Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | October 31, 2002

Why Texas and Tennessee were so important

I've written ad nauseam about the importance of competitive races in Texas, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and others. In most of those right-leaning states, the GOP will probably win their elections. But that was okay -- they were supposed to win those elections. The benefits came from the fact that the GOP and its standard bearer -- Bush -- had to waste time and money defending seats that should've been theirs by right.

And the upside? Bush is stretched so thin that he can't stump for every endangered Republican. Witness Wisconsin:

In the cold calculus of where President Bush's presence gives Republicans the biggest payoff, Wisconsin did not make the election-eve cut, based on the White House end-of-campaign schedule released Thursday.


[Tommy] Thompson said this week that he had encouraged a Bush visit to the state in the final days, but was doubtful it would happen. He said that was because the White House was concentrating on states with more than one competitive race; Wisconsin has no U.S. Senate race or any nationally targeted U.S. House races.

Bush's next few days will be spent in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Texas. While Republican candidates in Wisconsin, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Colorado would've benefitted from more presidential attention, they will be left to fend for themselves as Bush is forced to play defense in Texas, Arkansas, Florida and New Hampshire.

Bush is even visiting PA. The guv race is a blowout and there is no Senate race. So why the visit? Probably to boost the efforts of several GOP House candidates -- funny, because redistricting was supposed to make the state very friendly to a massive GOP takover. And I don't buy Bush's visit to Illinois -- probably designed to divert Dem attention and make believe the IL GOP is competitive. Rove tried to pull the same trick in California in the 2000 elections, and in one of his most astute moves of the campaign, Gore didn't take the bait.

A visit to Iowa is one humongous waste of time, though I suppose he'll try to give some of the GOP House candidates a boost. The Senate and Guv elections in that state or over. The two Dem incumbents will win surprisingly easy.

Posted October 31, 2002 09:50 PM | Comments (8)


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