Nashville Post Politics: TNGOP Chair Doesn’t See Race As A Factor In The Election

Nashville Post Politics

TNGOP Chair Doesn’t See Race As A Factor In The Election

From Brad Schrade:

Robin Smith, chairwoman of the state Republican Party, said if race were a factor, Harold Ford Jr. wouldn’t have been so successful two years ago in his statewide U.S. Senate bid.

Ford lost to Republican Bob Corker by less than3 points, but, unlike Obama, he spent a lot of time traveling the state and getting to know voters, she said. She also attributes Obama’s lack of success here to issues such as guns, religion and taxes.

“I think it’s more a cultural divide,” Smith said. “They want to cling to their guns. They want to cling to their religion. And they especially want to cling to their money.”

Blog for our Future: Karl Rove And The Atwater Legacy

Blog for our Future

Karl Rove And The Atwater Legacy

After discussing the late political consultant Lee Atwater, it was hard not to think of one of his successors, Karl Rove. Here’s a quick tour of three pieces that spring to mind.

Here’s Joshua Green on Rove in 2004, with the election looming:

He seems to understand—indeed, to count on—the media’s unwillingness or inability, whether from squeamishness, laziness, or professional caution, ever to give a full estimate of him or his work. It is ultimately not just Rove’s skill but his character that allows him to perform on an entirely different plane. Along with remarkable strategic skills, he has both an understanding of the media’s unstated self-limitations and a willingness to fight in territory where conscience forbids most others.

Here’s Scott Horton in 2007 (commenting in part on another piece by Green):

The question is this: What do we mean by politics? Viewed properly, the way the great philosophers of man and state have viewed it from Aristotle onwards, politics is about the great issues of how humankind arranges its affairs. It is particularly about justice, about the establishment of social ideals, about the advancement of our species. But then we have Karl Rove’s conceptualization of politics, and we learn that it’s all about winning elections and the installation of a political lock on state power for the benefit of a voracious political party. That attitude comes very close to what the ancients meant when they used the words “tyrannical” and “corrupt.” And indeed it is.

The great failure of political analysis in America over the last six years is the arrival of a class of fools, the chattering class of political commentators, who share Karl Rove’s vision of what politics is all about. America as a nation has suffered immensely for this. And with Karl Rove’s demission, perhaps their time will also soon come.

AmSpec Blog: A Challenge To TNR’s Christopher Orr

AmSpec Blog

A Challenge To TNR’s Christopher Orr


Lefty Racial Obsessions

Enough is enough is enough is way too much. I don’t know Christoper Orr of The New Republic, and he may be a perfectly nice guy, but to me he has just entered the realm of the smearmongering loonies a-feared of the boogeyman — in this case, the boogeyman of the secret racist who supposedly lives inside every white conservative. I swear, what is WRONG with these lefties who see EVERYTHING through the prism of race?!?

For the record, and especially for people like Orr who seem too dim to get it unless it is repeated multiple times: Culture and race are not one and the same. Culture and race are not one and the same. Criticisms of a black man for being radical have nothing to do with him being black. Criticisms of a black man for being radical have nothing to do with him being black. Conservatives do not dislike candidates just because they are “dark-skinned [men] with a foreign-sounding name.” Conservatives do not dislike candidates just because they are “dark-skinned [men] with a foreign-sounding name.”

Okay, enough with the repetition. If, pray tell, conservatives don’t like dark-skinned men, how in the Lord’s name did we elect Jindal in the first place? And why is Jindal one of the most popular people in all of conservative politics.

For the record, it was a white conservative, Bob Livingston, who provided the crucial support for Jindal in 2003 in a field full of other Republicans. It was a white conservative, Jim McCrery, who first recognized Jindal’s talent and pushed him for state-level Cabinet office in 1995, with Livingston immediately joining in support.

What people like Orr can’t seem to get through their thick heads is that most conservatives, and certainly the overwhelmingly vast majority of conservative activists, don’t care one bit about race. It is not an added benefit when assessing somebody, nor is it a detractor. It just doesn’t matter. We’re colorblind. Bradley Effect? Or Elephant Effect?

Bradley Effect? Or Elephant Effect?

I have received quite a number of requests for comment on the article published by Republican consultant Bill Greener at The article purports to find evidence of a “Bradley Effect” in Senate and Gubernatorial Elections in involving black candidates in 2006. 

So, I’ll comment on it.

Problem #1: Greener cites data from four races: the Tennessee and Maryland senate races, and the Massachusetts and Ohio governor’s races. Greene, however, ignores a fifth race, the Pennsylvania governor’s race, in which a white Democrat, Ed Rendell, competed against a black Republican, Lynn Swann.

Rendell defeated Swann in this race. However, Rendell’s margin of victory was no larger than that predicted by the polls (in fact, it was incrementally smaller). Greener completely ignores this race.

(There was actually a sixth race involving a black candidate, that being in Mississippi, where Trent Lott won re-election to the Senate over Erik Fleming. However, there was essentially no polling of this race, so it isn’t useful to us.)

Problem #2: Greener cherry-picks his data in literally every race. He isn’t even subtle about it. Here is a good example:

How about Tennessee, where black Democrat Harold Ford was up against white Republican Bob Corker for Republican Bill Frist’s old U.S. Senate seat? Harold Ford did slightly better than Steele and Blackwell. The day before the election, he was within a point of Corker, 47 to 48 with 5 percent undecided, according to OnPoint Polling. On Nov. 7, Corker got 50.7 percent of the vote, Ford got 48 and an assortment of independents took 1.3 percent. Ford was able to pick up one out of every five undecided voters.

OnPoint was the only polling firm to show the Tennessee race within 1 point on the eve of the election. Meanwhile, Gallup showed a 3-point lead for Corker, Rasmussen showed a 4-point lead for Corker, SurveyUSA and Pollmetrix showed 5-point leads, and Mason-Dixon showed a 12-point lead. Corker eventually won by 2.7 points, smaller than the margin predicted by all firms butOnPoint.

Blog of the Moderate Left: Arlon Lindner?:

Blog of the Moderate Left

Arlon Lindner?

Remember State Rep. Arlon Lindner, R-Corcoran? Sure you do! He’s the insane former state representative whose political career imploded when he said, well, this:

Charming fellow. To be fair, this wasn’t the only bit of insanity Lindner espoused. He skipped a joint session of the legislature because the Dalai Lama was addressing it, saying, “As a Christian, I am offended that we would have the Dalai Lama come and speak to a joint meeting of our Minnesota Legislature. He claims to be a god-king, a leader of the Buddha religion, which historically has been considered a cult because of its anti-Biblical teachings concerning the one true Holy God, Creator of Heaven and earth and His Son, Jesus Christ.” When DFL State Rep. Michael Paymar, a practicing Jew, objected to the fact that invocations in the House had become sectarian under the GOP leadership, Lindner had said, “You know, we’re told there’s one God and one mediator between God and man. That man is Jesus Christ. And most of us here are Christians. And we shouldn’t be left not able to pray in the name of our God….And if you don’t like it, you may have to like it-Or just don’t come. I don’t come sometimes for some prayers here….We have that privilege, and you need to exercise it. But don’t impose your irreligious left views on me.” Because asking that invocations in a state body be nonsectarian was, evidently, too much to ask.

And of course, there was the letter Lindner’s lawyer sent to Rep. Neva Walker-Black. The problem with that was that there was no Neva Walker-Black in the legislature. There was and is a Rep. Neva Walker, DFL-Minneapolis, the first African-American woman ever elected to the Minnesota State Legislature. She had never been named Black, and had never been married to anyone named Black — indeed, no real explanation was ever offered as to why the letter was addressed to Walker-Black, though it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect the dots.

Think Progress: Allen on Macaca incident: ‘I should have never called him anything but yellow shirt.’

Think Progress

Allen on Macaca incident: ‘I should have never called him anything but yellow shirt.’

In 2006, then-Sen. George Allen (R-VA) seriously damaged his re-election campaign when he was caught on video disparaging a young Indian-American as “macaca.” “This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt,macaca, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent,” Allen told a crowd of supporters. Asked about the incident while speaking in Florida yesterday, Allen said that he “screwed up” and “should have never called him anything but yellow shirt“:

“I screwed up,” Allen said. “It wasn’t an intentional thing, if I had any idea that they’d make such an issue out of a non-existing word … I should have never called him anything but yellow shirt.”

Allen continues to claim that macaca was “a non-existing word,” but the fact is that macaca was a pejorative epithet that existed before Allen used it.

AmericaBlog: McCain hires racist who told voters McCain’s daughter was a “black baby” in 2000


McCain hires racist who told voters McCain’s daughter was a “black baby” in 2000

Interesting that McCain is interested in the skills of a slime merchant who peddles racism. Now that’s hate you can believe in. From ABC’s Jake Tapper:

ABC News has learned that Warren Tompkins, one of the strategists of then-Gov. George W. Bush’s South Carolina campaign in 2000 — which Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., blamed for his family being slimed — is now a part of the McCain-Palin campaign team, albeit in an “unofficial” role.

Tompkins, a protégé of Lee Atwater, has been dispatched to North Carolina to assess the state for the McCain-Palin campaign, Southern GOP strategists tell ABC News…..

The news of Tompkins being brought on board the McCain campaign brings to a total of three the number of GOP operatives McCain now is using despite the fact that he once held them responsible for the ugly campaign that contributed to his South Carolina primary defeat, a campaign in which McCain’s wife Cindy was attacked for her past addiction to painkillers, and the McCains’ adopted Bangladeshi daughter Bridget was targeted as his illegitimate black baby….

Eight years ago, of course, McCain was much chattier on the subject of these types of calls.

“A lot of phone calls were made by people who said we should be very ashamed about her, about the color of her skin,” McCain told one interviewer. “Thousands and thousands of calls from people to voters saying ‘You know the McCains have a black baby.’ I believe that there is a special place in hell for people like those.”

Now the people who slimed McCain’s own daughter have a special place in John McCain’s campaign. Way to defend your kid.

Hot off the Trail: George Allen redux? Welcome to real Virginia

Hot off the Trail

George Allen redux? Welcome to real Virginia

I just watched the video of George Allen’s infamous macaca gaffebecause something a McCain campaign adviser said Saturday reminded me of it.

Nancy Pfotenhauer, the adviser, told MSNBC that she was certain John McCain would triumph in Virginia — he’s trailing in the polls — because of his support in “real Virginia,” by which she apparently meant those areas far removed from Virginia’s urban areas, where Obama is expected to do well.

Here’s what the AP says she said: “As a proud resident of Oakton, Va., I can tell you that the Democrats have just come in from the District of Columbia and moved into northern Virginia, and that’s really what you see there. But the rest of the state, real Virginia, if you will, I think will be very responsive to Sen. McCain’s message.”

Allen, you will remember, made much the same assumption when he pointed out a videographer of South Asian descent at a campaign rally during his 2006 Senate re-election campaign. He called the man “macaca,” a derogatory term, then said, “Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.”

Allen, of course, lost to Jim Webb — largely because of overwhelming support for Webb in northern Virginia. Had Allen won, some think he might have been the Republican presidential nominee today. Maybe he’d be pushing for the votes of “pro-America” Americans.

Dork Nation: Don’t Look at Tennessee

Dork Nation

Don’t Look at Tennessee

Many are trying to make predictions on how the Presidential elections will turn out by making comparisons to Harold Ford Jr’s unsuccessful bid to win a Senate seat in 2006. I think it’s a bad comparison. Schaffner at takes a look at some exit polling data on “late deciders” anyway and concludes there to have been no Bradley Effect in effect..

Of the things weighing down Jr’s campaign, race was probably less significant than having the last name Ford and being from Memphis. People knew “Ford,” but perhaps not as many knew Harold Ford Jr. I think folks were still trying to see whether or not there would be some kind of fallout from his family members legal troubles. There’s also the fact that late in the campaign, many progressives and Kurita fans were still pondering whether to pinch the snout and pull the lever for Ford or waste one on Lugo. Or abstain.

Nashville Post Politics: This One Not Like That One

Nashville Post Politics

This One Not Like That One compares the current presidential race to the 2006 U.S. Senate race between Bob Corker and Harold Ford:

The differences between early deciders and late deciders are opposite of what we would expect if there was a race effect among late deciders. Whites who decided within the last week and a half of the campaign were actually 8% more likely to vote for Ford than those who made up their minds earlier. The same pattern held for less educated whites, rural whites, and whites living in eastern Tennessee. The only two groups where Ford did not do better among late deciders was for low income whites and older whites. But even in this case, Ford performed about as well as he did with early deciders, not significantly worse.

What does this mean for the presidential race? It depends on the extent to which you think the case of Tennessee in 2006 can be applied to the 2008 presidential contest. On one hand, the demography of Tennessee would seem to make it a good place to look for race effects among late deciders. On the other hand, electing someone to the Senate in a midterm election is a bit different from electing a president. But if you believe the comparison, then the experience from Tennessee in 2006 would suggest that there is little reason to expect late deciders to break against Obama because of his race.