Post Election 2010

Hellllllllllllloooooooooooooo Leavenworth Street readers!

It is THURSDAY morning, and yet we are still just getting over the momentous Tuesday evening.

First, a quick apology for no post yesterday.  Not only were we not able to post, but we weren’t even able to read emails.  That is a first around here.  Ah well.  Let everyone collect their thoughts.

***

So, Lee Terry’s HUGE win.

Now Leavenworth Street noted, throughout the past approximately four months, that the DCCC was not helping Tom White at all.  That after initially being put on the watch list for close races, NE-2 was almost never listed in the group of the top 50 or so competitive races in the country.

And of course there is ALWAYS internal polling in the campaigns that gets leaked as to the realities of the race.

So Leavenworth Street predicted a 56% margin for Terry.  We figured that was reasonable — and really wouldn’t have gone as high as the final margin.of 61%.

But, we will argue that 56% is pretty much a blow-out.

Sooooo, let us get back to that Omaha World Herald poll a week ago.

You will remember that they said their poll showed Terry with 44% — FORTY-FOUR percent!  Oh, but parenthetically that was among “Registered Voters”, and not “Likely Voters”.  They then went on to say that, well, among Likely Voters, Terry had an 8 point lead.  And all that without giving any final numbers.

So, frankly, What the hell?

Readers, your local newspaper has just proved why newspapers are declining and people are going to blogs to find out what is really going on.

If the OWH doesn’t want to lower turn-out, or whatever, by showing the actual poll results, then fine.  Don’t publish the poll.

But what they did instead was lie to the public about what was going on in this race, and cast their own view about what “should” be done.  You know, instead of reporting the news.

And the OWH’s  Paul Goodsell wrote today:

In addition, White never received any financial help from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a clear sign his race was not viewed as likely to succeed.

Realllllly? A “clear sign” was it?

Funny then that we never saw that mentioned anywhere in any OWH stories or analysis of this race.

Good thing we did.

***

As far as the actual race in NE-2 went, this race was lost by Tom White as soon as ObamaCare passed, and he supported it.  Add in the ObamaStimulus that White also supported, and there’s your rout.

For all the times that it was mentioned that President Obama won the 2nd District in 2008, no one went on to mention that, oh yeah, he isn’t on the ballot this year.  And all of those supporters who voted for HIM weren’t going to show for Tom White.

Oh, and also the millions of DCCC dollars wouldn’t show either.

So the Terry strategy was basic:  hammer Tom White on those points and focus on the Independents once again who would turn the tide in this race.  Done and done.

And Tom White’s strategy?

“Lee Terry is nailing a lobbyist.”

That was it.

And enough about the claims by White that all he was trying to show is how close Terry is to lobbyists.

Bullshit.

Their whole strategy was to claim, via a gossip column, that Terry had slept with a chick that wasn’t his wife.

And guess what strategists?  That is called “gutter politics” and it doesn’t get you anywhere.  At least not in Nebraska.  And the Mike Johanns spot slapped that down so quickly White didn’t know what hit him.  There is probably an argument to be made that Terry’s numbers would have been lower without it.

And enough from you commenters that this wasn’t “followed up” by the press.  There was nothing to follow-up on.  Let’s be realists here kids.  You expect the OWH to investigate if a candidate is sleeping with someone?  Really?  That’s what you want them to do?  If that’s the case, then you have a developed a skewed view of reality and what you think you deserve.

We hate to even delve into this, but let’s face it, this was the overriding “issue” of the campaign.  Because it was never about “lobbyists”.  If it was, a bigger deal would have been made about Tom White flying lobbyists all over the state.  Of course no one cared unless White was in the mile-high club with said lobbyists as well.

Guess what politicians and strategist?  “Congressmen talk to lobbyists!” isn’t going to get your candidate elected.  “Politicians take money from PACs and unions!” isn’t going to get your guy elected.  People assume all that.  Unless the guy is found with hundreds of thousands of dollars in his freezer, it ain’t gonna fly.  And even then, it’s close.

***

So what about 2012 for Terry?

First, how about having a ringing victory, and people immediately start talking about two years from now?  Wow.

We will just say that this solid victory helps a lot.  And 2012 won’t be 2008 for Obama in NE-2.  We will predict right now that he doesn’t win it.  Feel free to check back.

***

And how about Governor Dave!

74%!  (My that was very close to Leavenworth Street’s prediction of 75%!)

If Dave Heineman is inclined to run for Senate — and we still think it looks like he is — then this victory, even against a non-opponent (sorry Mike), will make Ben Nelson think twice about running.

The Washington Post even noted that Nelson wasn’t fund raising like a real candidate.

On the one hand, don’t put it past Nelson to run just to spite an opponent with a victory.

On the other, Nelson knows what it is like to lose in a major race (to Hagel).

If he thinks he is going down, there is a good chance he won’t bother.

(Oh, and interesting, as a reader pointed out, that the LJS’s Don Walton chose to feature a story about Ben Nelson’s guy, Tony Raimondo, on Election Day…)

***

A quick shout-out for Adrian Smith’s dominating win over two opponents (70%! — we alternated between 75% and 65%, so we’ll take credit).

And also to Jeff Fortenberry!  But geez Fort, only 71% over Ivy Harper?  Next time we are expecting 85% or higher.  (Tough love.)

***

And how about the Recallers?

They may still get to the 27,000 sigs, but come on.  Observers will look back on it as a potentially fatal mistake that they didn’t use paid circulators on Election Day.

They only covered 60-70 polling places out of 215?  Anecdotally there seemed to be quite a few in west O locations that weren’t covered.  And who cares about the anti-people?  Like a college kid was going to stop someone from signing a petition.

The Recallers are going to need to hone their message and organization if they hope to hit their numbers.

***

The Leg races?  There were plenty.  Feel free to crow about your winner.

Glad to be back!

27 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lee Terry's victory is nothing to celebrate.

    His legacy still is;
    renaming a post office
    telling kids to not cruise on Dodge street
    broken term limits pledge
    voted for bailouts
    voted for misguided Iraqi war

  2. argus says:

    Ben Nelson not doing much fundraising makes sense, if you look at his Cornhusker Kickback from a non-Nebraska viewpoint.

    Nelson's kickback promised to screw every American taxpayer in 49 states just so one state, Nebraska, could get away without paying. Unfortunately, Nebraskans now mostly think Nelson's trick is just embarrassing. But people outside of Nebraska intensely hate Ben Nelson. He tried to steal bread out of their children's mouths.

    Anyone who today gives Nelson a dollar risks angering their own donors. He’s poison.

    Apparently inside Nelson’s head, his kickback seemed smart politics. But in fact, he screwed the Democratic leadership by his antics, he screwed the GOP voters who voted for him, he screwed the Conservative majority here who hate Obamacare, he shamed and embarrassed the super-ethical Nebraska electorate, and he ultimately cut off his own ability to fundraise. It is breathtaking, the degree to which Nelson screwed himself.

    Sweeper, you may be right about E. Benjamin Nonsense not running. We shall see. Anyone as nutty as this nutcake could do anything.

  3. Anonymous says:

    10:59–if you want the real story, then go to terry's web page and read the issue papers…

    His accomplishments are significant and much more substantial than the misrepresentations you made.

    When will you learn that you cannot win an election w/lies?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Timing is everything in politics and this year was a terrible year to run against Lee. No Senate race, effectively no Governor's race, every Douglas County officeholder was unopposed, no help from the DCCC (they were going to be to busy defending seats they already had), Ben Nelson would be no help, everything pointed to low turnout for Democrats, not to mention the overall political climate. While I didn't think it would be a blowout, I couldn't see a clear path to victory for Tom White.

    However, 2012 could be a much different story. The big "X" factor will be the redistricting. That's why I was surprised Tom gave up his seat in the legislature. While the Governor will probably have ultimate say in how the districts are drawn, State Senators technically decide. Conceivably, if you lose a big portion of Sarpy County, the 2nd district becomes much more Democratic and independent. We'll see.

    Personally, i thought the biggest story was voter apathy. Clearly people are frustrated, but claiming a mandate, I believe is a stretch. Elections are simply the voice of the people who take the time to vote. Lower turnout empowers smaller groups like the Tea Party. But that doesn't mean "the people" have spoken. Democrats have no one to blame but themselves, but Republicans need to be smart about how they interpret the message from this election.

  5. Anonymous says:

    11:16, all true except your conclusion that those who vote aren't those who really matter.

    In a society where individuals are just cells in the Mass, yes, then the Mass counts. But under our Constitution, We the People are those who choose to vote. The rest are baggage, not drivers of government.

    A well treated slave isn't much different from anyone who chooses not to vote.

  6. Anonymous says:

    11:32 You're right. I didn't mean to imply they don't matter. They clearly do. I simply meant from election to election a different electorate turns out. From my perspective, people who don't vote give up their right to complain.

    That being said, claims of mandates from either party don't make much sense to me. The American public can be quite fickle. I think we long for leaders. The party that can deliver leadership by bringing the country together and laying out a vision for the future is the one that will be rewarded.

  7. Anonymous says:

    For one second THINK Mr. Leavenworth Street Blog;

    Did anyone ask, where was Lee Terry the night of the alleged incident? NO one did!

    Did anyone ask, who was this supposed female lobbyist? NO one did!

    I could care a less what Lee Terry does with his personal life. I want to know what "special interest" this supposed female lobbyist represented and if she got Lee Terry drunk.

    That is a fair question that pertains to the public interest!

  8. Anonymous says:

    When every Republican in a statewide race wins 70% or more of the vote, it confirms the liberals have no future in Nebraska. Did you hear me, Jane Kleeb? In the state legislative races, it was nice to see Theresa Whitehead (District 14) and Kent Rogert (District 16) get taken to the woodshed. Too bad we can't say the same about SnowPlow Nantkes/Conrad (District 46) and Senile Norm Wallman (District 30). We need to go back to a partisan Legislature.

  9. Brian T. Osborn says:

    The Nebraska Democratic Party loses because all it knows how to do is beg for money. It never respects its people for their ideas, their opinions, or their principles. It only respects their financial contributions. If potential candidates actually knew what the NDP stood for, they might actually come forward. But what they actually stand for is a mystery to everyone.

    Has anyone ever heard anything at all about the issues approved by the NDP State Central Committee or the NDP State Convention? Has anyone ever seen on the TV, heard on the radio, or read in the newspaper about those things?

    I didn't think so.

    I have to give Jane Kleeb credit for what she has accomplished in this state. She has actually created an organization that finds issues that resonate with those of us on the left, has found a way to fund that organization, and she gets what needs saying out to the public. Although I might not agree 100% with what she has done with Bold Nebraska, I have to give her kudos for doing what the NDP has failed so miserably to do.

    I fervently hope that the NDP can evolve to become what I had always hoped it would be, a genuine voice for the grassroots Democrats of Nebraska. But, for that to happen, it will have to divest itself of the idea that its only purpose is to serve the interests of Senator Ben Nelson. He will be history in two years, and if the party doesn't realize that, and it doesn't start right now to develop an alternative to that mindset, then all is truly lost.

    The NDP will also have to develop leadership that isn't involved in the party merely to satisfy their own egos and to fortify their own power bases. It must provide greater opportunities for those in rural Nebraska to have a voice in the party. A western Nebraska friend calls the NDP, "CEMOL" (the Committee to Elect Mayors in Omaha and LIncoln). Sometimes I have to wholeheartedly agree with him. The 3rd CD has attempted, through the 3rd CD Organization, to amplify the voices of rural Nebraskans, yet no such thing has been attempted in the CD1. If you aren't from Lincoln, you evidently aren't welcome.

    Those of us that don't live in the "major" population centers have had to battle the arrogance of those that do. Even within the 3rd CD, the long time power brokers from the Grand Island / Hastings axis have made it evident that they believe all the power should be concentrated in their own back yards and that it is a waste of time and money to promote meetings elsewhere.

    To conclude my rant, I will just say that I do hope to see the NEGOP faced in the 2012 elections by an NDP that offers a solid opposition based on ideals, and not merely on personality and money.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hey not all the Progressives were losers. Jane Kleeb is now on the Hastings School Board. She did what Faux Cowboy coudn't do, WIN AN ELECTION! And to top it off, Jane didn't have to wear a Cowboy hat!

  11. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Very few Nebraskans really care about the supposed incident between Lee Terry and some mythical lobbyist. This story was so obviously concocted to appeal to prurient interests that its veracity is highly suspect. Without solid evidence corroborating it, this story stinks like four-day-old roadkill. That is the probable reason that it didn't grow legs – no self-respecting journalist was going to hang his/her reputation on it.

    If Democrats expect to resonate with Nebraskans, they're going to have to find some genuine issues to support, rant about them so that they get some coverage in the media, and stand their ground to defend them. Muckraking has NEVER appealed to the citizens of this state and most likely never will.

    Merely pointing fingers of blame at Republicans for their mismanagement won't appeal to voters either. Hell, we Democrats are no angels when it comes to that aspect. What we should do is ignore what the opposition has done and concentrate on promising to do better, then fulfilling that promise. Such a ploy would gain us the honest support that we need.

  12. Honest Observer says:

    No question it was a big day for the GOP federally – and for that they deserve a lot of credit. But, I'd like to make a few observations:

    Gov. Heineman, Pete Ricketts, AFP-NE and the NEGOP had a historic opportunity to wipe out a bunch of liberal, self-destructing D's in the legislature – and in my humble opinion – it was an epic failure.

    The only one you knock off, after the hundreds of thousands of dollars of voter contact is Rogert?!

    Conrad wins despite her obvious vulnerabilities

    McGill – wins

    Harr – Wins

    Pro-Labor Lonegran – wins against an incumbent R with EVERYBODY (right and left) behind him

    Lathrop – the biggest thorn in the Governor's side – NO OPPONENT!

    Dubas – in a 30% Dem district – practically unopposed

    Karpisek – Unopposed

    Wallman – Wins big in a R district (again)

    Avery – Wins

    Schumaker beats Moser (who was supported by the establishment R's)

    Need I mention JANE KLEEB? – WINS?! After the NEGOP's press efforts and robocalls!

    Peel the onion back a bit and you'll see the state and local races we're a huge failure for the NEGOP and Ricketts.

  13. NE Voter says:

    Honest Observor:

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    Despite Republican strength statewide, it is foolish to deny Democratic strength in Omaha and Lincoln.

    Oh, and the recall will fail.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Re: Jane Kleeb's win. These are the same people who sent Ardyce Bohlke and Carroll Burling to the Legislature. Just sayin'….

  15. GeosUser says:

    The most interesting side note on election night was NET's rebroadcast of the Frontline documentary on Obamacare with NE's own Senator Ben Nelson in his starring role in the cornhusker kickback as the last senate vote needed for passage. If EBN is still undecided about running in 2012, just a couple of photos and excepts from that documentary are all it will take to make sure he is crushed at the polls.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The recall WILL fail. Word is that they only got in the low four digits Tuesday, and the bankrollers aren't willing to pay for petitioners when the volunteers got so little.

    So… what ELSE do we have to talk about?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Tom White lost this race because he listened to neophytes such as Ian Russell who couldn't wear the big boy pants of winning. White won his state senate seat against Marc Kraft by only 391 votes after spending 77k with an east coast consulting firm.

    He needed to get out early and forget about Lee Terry. He needed to make it about him and his views. That didn't happen.

    His campaign was a mess of disorganization. Calls weren't returned, emails remained unanswered and it was one endlessly cluster youknowwhat.
    That to me says more about White's drive to win than the results.

    He didn't want it and was drafted by the Nebraska Dems.

  18. Anonymous says:

    So, Republicans have been in control of Nebraska and continue that control. $1.4 Billion deficit – the largest in history – BSDC, HHS falling apart, losing more jobs, less people interested in investing in Nebraska, more schools have fallen behind. You have only yourselves to blame, so will you take responsibility? Didn't think so.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Why on earth would I give money to the recall effort at this point? These guys clearly didn't anticipate that Suttle would fight to keep his job, clearly overestimated their volunteer base, and now they're scrambling to keep up with the pace that they keep falling behind.

    Everyone I talk to thinks this is failing badly. And judging by the fact that they haven't released any numbers since yet, I think I might have to agree.

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