Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tim Burn’s defeat, the PA-12 aftermath

Politico has a big article up that is getting a lot of attention on Memeorandum. It is basically warning Republicans that November landslides are not in the bag as evidenced by Mark Critz’s victory over Republican Tim Burns. 
Politico: All the evidence pointing to monster Republican House gains this fall—the Scott Brown upset win in Massachusetts, the scary polling numbers in once-safely Democratic districts, the ever-rising number of Democratic seats thought to be in jeopardy—was contradicted Tuesday.
In the only House race that really mattered to both parties—the special election to replace the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha in Pennsylvania’s 12th District—Republicans failed spectacularly, losing on a level playing field where, in this favorable environment, they should have run roughshod over the opposition.
Given the resources the GOP poured into the effort to capture the seat and the decisiveness of the defeat—as it turned out, it wasn’t really that close—the outcome casts serious doubt on the idea that the Democratic House majority is in jeopardy and offers comfort to a Democratic Party that is desperately in search of a glimmer of hope.
The district itself couldn’t have been more primed for a Republican victory. According to one recent poll, President Barack Obama’s approval rating in the 12th was a dismal 35 percent, compared to 55 percent who disapproved. His health care plan was equally unpopular—just 30 percent of those polled supported it, while 58 percent were in opposition.[…]
Still, Democrat Mark Critz managed to pull off an eight-point victory, 53 percent to 45 percent, over Republican Tim Burns in a district that John McCain narrowly won in 2008—the only one in the nation that voted for John Kerry in 2004 and McCain four years later.
Tim Burns need not feel bad about his loss.  In a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1, an 8-point loss to a Democrat is nothing to sneeze at.

What Republicans must take away from PA-12 is that you cannot just rely on people fleeing the Democrats; you must also give them something to run to. This means articulating a clear conservative message and firmly standing behind it. In other words, you are going to need a little more than the Obama, Pelosi and Reid boogiemen argument.

The next lesson Republicans need to learn is not to allow Democrats to disguise themselves as conservatives. Critz, a Democrat running in a heavily Democratic district, made himself sound like he was Sarah Palin’s little brother. He ran as pro-life, pro-gun, anti-Cap and Trade and anti-ObamaCare. Republicans need only remind voters of all those so-called “moderate” blue-dogs who happily voted for Cap and Trade, the stimulus and ObamaCare. Put the simple question before the voters “can you really trust Democrat ____ to stay a moderate when they get to Washington”? 

Final lesson for Republicans, deep blue districts are still deep blue districts. Yes, upsets do happen, but they are not the norm. Concentrate on winning back those red and purple districts unless there is strong signs that the Democrat cannot win. Otherwise expect the numbers to work against you.


Janelle said...

Deep breath and let's concentrate on voting conservative pols them a fair shake to undo some of the crappy legislation they aren't responsible for......then voting them out when they don't. I always have revered the revolving door for it's easy entry and exit.

Janelle said...

Odd, but but neither party seems to understand that the people are tired of their promise you everything and whoops it went wrong game. Vote them in and out on a regular basis. Our interests are ours and theirs are getting reelected. I say no way. If you want more than two terms, you had best show me the will to undo some of the crap that has been foisted upon the people who pay your salary, perks, benefits and pension for life.
good night!

Just a conservative girl said...

I could be wrong, but I got the impression that party didn't work overly hard at trying to win this seat.

As far as I know, The Other McCain spent more time there than any big name republican.

The party doesn't have a get out the vote machinary in place there.

I think that he got 48% of the vote in a district he should have lost by a wide margin in. So, that should say something.

k6whp said...


We must have had a Vulcan Mind-Meld or something on this PA-12 election. Forgive the shameless plug, but I wrote that there's much more to this than meets the eye and any comfort Democrats, the left, and liberals derive from Crist's victory is purely transitory.

If anything, Crist only has only three months before he enters the lists again against Burns ~~ who won the Republican primary while losing to Critz.

As I said in my post, Burns should be tracking Crist 24/7 to make sure he keeps every last one of his conservative promises in the precious few hours available in congress.


Just Me said...

the quote of the day; "you cannot just rely on people fleeing the Democrats; you must also give them something to run to"

Profound. Accurate. Perfect statement in every way.

Anonymous said...

Politico has missed the boat on this one. Tim burns pulled 45% of the vote in an election that independents CANNOT VOTE IN! You can only vote in the primaries in PA if you are registered with one of the two parties. period. I think he did amazingly well, and most pundits who proclaimed he might win did not understand the vagaries of PA voting law.

billdmn said...

4 scalpel-precision points...

but add TWP comments w/ the appearance that congressional races are more localized: pa 12 republicans and tea partiers "must" re-double strategy, effort, passion for nov.

ex: harsh if truthful is ok; if not cognizant of your blog, should be

Not from pa - is tb up-to (or down-for) the struggle?

Anonymous said...

Really this is not such a huge win in a predominately Democrat district,and an oxymoron fiscally conservative dem district with an equal oxymoron of blue dog dem politician. Time will tell if he holds on to that seat, sympathy for Murtha will fade and be forgotten.

Teresa said...

Critz lied about Tim Burns in campaign ads and eventually was forced to take them down and apologize. I think that is where part of the damage was done. PLus, Critz disguised himself as a conservative. Thank goodness this election only lasts until this November and Critz will have some votes under his belt which will hopefully reveal how much he's a puppet for Nancy Pelosi. But, overall, Burns didn't do badly for that being a highly Democratic district.

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