Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Wonk's-Eye View of The Election Results in Calfornia's 50th

I took my bachelor's degree in political science and still have, deep down, the heart and mind of a wonk; so I loved this analysis by Jay Cost of the results in the special election in California's 50th Congressional district-- formerly held by Randall Cunningham, who now resides in a federal prison. An interesting excerpt:
"Since WWII, it has increasingly been the case that the 'action' in partisan seat swings is confined to the open seats. Incumbents have become safer and safer. Thus, beating 12 Republican incumbents in 2006 is difficult to imagine. It becomes even more difficult to imagine when we put together a list of the twelve. Inevitably - we will find on that list about a half dozen incumbents who are (a) in districts at least as conservative as CA 50, (b) not on a ballot that offers structural advantages to the Democrats, (c) not tarnished by scandal.

"How do the Democrats beat so many Republican incumbents in conservative districts when they could not win in CA 50? I have yet to read a convincing answer to my question."
Well, I hope he's right.


Blogger George Berryman said...

Shhh! Don't burst the leftists' bubble, Lowell! They don't have much else to cling to and after November all they'll have left is a string of 'moral' victories. Heh ;) 

Posted by George Berryman

Wednesday, June 07, 2006 11:48:00 PM  
Anonymous DL said...


The real question is why our system provides such protection to incumbents of either party?

Oh Yes - they get to make all the rules and if we don't like it, we get to vote them out - following their rules of course. 

Posted by DL

Thursday, June 08, 2006 5:00:00 AM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

DL, you're right. I'm just happy that the incumbents being protected right now are the ones I am less disgusted with than the Democrats. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Thursday, June 08, 2006 7:02:00 AM  
Anonymous BlueBuffoon said...

Yes, Hedgehog, but the 211 Democratic incumbents (less however many retirements) are all equally protected--and that is precisely how the Democrats retained control for over 40 years. With geographic districting rather than gerrymandering, candidates would be forced to confront issues in a way that helps to build bridges rather than dig moats. We'd all (other than career politicos, perhaps) be better off for it, IMO.

The fact that the system is "working" in our favor today is no argument from principle. Admittedly, for some political wonks (not intended as pointing the finger your direction despite your comment that you are sort of a wonk-at-heart) the focus often tends to be only on the "game." Another symptom of the problem, IMO. 

Posted by BlueBuffoon

Thursday, June 08, 2006 7:55:00 AM  

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