Family situations kept me on the beach during the holidays, but the near constant driving about gave me time to ruminate on a the wealth of political assumptions that are flying around in various posts.
The value of assumptions is nebulous, but it does help identify the various strains of thought out there…certainly as the blogosphere runs.
The three assumptions are as follow:
1. LB3 will be the Democratic nominee in Va-11
2. Judy Feder will be and should be the Democratic nominee in Va-10
3. Tom Davis will not run for reelection in Va-11
As I trolled the blogs (which I discovered you can do from a hospital room using wireless!) I think these assumptions have varying degrees of interpretation…some are wrong, and some hide considerable turmoil.
I think the safest assumption of the three is that LB3 (short and the term of choice herein for “Leslie Byrne, Bold and Brilliant”) will win the Dem nomination in Va-11, a thought somewhat shored up by a recent NLS statistical analysis here and here. Not only is Connolly running in precincts that have gone heavily for Byrne in primaries and in general elections, but he is also running in Prince William County. Connolly has never run in PWC, and did not give much financial support to Democratic candidates there…but LB3 did run there in 2005, and campaigned for Webb in 2006. She already has much union support lining up behind her, support that will be turning out workers and voters on primary day. Plus…Connolly will have to worry about vote drain from Doug Denneny by voters who want an alternative to GC (who still looks like a resident at “Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends”) and LB3.
While I think Judy Feder will be the Democratic nominee in Va-10, I think assumption #2 is a house supported by beams made of other assumptions-assumptions of continued good fund-raising, assumed significantly increased name ID, etc. Blogosphere backers of Ms. Feder feel she is the best candidate, talk about what a wonderful job she did in her 2006 run, and that Congressman Wolf ran multiple times before winning-so clearly Judy is the one for 2008!
Now, you know what I would say about that…she ran worse in her first run against an incumbent than Mr. Wolf did in his first run, she apparently raised more money and was still crushed (and yes, I do consider a 16% difference a crush) despite great polling, being added to the DNCC targeted race list, etc…and you would likely dismiss this as GOP spin.
Good enough…but when the DNCC does not start the year with Va-10 on their targeted list despite all the claimed advantages she has, then there appears to be a serious difference of opinion as to the definition of “electable” between the DNCC and the Feder campaign. Add in the comments that are popping up with increasing frequency that suggest that even if Va-10 is going blue, that Feder may not be the person to win it, and one wonders about the full value of assumption #2.
The final assumption is that Tom Davis will not run in 2008. I think this one is-quite simply-wrong.
I think after the JMDD loss and the decision of the state central committee to go with a convention Davis needs time to rest and reflect. But by waiting it also gives the powers that be, even those who want Gilmore to be the Senate nominee, to consider what happens in Va-11 without Davis running. They get to consider how Gilmore will be impacted without Davis on the ticket, and the national boyos get to think about how hard it will be to hold that seat without Davis.
SO, I tend to think that sometime after Valentine’s Day there will be an announcement that Davis will run for reelection. It is human nature to not want to be seen as slinking away, and a win burnishes his escutcheon…and keeps him in the mix for the senate race in 2012.
Assumptions form the foundation of any Hot Stove League…but this time around I don’t think they are necessarily as clear cut as some would have you think…