Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Evidence for a wave

I'm sticking with my predictions about the midterm elections, although there are a bunch of anecdotes that would tempt me to move into either the Dems-will-hold-the-House camp or into the Dems-will-lose-8,000-seats camp.

In the latter category, I am hearing rumors that Colorado Democrats are worried about several of their Denver statehouse districts, including HD3, held by Rep. Daniel Kagan, who was appointed to the post last year.  The latest voter registration stats show that HD3 is 40% Democratic and 26% Republican, with 32% unaffiliated.  Is it possible that a Democrat could lose a district like that?  Suffice it to say that if Democrats can't hold onto statehouse seats in Denver, they're not holding onto much else.


Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Masten is waging a tough fight this year (apparently as a consequence of the superior organizational talents of CO-1 GOP candidate Mike Fallon who has devoted serious efforts to helping those down ticket from him), but the registration numbers tell the story, particularly given that HD-3 has historically been a strongly performing Democratic district (in part, due to predecessor Anne McGihon's efforts, but those habits have been well learned and the district was pretty strongly D to start with).

The GOP has run a moderate in the race and "targeted" it, but this kind of effort is more for the purpose of preventing HD-3 resources from being diverted to other closer races as they have been in previous years, than it is for the purpose of actually winning.

Masten has struck a moderate public persona (even praising local hero Andrew Romanoff in hand written notes on door fliers during primary season where Romanoff signs were posted). But, this tactic has failed in the past (a previous HD-3 GOP candidate, for example, was a Jewish social worker).

Strategically, it probably would have been smarter for the GOP to try to mount a populist, working class, angry campaign this year of the Tea Party, than running a polished, urbane, polite lawyer. This could have played to a characterization of Kagan, himself a polished, urbane, polite, British accented, successful Cherry Hills businessman, as an elitist who is atypical of his district. But, by running a candidate similar in style and demographic appeal to Kagan, Republicans are unlikely to win the Democratic cross-over votes and disproportionately share of the independent votes whom they need to win.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

"Mastin" not "Masten" with apologies to the candidate.