So Much for the Republican Party Being in Its Death Throes

The key finding in this Quinnipiac poll isn’t Chris Christie’s 74% approval rating in New Jersey, or his commanding lead in this year’s governor’s race — it’s how well he’d do in supposedly solid-blue New Jersey as a presidential candidate:

In an early look at the 2016 presidential election, New Jersey voters go 49 percent for Hillary Clinton and 45 percent for Christie…..

The Garden State’s native son tops New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo 54 – 36 percent. Christie … wins 45 percent of women to Cuomo’s 42 percent….

We think the Republican Party is in dire straits because its core voters are old and white and male and Southern, and because its overall approval ratings are low. But if you analyze any poll, you’ll see that the GOP’s low standing comes in part from Republicans, who nevertheless vote for the party on Election Day, which tells me that they’re telling pollsters they disapprove of their own party because it’s not crazy and right-wing enough, and then they vote for the party because they absolutely feel it’s better than the Antichrist Democratic Party.

And as for non-Republican voters, they say they don’t like the GOP, but that sense of disgust is a mile wide and an inch deep — even in the bluest states, they’re willing to suspend that sense of disgust for any Republican who seems to deviate in any way from Republican stereotypes (or, perhaps, just because they kinda-sorta feel it’s time for a change after a few years with, say, a Democratic governor). Why else would there be states that are reliably blue in presidential elections — Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Michigan — under all-GOP control at the state level?

No Democrat could possibly win the presidential race in Mississippi or Utah or Alabama or Oklahoma in 2016, but against a sufficiently uninspiring candidate — Martin O’Malley? — there’s no telling how many states could be won by a Republican who’s successfully concealed his fealty to his party’s agenda, as the Koch lackey Christie has. That’s because the Republican brand is still not box-office poison, or even close. Democrats and liberals still haven’t tarnished the GOP’s reputation enough. And nothing will change in this country until that changes.

(X-posted at No More Mister Nice Blog.)

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169 replies
  1. 1
    minutemaid says:

    Concern troll SteveM is concerned. A day without looking ever so hard for those dark linings among the silver clouds is like a day without sunshine around here.

  2. 2
    Exurban Mom says:

    When the focus groups call your organization “racist,” “out of touch” and “hateful,” you might have a problem: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02.....1&

  3. 3
    WereBear says:

    I often thought the lizard-brain reaction (Democrats aren’t serious! Buncha hippie bleedin’ hearts! Grownups vote Republican) has given the R’s a lot of idiot-proofing. How else to explain the inexplicable yearning so many have, who vote R on the slightest of pretexts?

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    Hypothetical races are hypothetical.

    Remember Romney’s 47% video?

    That’s one reason you can throw this kind of prognostication out the window: the campaigns matter, the candidates’ performance over the long haul matters, the primaries matter, the debates matter.

  5. 5
    Felinious Wench says:

    Thing is, the national party wants nothing to do with Chris Christie. As soon as the rest of the party gets a clue, I’m not concerned. Christie is a maverick to them.

  6. 6
    Alex S. says:

    The poll tells me how strong Clinton is as a presidential candidate. I wouldn’t find it surprising if New Jersey went red if Christie was the nominee.

  7. 7
    liberal says:

    I would assume that in this case is special, and hence not the best example for your argument. Christie came off really well after the hurricane, and while very high information voters might consider that hardly sufficient, the rest are very vulnerable to that kind of thinking.

    As for “even in the bluest states, they’re willing to suspend that sense of disgust for any Republican,” which I agree is a very, very important question, I would assume there are two additional factors: Democrats tend to be poorer and younger, so the cost of voting is higher for them (hard to take time off from work, etc), and (this one people don’t seem to agree with me much) the Right has far more money to throw around, and can afford to fund very local elections lavishly. (I’m thinking in general terms here—business people tend to be right-wing, and they can self-fund their campaigns.) But I haven’t done much research whether these factors are indeed operative.

  8. 8
    Suffern ACE says:

    Christie is well known in NJ and would win his own state! Unless the Democrat is also well known, in which case he loses. If the election were held today, of course.

  9. 9
    merrinc says:

    Christie polls well due to his handling of Sandy and yeah, that includes standing up to his party by simply praising Obama for his own response. I’d liken those poll results to how people first felt about ‘outsiders’ like Donald Trump and Herman Cain entering the GOP primary: lots of initial excitement until they got a better look at the utter crazy underneath the ‘outsider’ facade.

    And in the meantime, the GOPers in Congress and the Tea Party will keep reminding sane people just how insane the Republican party has become.

  10. 10
    amk says:

    wow, you read all that from one poll?

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Death throes can last for a while. Does anyone think that Christie could win the nomination of the Republican Party as it is currently functioning? If he can’t do that, it doesn’t matter how well he would do in a national race because he would never be in the national race. Right now, the GOP is letting its id run wild; if they get it under control, they might nominate someone like Christie and he might be dangerous.

  12. 12
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @minutemaid:

    It’s not empty concern trolling (well, not completely). The Republicans own enough state houses to cause problems at the national level (gerrymandering, apportioning electoral votes based on said gerrymandering, ignoring federal mandates, etc).

    The GOP is busy rigging things at the state level so that they don’t need the majority of popular votes to stay in power at the national level.

  13. 13
    toujoursdan says:

    Does anyone really believe that Muslim-supporting, not-sufficiently Evangelical, anti-gay or anti-Obama, science-supporting Chris Christie would get the nomination?

    If anything I think he’ll be the Huntsman also-ran candidate of 2016.

  14. 14
    Cassidy says:

    I would go so far to suggest that Christie won’t run in 2016. He’s smart. Right now he has a sweet gig: he runs a state, can slap unions and hippies and crazy wingers, get gov’t funds for being cooperative, etc. Why would he give that up to run a POTUS campaign?

    I’m also still leaning that Hillary won’t run. Now if things continue to improve and it looks better and better, she might change her mind, but I don’t think she wants another campaign like that.

  15. 15
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Steve M done soiled himself again. Which means this is a day that ends in a Y.

  16. 16
    Hill Dweller says:

    First, Quinnipiac is a joke. Second, Christie has enjoyed exceedingly positive coverage from the national press. When you look at Christie’s actual record, it doesn’t come close to the image portrayed in the press.

  17. 17
    ajesquire says:

    Relax.

    This is Christie’s high-water mark, poll-wise, and he’s still losing to Hillary. Once the glow of his response to Sandy fades and he has to start taking actual policy position, especially those which would make the nomination even remotely achievable for him, he’ll crash and burn.

    There’s really nothing to see here.

  18. 18
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    which tells me that they’re telling pollsters they disapprove of their own party because it’s not crazy and right-wing enough, and then they vote for the party because they absolutely feel it’s better than the Antichrist Democratic Party.

    I don’t think the first part of this statement can be gleamed from the data. It’s just as easily the case that they’re telling pollsters that they disapprove of their own party because the party is too crazy, but still won’t consider voting for Democrats because Liberals.

  19. 19
    Waynski says:

    I live in NJ and I actually took the Quinnipiac poll. I said I approved of Christie because of his handling of the storm and he stood up to the House Republicans dicking around with relief aid. When half of your very populated state is wiped out by a wall of fucking water and your Gov raises holy hell with his own party to make sure his people get the help they need — he’s going to be popular. Period. Full stop. Jersey is an outlier right now.

    And Secretary Clinton beats him in the presidential poll.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    First: what have you got against Martin O’Malley?

    Second: per a South Carolina poll, Lindsey Graham’s “all Benghazi all the time” wingnutitude is improving his prospects in that state. However, he and Governor Crazy Nikki Haley are both below 48% in their statewide approval ratings (as is Mitch McConnell, in Kentucky).

    Obama tops both Haley and Graham in South Carolina at 47.8% (edging out Graham), while the US Congress enjoys a 14% approval rating.

    It’s not farfetched that both Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham could lose their Senate seats next year, especially if OFA helps drive turnout for the midterms.

    We have to help make that happen.

  21. 21
    SatanicPanic says:

    Chris Christie is a moderate-sounding Republican doing well in a Blue state. How are the standard issue Republican governors that blue states elected doing? Rick Scott? Rick Snyder? Tom Corbett? Not so well.

  22. 22
    Feebog says:

    As Kos pointed out (again) in a post at the Great Orange Satan yesterday, 67,000 Latinos turn 18 every month while 100,000 seniors (mostly white and conservative) die. You do the math. Not all those Latinos will be democratic votes and not all those old folks are Republicans, but the ratio is enough to significantly change the demograpics over a realatively short period of time. We have already reached that tipping point. The challange now is to get those young voters registered and locked in as democratic voters.

    As for Christie, let me remind you that C+ Augustus had close to a 90% approval rating after 9/11, and we all know how that turned out.

  23. 23
    cintibud says:

    If Christie got the nomination, and that’s a big IF, he could be very dangerous. He would be hailed as proof that the GOP has listened to the people, moved to the center and embraced bipartisanship without his actually sacrificing any fundamental policies – a perfect stealth candidate.

    The big IF would be if could get the nomination. If he embraces his (public) strongest character asset and shuts down the hate mongers while still picking up the nomination he would be quite formidable. It’s more likely he would compromise his principles and dog whistle to the crazys to give himself a better chance in the primary however, which would weaken him in the general.

    I don’t think however the current GOP base would even let him get away with dog whistles and demand he publicly embrace the crazy. In the end I don’t believe he could pull it off.

  24. 24
    rda909 says:

    Speaking of Joisey…CNN, then 6 different Tesla owners all recreated the bizarre NYT/John Broder drive, and all reported it was comfortable.
    http://news.investors.com/tech.....rnings.htm

    The drives were in 30-degree weather, and some in backed up roads during a snowstorm. No problems. And this is using just the first two, of many going in right now, Tesla-only charging stations. Much easier if you’d do what any normal drive would, where you use all the other non-Tesla charging stations too. The NYT anti-Tesla article was bunk.
    https://twitter.com/teslaroadtrip

  25. 25
    JoyfulA says:

    In Pennsylvania, governors used to be limited to one term. Ever since that law was changed to allow two terms (1970?), the parties have taken turns: 8 years D, 8 years R, 8 years D, etc. No, I don’t know why.

    The present time may be an exception in that Corbett’s first term has been disastrous and his approval ratings are rock bottom.

  26. 26
    Bulworth says:

    Christie would still have to win a Republican Party presidential nomination, which would include primaries and caucuses in a bunch of southern and western teabag party-controlled states.

    Of course that’s possible. Multiple Mittens Romney was able to do so. But Christie would need to ramp up any latent evangelical leanings he might have, but which haven’t been apparent so far.

  27. 27
    MattF says:

    Is it 2016 yet? When did ‘popular in New Jersey’ become a prerequisite to national leadership? Is there, possibly, someone with the initials ‘HC’ who could make Christie look like a provincial, arrogant shithead? Can we please let the Republicans fight each other and feel some confidence that we can beat any of them?

  28. 28
    General Stuck says:

    I think you are correct as a matter of recent history, or past history, that republicans have always gotten the benefit of the doubt from voters, and a lot more leash to act crazy and shit. The reason for that is fairly simple, white folks trust white folks more than non white folks, in a basic tribal way.

    There are also issue and the southern strategy realignment as factors for this phenomenon since LBJ signed the civil rights bill, and he was the last dem president to win by something like a landslide. Abortion legalized after Roe and a general backlash against the shaking loose from puritan ideals of the 60’s, as well as all sorts of equal rights and social freedoms gained from that convulsive decade.

    But race remained the stalwart status quo for electoral politics, that has allowed the white party GOP to wingnut away and still get themselves elected over democrats. Who kind of ended up having to be the responsible party, to remain ideologically sober to keep it all glued together.

    Republicans are still in shock from the last two presidential elections. They told themselves that 2008 was a fluke, and the voters would soon forgive and forget their excesses, while admitting they made a mistake giving Obama the WH, and return them to their rightful white throne to run this country of mostly white folks.

    The 2012 election was a massive kick in the nuts for the GOP, and they have not really even begun processing what it means, other than with dread and horror that their candidate received record numbers of the white vote and they still lost.

    Maybe Obama will turn out to be a one off for triggering the demographic bomb in its early stages, that rallied the non white voters to vote in higher numbers, that say they might not for a Hillary run in 2016, or some other white democrat. But it looks like the worm has turned and the dem party is solidifying something like a permanent majority of the national vote, albeit a slim one at present.

    Thus we get the poltergeist effect of republican mayhem and Karl Rove in an SS uniform by a rival GOP faction. With a party swirling around the room in a kind of free floating panic to spaz mode.

    They know they have to change some, but that doesn’t come easy for the tradition party, where the status quo is defended as Modus operandi . And it does appear that the crazy is starting to stick in ways that wingnuts run the risk of urban legend that they are fundamentally unfit to govern, at least as to getting a persistent minority of votes.

    Dems can drive some of the nails into the GOP coffin, and at other times just get out of the way to let the clown show proceed under its own fail. Obama seems more confident that ever these days, and like he has a bead on trolling the nutters until they are down for the count. As they currently exist.

  29. 29
    Mike in NC says:

    The Beltway Villagers are still wired for Republican rule, so it’s not exactly a surprise that they fall over themselves to praise Christie, the least offense of the GOP front runners for 2016. Zzzzzz.

  30. 30
    Cassidy says:

    The answer of course is Nader. We need Nader to come out of retirement and show us all how a real progressive,…no, a real liberal would do it.

    ETA: And a high cabinet position for Glenn Greenwald. We need our liberal betters to tell us how.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:

    @cintibud:

    The big IF would be if could get the nomination.

    Not just if he can get the nomination; if he can get it without having to swing far to the right in the primary to court the crazy vote. It’s the Scylla and Charybdis of the Republican nomination process.

  32. 32
    Elizabelle says:

    Also of interest: Virginia poll finds a dead heat between gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli (Republican; crazy ass Attorney General, who’s out to destroy Obamacare and climate change science) and Terry McAuliffe (Democrat-Money; friend of the Clintons and former DNC chair).

    Virginia does not allow governors to succeed themselves, so no second term for Transvaginal Bob McDonnell.

    The 2013 governor’s race could have a spoiler if the moderate GOP lt. governor runs as a third party candidate; conventional wisdom says that helps Democrat McAuliffe.

    Virginia could disappoint me, but I don’t see the New Dominion electing a radical Tea Partier like Cuccinelli. Too many women and other educated people with good memories. (Please!)

  33. 33
    SteveM says:

    As Kos pointed out (again) in a post at the Great Orange Satan yesterday, 67,000 Latinos turn 18 every month while 100,000 seniors (mostly white and conservative) die. You do the math.

    The Supreme Court — which has a habit of issuing rulings that far outstrip the narrow issues seemingly being disputed — is taking on a campaign finance case and the Voting Rights Act this year. You do the math.

  34. 34
    Tonal Crow says:

    [T]here’s no telling how many states could be won by a Republican who’s successfully concealed his fealty to his party’s agenda, as the Koch lackey Christie has.

    Yep. We underestimate at our peril Republicans’ ability to win by lying. While Republicans are in demographic decline, that’s a long-term phenomenon, not something we can rely upon to save us from Rubio/Ryan in 2016, and certainly not from better-disguised congressional teatardism in 2014.

  35. 35
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Feebog: They make more old people every day…

  36. 36
    SteveM says:

    Virginia could disappoint me, but I don’t see the New Dominion electing a radical Tea Partier like Cuccinelli.

    Well, you might want to have a talk with Jamelle Bouie.

  37. 37
    MomSense says:

    Ok, the Republican party is not in the death throes AND quit it with the hypothetical 2016 matchups!

    Remember the “inevitable” Clinton nomination in 2008?

    The Republican party will not enter the death throes as long as our wonderful media are around to keep it alive.

    The best thing for us to do now is to turn off all the chatter from pundits and polling firms and work to pass immigration reform, gun violence prevention, STIMULUS, and convince the bat crap crazy Republican governors to expand Medicare. Seriously, nothing but nonsense right now on 2016.

  38. 38
    SteveM says:

    The Republican party will not enter the death throes as long as our wonderful media are around to keep it alive.

    Exactly.

  39. 39
    General Stuck says:

    We think the Republican Party is in dire straits because its core voters are old and white and male and Southern, and because its overall approval ratings are low. But if you analyze any poll, you’ll see that the GOP’s low standing comes in part from Republicans, who nevertheless vote for the party on Election Day, which tells me that they’re telling pollsters they disapprove of their own party because it’s not crazy and right-wing enough, and then they vote for the party because they absolutely feel it’s better than the Antichrist Democratic Party.

    This of course is not their main problem. Their main problem is that there are less and less of them than there were, or will be. And more and more persons of color. And they are dying off, the silent majority they have depended on to win elections, with their grandchildren and great grandchildren way more permissive on social issues, and other issues as well. It is not going out on a limb, or being overly optimistic about the electoral future. Republicans are fucked by math in every way under that parameter, unless they figure out how to change enough to be relevant to the new pair-a-dime.

  40. 40
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @SteveM: The VRA disturbs me, especially here in Texas, where they’re just itching to require Hispanics to drive 350 miles to register to vote on Wednesday from 3-3:15. As for campaign finance, show Sheldon Anderson will be able to what, give $100M directly to Romney to spend rather than giving it to all those groups that supported Romney to spend?

    Though I will say: Notice how CU + Obama has gotten Democratic supporters off of their butts?

  41. 41
    Supernumerary Charioteer says:

    Aren’t you assuming that he’d get his home state bounce outside of his home state, though? If I’m remembering my FiveThirtyEight math correctly, it’s something like five to seven points. He’d normally only get 38-40% out of that poll.

  42. 42
    Hebisner says:

    1. Christie is a formidible politician. He’s a very good public speaker, genuinely likable when he makes an effort to be, and connects with voters.

    2. He also has a nasty temper and is not, at present, disciplined enough a politician to keep his mouth shut when he is challenged. That is a huge problem.

    3. His GOP primary opponents will create ad campaign around his support for a Muslim judge and his chummy relationship with President Obama during Sandy. If 2016 is like 2012 in the GOP primary, that will kill him. If its different, and it might be, he will be competitive since the other contenders we expect are awful.

    4. What plays well in Jersey will probably not play well in South Carolina. I say this as Jersey native who lives in CA.

  43. 43
    Alex says:

    Any Republican candidate who makes it through the Presidential primaries will be forced to assume Republican positions.

    Chris Christie would be a generic Republican after all that. He’s not a generic Republican (especially for New Jersey) at the moment.

  44. 44
    rda909 says:

    I’d love for Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016. Not only would she kick Republican butt, no matter how big they are, she’d continue the rapid destruction of the media industrial complex as they flail around trying to take her down. It would be hilarious to watch. She’s that good. Her last couple of debates with FORMER Sen. Ken Doll were really a thing of beauty to behold.

  45. 45
    Hoodie says:

    If this is a warning against complacency, fine, Christie has some appeal. He also is often thin-skinned and a jerk and could screw his approval rating overnight by being so on the presidential stage. He also has to win the nomination, which would be no small feat, especially if the Republican field is better than in 2012. It’s hard to imagine it being much worse. It’s also hard to see Christie winning over the fundies for the long term. I don’t think he’s as capable of shameless pandering to them as Romney was and, after Romney, they’ll want someone they feel more comfortable with. That probably isn’t Christie.

  46. 46
    Eric U. says:

    if republicans act more like democrats then they do ok. This is the weakness of the democratic party in the northeast, it’s really easy to peel off the lazy middle to a reasonable republican. I don’t see how this works for republicans in the rest of the country

  47. 47
    Tonybrown74 says:

    Scott Brown was thought to be invincible, too.

    Not that you shouldn’t be concerned. However, I think there are two things you need to consider WRT Chris Christie: (1) I don’t think he would survive a GOP Primary unless something dramatically changes, and (2) I don’t think he can PHYSICALLY survive a national campaign.

    The man cannot walk a football field length. That’s a problem.

  48. 48
    japa21 says:

    The reason states like WI, MI and others that are reliably blue for Presidential elections are currently red in terms of governorships and state legislatures is that 2010 was a perfect storm for the GOP. Economy was still down (although starting to recover), the Dems ran away from the ACA, and the media was all in for the GOP. Add to that it being an off year election and the TP base being extremely motivated the results at botht he state and the US House level were not surprising.

    What is of more importance is that, in spite of gerrymandering of both the House districts and state districts in many of those states, Dems made gains back.

    2014 will tell all.

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tonal Crow: The Republicans will win some elections – perhaps even the presidency in 2016 (although I doubt that one). Right now we are too evenly divided and the GOP has some tactical advantages due to there control of a number of state governments. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t screwed in the long term. The very actions that they will need to take in order to hold onto power now (voter suppression, ramping up hatred, etc.) will come back to haunt them. Each rape denial and wetback comment will make it harder for the party to come back from the wilderness. They are blowing the salary cap to win now, eating the seed corn, [insert cliche here].

    For those who oppose them, there should be two goals. First, win where we can. Second, act to limit the damage they cause where we can’t win.

  50. 50
    General Stuck says:

    @Hoodie:

    If this is a warning against complacency, fine,

    Same here. As for any particular POTUS election, regardless of voting trends toward the dem side, anything can happen in a two man or woman race. Conspiring events, candidate selection, and the whims of the FSM always makes it not a done deal by any means.

    But the overall snapshot of the state of the American electorate, juxtaposed against the party platforms is good news for democrats. Republicans can certainly alter that with some genuine moderation in policy prescriptions. But they are currently headed in the other direction on that.

  51. 51
    cintibud says:

    @Roger Moore: Exactly. Which is why I don’t think he can pull it off. In my high minded thoughts, Christie really comes across as sincerely thinking the birthers, Shira law alarmists, etc are absolute morons and he just can’t personally tolerate their stupidity.

    In my realistic thoughts, that illusion will probably be shattered when, keeping an eye on the delegate numbers, Christie starts pandering to the crazy. But even then, I can’t see him pulling it off as soullessly as multiple choice Mitt. The crazy still won’t believe his sudden conversion and they won’t support him.

  52. 52
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @BGinCHI:

    That’s one reason you can throw this kind of prognostication out the window: the campaigns matter, the candidates’ performance over the long haul matters, the primaries matter, the debates matter.

    Well put.

    Also, events matter too.

    Everybody remember what a big issue terrorism was in the 2004 election? That was a loooooooong time ago, wasn’t it?

    What voters care about the most in 2016 is pretty hard to predict at this point. About the only safe prediction we can make this far out is that whatever issues are the most pressing concerns of the electorate, the national news media will ignore and/or obfusticate them and instead focus on idiotic trivia, right-wing propaganda, and concern trolling the Dems. You can take that to the bank.

  53. 53
    minutemaid says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: Also they are all old white people who are dying.

  54. 54
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It’s the Scylla and Charybdis of the Republican nomination process

    To continue the metaphor, he also needs to block his ears from hearing the siren call of FOX News $$$.

  55. 55
    Robin G. says:

    @cintibud: I generally agree with this comment, but, frankly, I think Christie wouldn’t have nearly as many problems getting past the primaries as people think.

    At the end of the day, the Tea Party doesn’t really have any solid beliefs. They think they do, but they don’t; they blow in the wind to whatever current policy is hated by teh libruls. What they truly respond to is their authoritarian lizard brains. At the end of the day, they will support the biggest asshole in the room, almost no matter what he believes. This is usually a teabagger, but I suspect Christie could out-asshole anyone else the GOP can produce.

    I think the Dems best bet against Christie is still his weight. It’s not fair, but image is the way politics works nowadays. You don’t look good on camera, you’re starting from a deficit.

  56. 56
    Ron Thompson says:

    A large majority of votes for the Democrat are actually votes against the Republicans. This can be seen from the rare recent cases when there is a viable alternative to the two wings of the Corporate Party. When Bernie Sanders runs as an Independent, the Democrats don’t even run a candidate. Angus King runs for the senate in Maine, and the Democratic nominee gets 13%. Charlie Crist, the Republican Governor of Florida, runs for the senate as an independent and the Democratic nominee gets 20%. Lisa Murkowski, an incumbent Republican senator runs as an independent write-in candidate in Alaska, and the Democratic nominee gets 23%. If the Republican Party ever goes the way of the Whigs, the Democratic Party will follow within four years. After the collapse of the Whig Party in the mid-1850s, the Democrats won one more Presidential election, and then lost fourteen of the next eighteen.

  57. 57
    MomSense says:

    @Alex:

    Don’t you wish there were a Republican policy version of the Kama Sutra?

    I’d like to see diagrams of how ridiculously contorted they need to be to appeal to their base.

  58. 58
    rda909 says:

    Anyone know where that video is of a woman at an Obama event asking Christie to take a photo of her with Obama? She doesn’t seem to know who Christie is, and the look on his face is priceless as he takes her camera and snaps a picture. Nevermind, found it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gahRB8dGmsE

  59. 59
    rda909 says:

    @MomSense: Or how it could even be possible for Christie to actually have sex. It’s a mystery.

  60. 60
    👽 Martin says:

    Wait, New Jersey residents prefer voting for an asshole regardless of party? Color me shocked. And then ask again after he’s reworked all of his positions in order to get through the gauntlet of the GOP primary.

    But Christie barely winning his home state is hardly a measure of anything. Winning your home state (as a governor) is to be expected, and if that’s the best he can do to flip a somewhat blue state, he’s going to lose in 2016.

  61. 61
    White Trash Liberal says:

    IMO, Romney money killed the only dangerous and potentially galvanizing GOP politician: Huckabee. They seized on his “soft on crime” underbelly and wounded him permanently. That was a blessing as he is the only one who could potentially soft sell teardism because he was a practiced purveyor of compassionate rhetoric.

    Christie would have to attract big money and be ruthless with the Tea Party. I mean ruthless. Call them out and stomp on their dick while simultaneously making evangelical noises. He doesn’t have the skills. Flashes of bravura, but only as a bully stomping easy targets into jelly.

  62. 62
    Bob2 says:

    It seems that people commenting here aren’t from NJ. Christie has done enormous damage to the state in education and other parts. His approval rating was pretty abysmal until post-Sandy when he got a lifeline by doing well in media, though I’d question his real pull and ability to get post-Sandy funding considering the mess Congress made with funding reconstruction.
    The real problem is people don’t follow what he does, but what he says…and that’s exactly the same problem that got people to vote for GW Bush. They didn’t examine his actions.

  63. 63
    gene108 says:

    Why else would there be states that are reliably blue in presidential elections — Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Michigan — under all-GOP control at the state level?

    Economy sucked ass in 2010 and people either were dejected because of 10% unemployment and stayed home or voted for change, because the new guys couldn’t be as bad as the old guys.

    I know people, who voted for Christie in 2009 simply because they felt they needed change to boost NJ’s economy, because Corzine wasn’t able to stem the recession to their satisfaction.

    Also, the relative popularity of Republican governments in “blue states” is pretty piss poor. Corbett is loathed in PA.

    The worst parts of the Republican agenda, in NJ, are kept in check by a Democratic legislature, so unlike PA, Christie can’t go full wing-nut, which is probably a big reason he’s so popular; he can’t run roughshod over stuff the middle class likes, though he’s done considerable damage to the poors.

    That’s because the Republican brand is still not box-office poison, or even close. Democrats and liberals still haven’t tarnished the GOP’s reputation enough. And nothing will change in this country until that changes.

    Yup.

    Until Republicans run from the word “conservative” like Democrats ran(run) from the word “liberal”, the Republican brand isn’t going to be neutered and destroyed.

  64. 64
    handsmile says:

    Before getting too worried about the prospect of Chris Christie winning the 2016 presidential contest, I’m going to wait to see how successful the McCain-Graham co-Presidency will be. Or is it the Simpson-Bowles co-Presidency this week?

    And wasn’t it Marco Rubio who was just anointed as the “GOP Savior”? That nice young Teddy Cruz from Texas also seems “muy caliente”!

    It’s hard to keep up. “Republican death throes”? Reading any newspaper or turning on any TV, you could have fooled me.

  65. 65
    BGinCHI says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I rank this kind of concern post right below wondering whether Cole’s cats are going to kill or love each other.

  66. 66
    Cassidy says:

    @BGinCHI: Eh…political geeks geeking out. It ain’t that big a deal.

  67. 67
    gene108 says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Wait, New Jersey residents prefer voting for an asshole regardless of party?

    I’ve lived in NJ the past 16 years. My governors have been Whittman, interim Gov, McGreevey resigned due to scandal, interim Gov, Corzine and Christie.

    The bar for what passes as a good governor in NJ has been set pretty damn low, which seems to be to Christie’s advantage.

  68. 68
    Ron Thompson says:

    @Robin G.:

    Check out the way the Republicans apportion delegates to their convention. Out of about 4000 total delegates, every state, whether Wyoming or California, starts out with at least fourteen. States that went Republican for President get an extra 4.5 delegates plus .6 times the number of their electoral votes, so Republican base states get about an extra 300 there. States get another delegate for each Republican Governor and Senator, each Republican house in the state legislature, and if the state’s Congressional delegation is majority Republican, so Republican base states get another 150 or so delegates there. The process is so heavily slanted toward the South, central plains, and Rocky Mountain states that it’s almost inconceivable that anyone they support could be defeated for the nomination.

  69. 69
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Robin G.:

    This is usually a teabagger, but I suspect Christie could out-asshole anyone else the GOP can produce.

    Christie can win if he can get nominated. An asshole, but not a Confederate, a God-botherer or a Randian. Paint him as the fightin’ general we need to win the war on America’s real enemies — public employees. Replace the elephant with the crab bucket. There are plenty of resentments to tap into that aren’t prima-facie racial. You don’t have a pension — no one gets a pension; your kids can’t afford college — no one gets any financial aid.

    Ixnay on the ulture-cay ar-way. And ixnay on the eal-ray ars-way… by then Afghanistan will be a hazy memory to anyone who didn’t lose a limb or a loved one there anyways. And ?what’s a “Benghazi” anyways

    And he can get nominated — all that takes is money — the grass roots or the Tea Party or whatever the next big thing is notwithstanding. (Cf. Romney, Mitt, and conversely Dean, Howard)

  70. 70
    Roger Moore says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    About the only safe prediction we can make this far out is that whatever issues are the most pressing concerns of the electorate, the national news media will ignore and/or obfusticate them and instead focus on idiotic trivia, right-wing propaganda, and concern trolling the Dems.

    I’m not even 100% sure you can assume that. I’ve started to see occasional glimmers that the media may be showing skepticism of the Republicans’ talking points. If the Democrats can make a strong showing in 2014, more people in the media will decide it’s important to cozy up to them. The media doesn’t really care about Republican vs. Democrat; they want to be on the good side of the power party. For a long time, the media has decided that’s the Republicans. If the Democrats can swing that perception, the media will stop carrying water for the Republicans, which is about the only thing that’s keeping them afloat. That’s going to be the real tipping point, not something based on demographics.

  71. 71
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Davis X. Machina: They make more old people every day…

    True, but the newly-minted seniors now are all Boomers, who are slightly less overwhelmingly Reaganite than their elders.

  72. 72
    Cassidy says:

    Repeat after me: Christie isn’t running.

  73. 73
    Tripod says:

    It’s a safe bet that neither Christie nor Clinton will ever be POTUS, or even their respective party’s nominee. 2016 is a long way away, and shit happens.

  74. 74
    Sad But True says:

    Meh. Those polls should tell you more about what New Jersey residents think about the D leaders deemed worthy of such polling.

    Personally, I’d support either of them over Christie for sure, but Cuomo and especially Clinton are NOT the direction in which I’d like to see the Democratic party go.

    Who was it Christie beat to become Governor? Oh yeah, Corzine. Nuff said.

  75. 75
    JPL says:

    After Romney’s poor performance, southern repubs want a real Republican and that’s not Christy.

  76. 76
    Yutsano says:

    @Cassidy:

    Repeat after me: Christie isn’t running.

    What you have accomplished has been witnessed. And I agree.

  77. 77
    Jamey says:

    @Hill Dweller: As a Jerseyan, I can attest to the indifferent-to-uneven job Christie has done.

  78. 78
    ruemara says:

    I’m sure others have said it, but this does not mean what you’re saying it means. People like Chris Christie personally because he’s a big, fat, bombast that they think is on their side. If they got to know his actual policies and their outcomes-he’d lose. No, the Republican Party is not dead. They probably won’t ever be dead. But this is not the resurgence of the Republican Savior and the DEATH OF US ALL! that you seem to be moved by.

  79. 79
    Seanly says:

    There’s some validity to your point, but there are 2 problems with your analysis. 1) Incumbency is very strong – hence I would expect Christie to have high polls for re-election. 2) The “I hate XYZ politicians” numbers in polls mean very little. The 27% congressional approval is meaningless. It doesn’t matter how low I think of Congress – I only get to vote for 1 rep every 2 years and a Senator twice in 6 years. I don’t have the numbers, but I know there’s other data behind the “everyone hates Congress” that shows while people hate Congress, they tend to like their own representatives and keep sending the same idiots back.

    Also, can we stop worrying about 2016 and figure out how to not destroy the federal government with full-on or even watered down austerity forever arguments. I work for an engineering consultant & if there is no f’ing infrastructure work going on, they won’t hesitate to lay off everyone.

  80. 80

    Running for office is much more important and fun than actual governing.
    Covering hypothetical horse races is much more important and fun than covering governing.
    We may be in hell and not know it.

  81. 81
    MomSense says:

    @rda909:

    Well he did manage to screw teachers and commuters!

  82. 82
    Yutsano says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    We may be in hell and not know it.

    Obscure Catholic theologians agree with that assessment. Even though I’m not Catholic.

  83. 83
    FlipYrWhig says:

    If Christie gets momentum, either Scott Walker or Ted Cruz is going to spring up as the insurgent candidate, with fistfuls of money from cranky billionaires, hoping to re-create the Clinton vs. Obama dynamic. It would be wicked nasty. I hope it happens.

  84. 84
    Yutsano says:

    @FlipYrWhig: It’ll be Walker. Cruz has eligibility issues that will take him out of any consideration. Not that it wouldn’t keep Teddy from trying mind you.

    ETA: This also assumes Scotty Boy doesn’t get in trouble for his shenanigans while mayor of Milwaukee.

  85. 85
    Cassidy says:

    I’m still going with Nikki Haley.

  86. 86
    NR says:

    That’s because the Republican brand is still not box-office poison, or even close. Democrats and liberals still haven’t tarnished the GOP’s reputation enough.

    That’s because the Democrats haven’t been fighting the Republicans, they’ve been “compromising” with them. Because they like Republican ideas.

    Obama could have destroyed the GOP after the 2008 election. The party’s reputation was at an all-time low and people were hungry for strong leadership in a new direction. Instead, Obama made the rehabilitation of the GOP his mission in life, co-opting and endorsing their policies, and bragging about how many of their ideas he’d included in his legislation.

    When the leaders of the so-called “opposition” party are dedicated to advancing your ideas, your brand will never be destroyed.

  87. 87
    WereBear says:

    @White Trash Liberal: True. Only W seemed to have the license to lie to the rest of us and they still trusted him. That is how we went all Compassionate Conservative and didn’t get the Evangelicals all upset.

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano:

    ETA: This also assumes Scotty Boy doesn’t get in trouble for his shenanigans while mayor of Milwaukee.

    He was never Mayor of Milwaukee. He was the county executive for Milwaukee County.

  89. 89
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Seanly: PBO rolled out an infrastructure plan today. I haven’t yet read it.

  90. 90
    ericblair says:

    @SteveM:

    Well, you might want to have a talk with Jamelle Bouie.

    Seems that he’s saying that the VA election is off-year, which is true every time. We all know the problems, but they haven’t changed.

    The last election was 58-41 win McDonnell over Craigh Deeds, who was a downstate upset winner of the primary. McDonnell did really well in NoVA by basically acting like a business-friendly Dem and keeping the gooper craziness under wraps. Deeds tried the opposite in downstate VA by playing a Republican, but they weren’t taking the bait and he pissed off a bunch of northerners. Can’t speak too much to how it went over in Tidewater. So the fake Dem won over the fake gooper.

    Cuckoo Cuccinelli is going to have a lot more trouble if he tries the same thing, since his social nuttiness is universal knowledge, and McAuliffe isn’t going to try to play the hillbilly. Still, it’s way too early to tell whether McAuliffe could make up the off-year deficit.

  91. 91
    Cassidy says:

    @NR: You have a strange relationship with facts and history.

  92. 92
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh. Well I at least got the city right.

  93. 93
    Bokonon says:

    The GOP has brilliantly set itself up as the party of reaction and rejection. If you don’t like the status quo … regardless of who created the problems? Then vote for the Republican candidate.

    It is the voting equivalent of yelling “screw you” at the complexities of the system.

    And that’s how the GOP can get away with running as deficit hawks AND as the party that will protect Medicaid and Medicare of seniors from cuts by that terrible Obama guy.

    That also leads to a certain amount of unaccountability for, you know, things like that same deficit situation.

    Who needs policies when you have enemies?

    Most of my Republican friends joke about the quality of their party’s nominees, and mock them as being stupid idiots. But then come the election, they have always defaulted back and voted for the GOP’s candidates anyway, on the rationalization that all politicians are crooks and fools anyway, but the Republican will hassle them less and will give them tax cuts.

    The only thing that has jarred them out of that smirk-smirk-ha-ha rationalization is the GOP’s recent radicalization on personal issues like abortion and contraception … such as pushing those “life beings at conception” amendments to state constitutions. Suddenly, their libertarian bubble is getting pierced. And they feel that suddenly THEY and their spouses are in the cross hairs, with no safety zone. After all, somebody always has to be the target of all that reactive energy …

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: Milwaukee doesn’t elect Republican mayors. The last mayor who wasn’t a Democrat was Frank Zeidler, a Socialist, who was mayor from 1948-1960.

  95. 95

    @Yutsano: Ruh roh. When I find myself agreeing with Catholic theology, inadvertently or not, I need to take a step back and reassess.

  96. 96
    Hoodie says:

    One other thing, I get the impression that Christie may be too lazy and/or undisciplined to run. Say what you will, Mitt was a workhorse, a very disciplined guy in excellent physical shape who was compulsive about what he ate, which no doubt steeled him for endless freak show debates and hour after hour pressing the flesh with teabagger morons in east bumfuck. In contrast, the campaign trail could be toxic for a guy like Christie, and I wonder whether he would have the patience (I wouldn’t). It’s hard work to win a party nomination now, unless you can basically run unopposed. The Clinton/Obama race was an epic struggle and kind of set a new standard (which may make Hillary gunshy). I imagine the Repubs would like to scale back their primary process, but there are probably limits to how much they can do that without generating complaints from the base, who want their lunatic voices to be heard. Plus, there are others in the party that would like their shot and won’t lie down to allow Christie to be coronated.

  97. 97
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You ever get the feeling Rob LaFollette is gonna come back and scream at the people of Wisconsin for being total idiots here?

  98. 98
    aimai says:

    @Hoodie:
    This. Also: i continue to be unimpressed with a specifically New Jersey poll. People always say they will vote for a “favorite son” over an outsider and this poll doesn’t even show that. It shows Hillary winning. The angry white male vote which goes to Republicans at this point in time by default, because the Democrats are literally the party of black presidents, will go right back to splitting and voting for dems when race is not the foremost issue on people’s minds. In fact if the Dems run an older white guy who reassures white voters that he “has” to do something about immigration to “make everyone happy” but his “heart isn’t in it” he will probably do damned well with the very Republican voters who support immigration reform as long as Obama’s name is not attached to it.

    In any event Christie is and will always remain a flash in the pan, a novelty act–a fat insult comic who gets over for one performance but who will drop dead of stress and be pelted with rotten tomatoes like a bad vaudeville act over hte long haul. He doesn’t have it in him to be gracious to the people he meets on the way up the ladder and he has a clear tendency to kick the ladder away, even if he needs it. He’s an asshole and while that plays well on TV people really, really, really don’t respond well to it when their issues are being discussed and they want something more substantial than a crotch grab and “something’s going down tonight honey.”

  99. 99
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Bokonon:

    It is the voting equivalent of yelling “screw you” at the complexities of the system.

    Ah, the Spite Vote.

  100. 100
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    Count the Republicans…here’s The Buffalo Beast’s 50 Most Loathsome Americans

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: Now, now. LaFollette is a Madison guy. Wisconsin has a Progressive tradition coming out of Madison, and a Socialist tradition that can be traced to the Germans – more particularly the 48ers (immigrants who came to Wisconsin following the failed 1848 revolutions).

    Of course, this doesn’t mean that the ghost of Fighting Bob isn’t pissed off.

  102. 102
    liberal says:

    @Thor Heyerdahl:
    Thanks. Didn’t know it had come out.

  103. 103
    liberal says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The media doesn’t really care about Republican vs. Democrat; they want to be on the good side of the power party.

    The media ultimately only cares what their owners think.

  104. 104
    Ron Thompson says:

    @NR:

    Strongly agree, for the reasons I gave at post #55. In boxing parlance Obama is “holding them up”, rather than knocking them out, because what happens if they’re crippled? Who would vote for a corporate Democrat if he weren’t the lesser of two evils?

  105. 105
    liberal says:

    @gene108:

    McGreevey resigned due to scandal

    One of my favorite Onion headlines: “Homosexual Tearfully Admits To Being Governor Of New Jersey”

  106. 106
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I don’t think it’s spite so much as “I don’t want to know my daughter is having sex.” The world is too complex for a 12 year old white male: “You mean I have to compete on merit, with a black woman?” They want things to be simpler.

  107. 107
    Chris says:

    @Robin G.:

    This.

    The teabaggers’ greatest moment of love for Romney was when he beat Obama in the first debate. It didn’t matter that he walked back on half his previous statements in order to do it. All they wanted was someone who could put the uppity near man in his place. Christie can play that card all day, far better than Romney ever could.

  108. 108
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: Maybe so, but we won’t know for sure until she’s been made to do a State of the Union rebuttal.

  109. 109
    liberal says:

    @Ron Thompson:

    This can be seen from the rare recent cases when there is a viable alternative to the two wings of the Corporate Party. When Bernie Sanders runs as an Independent, the Democrats don’t even run a candidate. Angus King runs for the senate in Maine, and the Democratic nominee gets 13%.

    How the hell is Angus King a good example? He’s probably to the right of many Dems in the Senate, and while he hasn’t been in office long I think the right Bayesian prior is “hardly an example of someone who doesn’t belong to the Corporate Party.”

  110. 110
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    But if you analyze any poll, you’ll see that the GOP’s low standing comes in part from Republicans, who nevertheless vote for the party on Election Day, which tells me that they’re telling pollsters they disapprove of their own party because it’s not crazy and right-wing enough, and then they vote for the party because they absolutely feel it’s better than the Antichrist Democratic Party.

    Thank you. This utter self-congratulatory horseshit about the GOP becoming a rump/regional party has been driving me crazy. Because it is simply wrong.

  111. 111
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Christie an’t going to look to good in the polls after he goes Jersy on Hillary. A fat boy trying to bully a woman isn’t going to go over well.

  112. 112
    Mandalay says:

    @ SteveM

    The key finding in this Quinnipiac poll isn’t Chris Christie’s 74% approval rating in New Jersey, or his commanding lead in this year’s governor’s race — it’s how well he’d do in supposedly solid-blue New Jersey as a presidential candidate

    You think it shows how well he’d do?

    Yet your poll shows Christie LOSING to Clinton in a hypothetical match up:

    In an early look at the 2016 presidential election, New Jersey voters go 49 percent for Hillary Clinton and 45 percent for Christie

    Why did you chose to frame the poll results in such a distorted manner? Why didn’t you post that despite having 74% popularity in the polls, Christie still would not be able to defeat Hilary Clinton in his own state?

    You should be posting your drivel on redstate instead.

  113. 113
    flukebucket says:

    This utter self-congratulatory horseshit about the GOP becoming a rump/regional party has been driving me crazy.

    I believed it until the elections of 2010. I have not believed it since and I never will again.

  114. 114
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Roger Moore:

    If the Democrats can make a strong showing in 2014, more people in the media will decide it’s important to cozy up to them. The media doesn’t really care about Republican vs. Democrat; they want to be on the good side of the power party.

    This is a solid point but I think your timeline is too optimistic by about 2 years. Dems really need to win solidly in 2016 to start swinging the news media. I’ve long thought that what really solidified GOP influence in the media during the 1980s and the resulting hagiography of Ronald Reagan was not the 1984 landslide, but the fact that Reagan’s uncharismatic VP won the WH for the GOP yet again in 1988. There’s the old saying that once is an accident, twice is coincidence, and three times means somebody is sending you a message and I think the news media tends to blow that way.

    The other component is that pundits have to book guests constantly for their shows, and ideally you’d like to get somebody with past govt experience to make the guest list sound more impressive. This works fine until your contact list fills up with people who last held office 2+ decades ago. When it is 2020 nobody is going to be very interested in the opinions of some guy who was the assistant deputy secretary of emptying Dick Cheney’s wastebasket back in 2002. So a political party has to seize control of the executive branch periodically in order to keep the career escalator moving upwards or else they are in danger of ageing up and out of the A-list for the political shows.

    From watching administrations come and go over the decades, my guess is that 12 years out of power is the point where career damage starts to become noticeable.

  115. 115
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @liberal: The Maine seat went to King due to mass tactical voting by Dems, and the very recent, very traumatic memory (tea-baggy Gov. Paul ‘37%’ LePage) of what the consequences are of not voting tactically.

    That and Maine’s fascination with independents generally . Perot finished ahead of third place pseudo-favorite-son Bush I here in ’92, and King was one of two recent independent governors, the other being Jim Longley. Longley ran independent because he knew he couldn’t beat Muskie or Mitchell in a Dem primary. The same thing drove Eliot Cutler to run independent for governor in ’10 — he couldn’t have beaten Libby Mitchell in the Dem primary.

  116. 116
    quannlace says:

    Sure, we Jerseyan’s were happy with the way Christie handled Hurricane Sandy. But then he turns around and vetoes a minimum wage increase and makes noises that he’ll turn down the expanded Medicare money.

  117. 117
    handsmile says:

    @Thor Heyerdahl:

    Interesting and eclectic list, but I was disappointed that The Beast could not find room for Messrs. Bloomberg and Ailes in that Hall of Infamy. Frankly, I don’t think Mittens deserves first place in the poll; maybe I’m a classicist, but until he’s in the ground, Dick Cheney will always be my #1 Most Loathsome American. (He too inexplicably overlooked).

    And the for love of god, don’t let people here know that Obama was ranked at #9!

  118. 118
    patrick says:

    Why else would there be states that are reliably blue in presidential elections — Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Michigan — under all-GOP control at the state level?

    districting….look at the win percentage of the dem legislators vs. the repubs–the dem districts are highly concentrated urban with LARGE democratic majorities…current repub districts are a little more swing-y with smaller margins…

    and in MI Snyder ran a very expensive and overwhelming “bait and switch” campaign in a wave year…

  119. 119
    quannlace says:

    The big IF would be if could get the nomination.

    Well, he was wooed a number of times in 2012, when the GOP realized what a train-wreck their primary run-up was.

  120. 120
    Trollhattan says:

    I’ll write off the Republican Party when they lose their money pipeline. Until that happens they’ll keep on keeping on–Cheney-style–with the occasional stolendonated heart.

    I do not think Christie has a future as a viable presidential candidate. As it says upthread, the more you get to know him the less likable he becomes. He’s Huck without the zombie family and treadmill.

  121. 121
    Chris says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    This.

    There are three stages in realignment. First, the popular president, whom the opposition party hopes is just a fluke. Second, the uninspiring vice president goes on to win on the strength of his predecessor’s message. Third, the opposition party gets back into power – but it’s a reformed opposition party preaching a toned down version of what the first two presidents were standing for. And that’s when you’re sure you’ve won.

    Applies to Roosevelt/Truman/Eisenhower as well as Reagan/Bush/Clinton.

  122. 122
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @quannlace: The GOP was looking for another not-Romney. The did that every couple of weeks. It is the equivalent of the popularity of the back-up quarterback on a poorly performing football field. People clamor for the new guy because he isn’t the one stinking up the field. Once he is out there, one often sees why he was the back-up.

  123. 123
    chopper says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    i don’t think you want to let christie anywhere near a crab bucket.

  124. 124
    Jay C says:

    @SteveM:

    I get the “don’t get overconfident” you’re trying to promote here, but I think one of you observations re Chris Christie and Republicans needs a little caveat:

    there’s no telling how many states could be won by a Republican who’s successfully concealed his fealty to his party’s agenda, as the Koch lackey Christie has.

    This is a BIG “if”, and it strains one’s credulity a bit to assume that in this day and age, a candidate for national office would be able to pull that off in the era of the Internet and instant-analysis everything. Yeah, we know the “MSM” would be in the tank for Big Chris, just like they’re in the tank for virtually every Republican, but shrouding one’s agenda on the campaign trail (under 24/7 scrutiny) is a hard row to hoe. And Drumthwacket Fats probably doesn’t do yardwork too easily…

  125. 125
    ericblair says:

    @liberal:

    How the hell is Angus King a good example? He’s probably to the right of many Dems in the Senate, and while he hasn’t been in office long I think the right Bayesian prior is “hardly an example of someone who doesn’t belong to the Corporate Party.”

    I just interpret this reasoning as an excuse to bash the party more aligned to your interests than the party that is absolutely opposed to them. None of these examples show a progressive firebrand winning when the Dems pull out for tactical reasons. But if you believe that weakening the Dems will cause a spontaneous progressive uprising from the People, then it means that it’s your duty to undercut the Dems at every opportunity, while avoiding as unnecessary the hard work of party-building at the grassroots.

  126. 126
    liberal says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Yes, my recollection is that the person who would have been the best Dem candidate was a woman who decided not to run (in fact some Mainer said she’s on good terms with King).

    That said, I assume you don’t disagree with my claim that King isn’t some kind of fighter against teh evil corporate parties.

    (PS In this day and age, this preening “I’m an independent” shit just makes one look like a complete asshole.)

  127. 127
    LAC says:

    @minutemaid: Well said. A quinnipiac poll in february 2013? Really? Somebody is lonely under that bridge.

  128. 128
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Suffern ACE: I know, shocker! New Jersey residents would vote for their governor over New York’s governor? Whoocudanoode? It’s almost as if they’re two different, I dunno, groups or something with loyalties and stuff.

  129. 129
    liberal says:

    @ericblair:
    Who’s reasoning? Mine?

  130. 130
    Jay C says:

    @rda909:

    SRSLY: There’s a highly-recc’d diary at the Great Orange Satan on this very issue: apparently one important thing the NY Times’ reviewer failed to mention about his road trip in the Tesla S was that he didn’t travel the most efficient route between charging stations (he apparently went through downtown Manhattan (fool!!)) rather than the roundabout (but smoother) route. A bunch of other Tesla owners made the DC-Boston run without (m)any problems, but the extra effort they had to make (compared to conventional or hybrid autos) doesn’t make it sound like EV technology is quite “there” just yet….

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay C:

    My problem with the NY Times review of the Tesla is that the guy deliberately decided to undercharge the car on the last stop and rationalized it in his story by claiming that an ordinary driver wouldn’t sit there and charge it for an hour, so he wouldn’t do it, either.

    Unless he can show me that an ordinary driver would deliberately drive away from the gas station with an underfilled tank that didn’t have enough gas to get them to their destination, then I call bullshit on his claim that of course a driver wouldn’t take the time to recharge the car to at least the range needed to get him to his destination.

    I agree that plug-in cars are still very much a specialty item, but the writer didn’t have to pretend that plug-in drivers are fucking idiots who don’t understand that charge=gas and that an electric car will run out of charge just like a gasoline car will run out of gas.

  132. 132
    Ron Thompson says:

    @liberal:

    I fear you’ve missed the point of my comment, which is that a large proportion of votes received by Democrats are in fact simply votes against the Republican candidate. When there is another option, the vote for Democrats in such wildly divergent places as Alaska, Florida, Maine, and Vermont plummets. It was also true of Jesse Ventura in Minnesota–the Republican, Norm Coleman, ran a close second, while the DFL candidate, Hubert H. Humphrey III, got 28%. It’s not a question of the ideology of the independent candidates, who run the gamut from Bernie Sanders to Lisa Murkowski–it’s simply the fact that the voters can vote against the Republican candidate for the most viable option, and in none of these cases has that been the nominee of the Democratic Party.

  133. 133
    ericblair says:

    @liberal:

    Who’s reasoning? Mine?

    Not yours; I agree with that. It’s our buddy who’s decided that the real enemy is the party trying to help because corporate, man.

    @Ron Thompson: You’re ignoring that many of these were tactical, deliberate decisions by Dem voters to do this, because of recent experience with third party/indie vote splitting. Your conclusions don’t follow.

  134. 134
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): The VRA disturbs me, especially here in Texas, where they’re just itching to require Hispanics to drive 350 miles to register to vote on Wednesday from 3-3:15.

    General strike, man. One of the few cases where it would actually work. Hispanics are way overrepresented in the “informal” labor force. Non-citizen immigrants could strike in solidarity with citizens making the trek to register to vote. Power building in the entire community. Frankly, Tejano latinos are under-registered and under-organized. That could change. Things are different now.

  135. 135

    But also, Chris Christie is not the typical Republican, not as the Teahadists have defined being a Republican these days at least. He’s by all rights really a conserva-Dem. Mostly he’s just one of those cheap labor Republicans. I don’t think he really gives a crap about social issues. But like any Republican, he’s going to run into Mitt Romney’s problem: tp get a GOP nomination he’s going to have to tack so far to the right that he’s going to be unappealing in a general, regardless of what he rally thinks.

    Also, he’s fat. And he’s got the problem with his two-syllable name ending in an “E” sound. Think I read over here that voters don’t take those people seriously.

  136. 136
    Chris says:

    @Southern Beale:

    The winning candidates in the last two election have done the exact opposite of the usual procedure by running as centrists in the primaries (in the form of “I’m the only one who can beat Obama”) and then trying to make up for all the bad blood that caused by tacking hard right during the general. Needless to say, that hasn’t worked out as well as one might expect. Maybe Christie’ll restore things to how they usually are – pander to the teabaggers like crazy in the primary, then ignore them in the general in a “well who else are you gonna vote for? The communist?” kind of way.

  137. 137
    liberal says:

    @Ron Thompson:
    In addition to ericblair’s points about your not considering the contexts of each particular election, your reasoning is incoherent, since your take on party ideology and its relevance to elections is all over the map.

    How does William Jennings Bryan fit into your scheme?

  138. 138

    Chris Christie actually makes me look trim and fit. If Christie ever got close to winning the Republican presidential nomination, and I doubt he will, his running mate will become extremely important. No one’s going to trust that man’s heart to last out his term. And the Republicans can’t put a howler on the ticket as VP to balance between semi-rationality and bug-eyed wacko-ness because that group of Dems who might give Christie a chance won’t want a flat-earther a heartbeat away.

  139. 139
    Davis X. Machina says:

    That said, I assume you don’t disagree with my claim that King isn’t some kind of fighter against teh evil corporate parties.

    King’s a classic 1980’s industrial-policy-creative-class-Tsongas-style ‘progressive’. Or a throwback to 1930’s Technocracy. God help us, if he ever became president, the State of the Union address would be a TED talk.

    Which is enough up here to do the job. The ’80’s represent the future.
    Going over the Kittery bridge is like going through a time-warp.

  140. 140
    Maude says:

    @Southern Beale:
    I like Christie, but wouldn’t vote for him. He’s made poor people poorer.

  141. 141
    Ron Thompson says:

    @ericblair:

    “Dem voters” voted for Lisa Murkowski?

    They are “Dem voters” in the sense that they usually vote for the Democratic candidate. I am a “Dem voter” in the sense that I have overwhelmingly voted for the Democratic candidate, and never for the Republican, in my 40 years as a voter. I was fortunate, living in Madison, that I could vote for Russ Feingold and Tammy Baldwin, not as the lesser of evils, but because they were the very best the country had to offer. But for a large proportion of progressives, their voting lives are a succession of “lesser evils”–Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, Ben Nelson, Dianne Feinstein, Harold Ford, Erskine Bowles, Blanche Lincoln, Joe Donnelly–the list goes on and on. “Vote for the Democrat, because the Republican is worse!” So there’s no loyalty to the Democratic Party in Maine or Alaska, or even in Florida, Vermont, and Minnesota–just a willingness to use any stick to beat a mangy dog. I don’t see how the Democratic Party gets any stronger until it is willing to realize that basic fact, and finally give peiople something to vote FOR, which they have manifestly failed to do.

  142. 142
    Ron Thompson says:

    @liberal:

    “How does William Jennings Bryan fit into (my) scheme?”

    You’re an idiot. That’s how William Jennings Bryan fits into my scheme.

  143. 143

    @Chris:

    The winning candidates in the last two election have done the exact opposite of the usual procedure by running as centrists in the primaries (in the form of “I’m the only one who can beat Obama”) and then trying to make up for all the bad blood that caused by tacking hard right during the general.

    Good point. Although perhaps not on all issues. I’m trying to remember when exactly Mitt Romney and John McCain started running away from their centrist positions? Of course, both had already run previously and got knocked out in the primary process.

    I tell you what, we should all be hoping that some hapless waiter or bartender is surreptitiously recording the fundraising speeches of all prominent GOPers right now, a la Romney’s “47%” speech. I’m thinking when the 2016 campaign gets underway they’ll be strip-searching the help.

  144. 144
    liberal says:

    @Ron Thompson:
    Again, your scheme is incoherent. WJB was a populist. If your scheme is “people with a D after their name will lose,” then that doesn’t say much of anything unless you address the question of ideology.

    I know that it’s tempting to call people names when they point out in public that one’s ramblings are incoherent, but please try not to succumb to such childishness. It’s embarassing.

  145. 145
    xian says:

    tarnishing the Republican brand is what the next 2 years are about

  146. 146
    xian says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: yep, that’s why they’re called “throes” and not just “death”

  147. 147
    xian says:

    @Feebog: sadly, a lot of those seniors are FDR-era Democrats, but point taken

  148. 148
    ericblair says:

    @Ron Thompson:

    “Dem voters” voted for Lisa Murkowski?

    I’ll give you that one, although how a Dem losing in AK proves anything is beyond me.

    But for a large proportion of progressives, their voting lives are a succession of “lesser evils”–Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, Ben Nelson, Dianne Feinstein, Harold Ford, Erskine Bowles, Blanche Lincoln, Joe Donnelly–the list goes on and on.

    Simple: there’s a primary, get a progressive nominated. If that seems to be a big hurdle, there’s your problem. There aren’t enough progressive voters, and you’ll have to fix that, one voter at a time.

  149. 149
    mai naem says:

    Christie’s personality will wear thin once he has his first yelling at the teacher/audience member/nurse. He sounds like an absolute bully with a very nasty edge. And he’s not disciplined enough to keep that under control.

  150. 150
    Reasonable 4ce says:

    I’m very late to this dance, but two points cannot be emphasized enough:

    1) As recently as the early 1990s, plenty of Democrats were still winning statewide elections in the South. Death throes don’t happen overnight.

    2) Remind me again how many delegates Rudolph Giuliani, a nominal Republican elected in a very blue city, won in the 2008 Repuke primaries. Oh right, that would be approximately zero. That’s about as many as Christie will win in 2016 (assuming he even runs).

  151. 151
    West of the Rockies says:

    @mai naem: I think you make an important point here! I don’t think we’ve elected an angry president in decades. ‘W’ came across as a happy, drunk cowpoke. His father talked about “1,000 points of light”. Maybe Nixon was the last president to come across as pretty angry and nasty. Christie will probably self-implode once he’s reached his saturation point on what he perceives to be “stupid questions”.

  152. 152
    ericblair says:

    @Reasonable 4ce:

    2) Remind me again how many delegates Rudolph Giuliani, a nominal Republican elected in a very blue city, won in the 2008 Repuke primaries. Oh right, that would be approximately zero. That’s about as many as Christie will win in 2016 (assuming he even runs).

    I was thinking that, too. I also remember a large amount of Democratic pants-pissing about America’s Mayor that resulted in a lot of wet laundry but not much else.

  153. 153
    liberal says:

    @Ron Thompson:

    I don’t see how the Democratic Party gets any stronger until it is willing to realize that basic fact, and finally give peiople something to vote FOR, which they have manifestly failed to do.

    I actually agree with that sentiment. But your analysis (again) is simply incoherent.

  154. 154
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Tonybrown74: I tend to agree with you on your second point in particular. Christie is no oldster, but he is obese and hot-headed: not a good mix for a long life.

  155. 155
    rda909 says:

    @Jay C: I don’t read that festering wart of a web site oozing of insane, racist Obama-hate while they claim to be “the base,” but I do know EVs are already “there” as a commuter car, and that a lot of the hassle in doing long distance driving is being fixed rapidly. A guy recently drove a 5,000 mile trip around America in his Model S and said it worked fairly well with a little planning:
    http://www.plugincars.com/resp.....+RSS+Feed)

    It took decades for gas-powered vehicle technology and infrastructure development before cross country/long distance driving became somewhat comfortable, and considering EV tech is fairly new and the infrastructure really, really new, and growing very rapidly across America and the world, electric cars have clearly arrived, and are only going to get better each year.

  156. 156
    gene108 says:

    @Southern Beale:

    He’s by all rights really a conserva-Dem.

    Bullsh$t.

    He’s a Republican. He’s a right-wing, reactionary Republican.

    He lacks a southern drawl and has enough sense to say “rape bad” in public.

    Everything he’s done, from rescinding the millionaire’s tax and offsetting the lost revenue by gutting education funding to opposing same-sex marriage, kicking people off of Medicare, slashing salaries* and benefits for state workers and the list goes on, is just as rabidly right-wing as Corbett, Snyder, Walker, Jindal, etc.

    He has the benefit of a Democratic legislature to roll back his overreach, otherwise I’m sure we’d have voter ID laws, transvaginal ultrasounds, union busting and whatever other damage Republicans can do.

    *I know someone, who works in social services. His job requires a master’s degree. He has one in divinity. He got 30% paycut because the state decided the master’s had to be in social work. I know several people, with experience, who’ve been kept out of social services jobs, because they lack the required degree, despite having experience in the field and given the crap wages those jobs pay, good luck hiring college grads. It’s just a back door way to “starve the beast” and show government doesn’t work.

  157. 157
    Mandalay says:

    @rda909:

    considering EV tech is fairly new and the infrastructure really, really new

    Exactly. In ten years time people will shake their heads in disbelief about how that NYT journalist was driving around the car park in the dark looking for the one-and-only charging station.

    Once the infrastructure (i.e. charging stations) reaches a critical mass, electric car sales will soar.

    In Paris you can walk down the street and see what appears to be cars plugged into parking meters. They are charging.

    Put the charging stations all over the city as Paris has done and things will start changing very quickly.

  158. 158
    Chris says:

    @gene108:

    Fucking WORD.

  159. 159
    MattR says:

    @Mandalay: I am still amazed that the New York Times printed a review that was largely based on problems that popped up because the reviewer treated a piece of new technology as if it was the same as the existing technology. It is like writing an article reviewing a microwave oven in the 1980’s and complaining that there was a fire after you covered your dish with aluminum foil (like you always did when putting something in a conventional oven)

  160. 160
    Mandalay says:

    @MattR:

    the reviewer treated a piece of new technology as if it was the same as the existing technology

    Agreed, but you are perhaps being too kind on the reviewer, who was not naive, but went out of his way to look for (cause?) problems.

    Mnemosyne’s post #131 nails what seems to me to be the most damning point in that horribly skewed review.

  161. 161
    Mandalay says:

    @MattR:

    the reviewer treated a piece of new technology as if it was the same as the existing technology

    Agreed, but you are perhaps being too kind on the reviewer, who was not naive, but went out of his way to look for (cause?) problems.

    Mnemosyne’s post #131 nails what seems to me to be the most damning point in that horribly skewed review.

  162. 162
    Feebog says:

    @ Xian:

    sadly, a lot of those seniors are FDR-era Democrats, but point taken.

    Case in point, my 92 year old Father and soon to be 90 year old Mother. Dems all their life and raised four kids who are also Dems. However, there is a lot of data to suggest that those young first, second and third time voters are liberal by a greater margin than older voters. Democrats are literally gaining several million potential voters each year over Republicans. As I said upthread, the challange is getting them engaged, registered and to the polls in 2014.

  163. 163
    Jay C says:

    @rda909:

    Well, oozings from festering warts or not, most of the posters on that dKos diary agree with you for the most part: The utility of EV’s for “commuter” applications isn’t much of an issue: the Big Deal with Broder’s NYT road-trip review was its exposure of the shortcomings of electric cars for long-distance driving. Which issues, despite the eventual improvements you (and the Kossacks) foresee will be coming, are still with us.

    @Mnemosyne:

    FWIW, here’s John Broder’s rejoinder to Elon Musk’s critique. “He said, he said….”

  164. 164
    NR says:

    @Cassidy: Well, I guess for you, someone who understands facts and history would seem strange.

  165. 165
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay C:

    Yeah, I’m still not sure about Broder’s response:

    I stopped at 72 percent because I had replenished more than enough energy for the miles I intended to drive the next day before fully recharging on my way back to New York. In Norwich, I charged for an hour on the lower-power charger, expressly on the instructions of Tesla personnel, to get enough range to reach the Supercharger station in Milford.

    If the Tesla people on the phone were telling him one thing and the car was telling him something else, why on earth did he pay more attention to the people on the phone than he did to the actual instruments inside the actual car?

    Sorry, but the guy is an idiot. If tech support tells you to ignore all of the warning messages you’re getting from your computer about an imminent shutdown, do you obey them without saying, “Hey, guys, this isn’t responding the way you said it would”?

    ETA: I also love how he defends his only charging to 72% as that was all I thought I would need! Doesn’t the fact that you subsequently ran out of juice mean that you made a bad judgement call when you decided you only needed that much and didn’t need to charge to 100 percent as you had been advised to do?

  166. 166
    Jose Padilla says:

    NJ is hardly the most Democratic state around. Off the top of my head I would say MASS, NY, RI, Vermont, Maryland, Hawaii, DEL and CAL vote more Democratic. NJ is more like Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, states that Hilary Clinton could easily take, head up against Christie. Also, too, the country is not going to elect a morbidly obese guy president. Just saying.

    Christie v. Clinton, Clinton gets almost 400 electoral votes.

  167. 167
    Ron Thompson says:

    @Jose Padilla:

    “NJ is more like Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky”

    Come back when you’ve got a clue.

    New Jersey is one of the eighteen states that have gone Democratic in each of the last six presidential elections. Missouri, Arkansas, and Kentucky have each gone Republican in each of the last four.

  168. 168
    Ken_L says:

    As an observer from Australia who loathes the US right and all it stands for, let me join in deploring the complacency I read in so many places on the part of Democratic Party supporters. Often from the same people who were shitting themselves a few months ago because they convinced themselves Romney would win and the GOP might take the senate.

    The Labor Party is the ideological equivalent of the Democratic Party in Australia. In 2007 they had such a thumping win that earnest pundits predicted the conservatives would never win another election, giving the same kinds of plausible (evidence-free) arguments that I read now in America.

    The conservatives have won almost every state election since, and are at unbackable odds to win power federally later this year. Two party systems simply don’t allow permanent dominance by one side, no matter how persuasive the arguments that one party is doomed.

    Get out there and fight for 2014, or you risk another 2010.

  169. 169
    Cassidy says:

    @NR: It’s late and I missed this, but I don’t think you caught the sarcasm. You’re full of shit and don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Sorry I wasn’t more clear earlier.

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