wants to tack on. Do you honestly think that anybody younger than about 50 is going to see a dime of what they have been forced to pay into the system? I think you’ll end up being ecstatic if you’d been able to put away a paltry $300 a year that the gov’t couldn’t touch. Anybody who is counting on Social Security to keep them from living in a cardboard box and eating dogfood when they retire is a fool.

    So what is Esch’s plan to save Social Security? It’s been over an hour since my last post. That should have been enough time to slap something on the website.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Leland Terry is of the McCain generation with very little computer know how.

    Robyn Terry is only slightly more technologically savvy than her father-in-law.

    This I know.

  25. Street Sweeper says:

    Of the “McCain generation”, do you mean the McCain who used to land jets on aircraft carriers?

    Oh, and last time I checked (but, ya know, it’s Wikipedia) Lee Terry is 26 years younger than McCain. That’s doesn’t exactly put them in the same generation. (But, you know, math…)

  26. Anonymous says:

    Duh! Leland Terry is McCain’s generation (less likely to have learned anything about a computer in school or the workplace, for that matter), not Congressman Terry (who is probably too old to have had any computer classes in school either!).

    And I agree, it is Wikipedia!

  27. Anonymous says:

    How is it irrelevant? Whoever is the author of this blog has a real lovefest going on with Lee Terry. He can do no wrong in Street Sweeper’s eyes. No question about that certainly.

    Someone in the previous posting mentioned they thought the MSM has their nose way up Obama’s a$$ — it seems to me that Street Sweeper is sniffing pretty hard around Lee Terry’s you-know-what. And it seems to me the only people who could possibly want to do that are, current staff, former staff, or his own family.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Anony: Lee Terry is a fantastic Congressman who doesn’t run around with “fat cats.” He is humble and hard working. He comes home from DC every weekend to be with his three children, then returns to DC to sleep in his office b/c he cannot afford a second home. He is middle class and understands the average Nebraska resident. Jim Esch is a slimy child who is having a successful campaign handed to him by Obama supporters. Lee has seniority in the House and he will gain even more seniority with this election b/c he moves up 3-4 seats on the Commerce committee.

    AND, a Terry-Obama voter is someone who is voting for Obama b/c they want “change” and voting for Lee because they know he is capable of taking care of Nebraskans.

    Furthermore, you do not need to slam his wife or father on this blog. It is childish and uneccessary — especially if you wont list your name so we can say hurtful things about your wife and father.

  29. Street Sweeper says:

    Well, first off, again, the comments are completely irrelevant.

    Second, I am not a present or former Terry staffer, Terry family member, party staffer, other office holder or candidate staffer.

    And frankly, one doesn’t need to be a Republican to lay out the facts as to why Lee Terry will win this election.

    It has been laid out in this post.

    If there is something you’d like to argue or make a point about relevant to the post, we’re all eyes.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Who’s “slamming” his father or wife? I just said it seems like they’re the author of this blog because whoever the author is seems to love him so much.

    If it’s “slamming” them by saying they must love Lee, then so be it.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Three things:

    1) You say that because such a high number of people came out to see Sarah Palin a week or so ago, that means that same high number is going to turn out to the polls to vote Republican. That’s flawed thinking. I personally know of a couple of people that went to see Sarah Palin just because they wanted to see what she was like and be a part of “history.” You know, so they could say they saw her in person. I’m willing to bet quite a few people showed up to see her who have no intention of voting for her (or the others on the Rep. ticket, i.e., Lee Terry).

    2) Even if most of those people who showed up to see Sarah DO vote for McCain, they very well might not vote for Lee. Remember, he received a “tepid” response at the rally.

    3) Okay, there was a poll that showed Lee up by 10 points right after Sarah was here. What was the margin of error? 5 points?What are the polls saying that were done this last weekend? I bet he’s still not up by 10. But go ahead, by all means keep yelling out how the polls have him up by 10 — that way the NRCC won’t come in and give him any more money.

  32. Street Sweeper says:

    1) Actually if only 12,000 people vote GOP in Nebraska, they are in trouble.

    Since you don’t understand, I’ll spell it out. The big crowd is indicative of excitement by the base in the ticket. Your polling of the Palin crowd notwithstanding, I’d put down those that went as those who will vote for McCain.

    2) Same. Those at the Palin rally
    ain’t votin’ for Jim Esch. The “tepid” business is false.

    3) Yes the polls could change. He could be up by 15 now.

    But you are also correct that much of the hand-wringing is about convincing the NRCC to spend money in NE-2. However, we’re not part of all that. We just call ’em like we see ’em

  33. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, well, I know some secrets too. Just like the Terry people like to think there are Obama-Terry voters, there are most certainly McCain-Esch voters.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I am curious. Could someone tell me what Lee Terry has done in office that Esch couldn’t have done if he would have won two years ago? Why should I vote for Lee Terry and not Jim Esch?

  35. macdaddy says:

    Anon 6:13: Lee Terry has not contributed to Nancy Pelosi’s majority. Jim Esch is unable to pull that off.

    Lee Terry actually goes and gets work done. Why would you think that as soon as Jim Esch gets to Congress he’ll actually start accomplishing things? Why can’t he accomplish them now?

  36. Anonymous says:

    For one thing, he is on an A Level Committee. Esch would not have been put on one because, he did not have enough political clout due to the fact that he would have barely one in 06 based on the numbers, and there were no top or medium level committee positions even available due to all the musical chairs being played to place multi term Dems that came in under a minority on mid and top level committees.

    However, since Esch’s only position at every debate is that he would be more concerned about obtaining a leadership position with no intention of playing the seniority “game” and has very little interest in helping to develop good policy positions in Congress, he might be in a position of leadership right now, if he had one. He would be the Majority Leader on the D.C. Subcommittee on Foreign Relations and Tour Guiding. I think he also would have the bathroom keys under this position, let me check and i’ll get back to you.

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