Sunday, December 2, 2007

Stating the obvious: contentious primary benefits Boyda

A really interesting piece posted on Friday over on Yahoo, featuring some '08 race analysis (and '06 recapping) from the editor of the Almanac of American Politics, Charles Mahtesian. Mr. Mahtesian presented some really neat information for all the political junkies out there- some of it you have to take with a grain of salt, of course, including quite a bit of conversation about our congresswoman, Nancy Boyda.

The editor's comments & a little analysis of our own:

RCP: Anybody who should be worried about being a one-term wonder?

CM: There are some people who probably would not have been elected in a normal election year. In a traditional election cycle, candidates like Carol Shea-Porter, and maybe Nancy Boyda and Jerry McNerney would have had difficulty winning. And so those are the members that need to be the most careful about the way they carry themselves going forward.

It goes without saying that Nancy Boyda was helped by the general awfulness of the Republicans in Congress, specifically of Frm. Congressman Jim Ryun. Also, she certainly benefited from the national mood. But that wasn't the only thing the contributed to her victory: I don't think anyone anywhere in the state of Kansas would say voters in Kansas are prone to be effected by Democratic waves. After all, the last time Kansas voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate was in 1964, and we haven't had a Democratic US Senator since the 1930's.

Sure, the wave helped- but the wave wouldn't have happened if people like Jim Ryun hadn't been so depressingly horrible at their jobs.

Another point: Awful incumbent get re-elected in waves if the other candidate is horrible (Todd Tiahrt, for example over Garth McGinn): waves don't elect people less popular than the incumbent- ever. Just a little more evidence the people of the 2nd District saw something in Nancy Boyda they liked, even if Republicans won't admit it.

RCP: What are some of the races you're most looking forward to watching next year

CM: The Boyda race is very, very interesting, for lots of reasons. The rubber matches are always a terrific race to watch. They're always bitter, there's lots of money spent, and it's always a great opportunity to see whether the so-called fluke candidates have established a set of political skills in the two years they've held office.

If you take a look at what's happened in Kansas recently, you see another example of a bloody primary that's going to end up biting them in the behind. Certainly that works in Boyda's favor. But Boyda's made some less than judicious comments that have really not played well in her district.

First off, we disagree categorically that anything Congresswoman Boyda has said has "not played well in her district." We assume the editor is talking about her exchange regarding Ret. Gen. Jack Keane, and while some radical conservatives and blind partisans in the district didn't appreciate Rep. Boyda telling it like it is, we think it was refreshing, appropriate, and we are certainly proud of her for being frank. We think most people in the 2nd District want their member of Congress to be independent and to be brave enough, and forceful enough, to say testimony they are hearing simply isn't the case.

Past that moment, nothing out of all of the press Boyda receives can we find anything that is outside the mainstream views of her district. She's spot on when it comes to Iraq, exactly what her district wants on illegal immigration, and constantly on the ground in Kansas talking to her constituents- all things Jim Ryun never was (and all things Lynn Jenkins has no idea how to do).

Finally, the bit we agree with wholeheartedly: The Kansas Republican Party will, absolutely, collapse in on itself during the primary behind Ryun & Jenkins. Ryun and the conservatives won't ever let a pro-choice moderate tax-increaser win and, we're guessing, will spare no expense beating her to a pulp. Jenkins and the moderates will, of course, respond in kind, doing everything they can to prevent a washed-up loser from dragging the party down.

So, whoever wins, they'll be blooded so badly hopefully every voters in Kansas will know exactly why they shouldn't be allowed to be elected. It's already worked wonders for Kathleen Sebelius and Dennis Moore.

So, there you go- this race is going to be one of the most watched in the nation, and because she's an excellent fit for her district, and because the Republicans will beat themselves to death, everyone watching will get to see Nancy Boyda be re-elected in 2008.

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This blog is not affiliated in any way with the Kansas Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, or the campaign to re-elected Congresswoman Nancy Boyda. All commentary herein not directly attributed must be considered the opinion of the authors of this blog and not of any other individual, including Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.