Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A lesson in how Gordon Smith can keep his Senate seat

According to Portland curmudgeon Jack Bogdanski, the very bestest argument that can be made to Oregonians for the defeat of Gordon Smith is to say don't vote Republican:

You cannot vote for Gordon Smith because he is a member of the Republican Party. Over the last six and a half years, the Republican Party has set this country back at least 50 years. They have made a mess of everything, domestically and internationally. Guys like Gordon Smith had their chance to run the country, and they botched it badly. So now it's time for someone else to get a chance.

Earth to Bog: Don't quit your day job for political consulting, dude.

First of all, there are a huge number of Oregonians that self-identify as Republicans, especially once a person takes off their Rose City colored glasses and pays attention. This is a STATEWIDE contest--not a PORTLAND contest. Pitching voters to dump a guy just because he's a Republican isn't going to work anywhere north, south, east or west of Portland, in general.

Second, people who aren't political wonks aren't going to the general election polls as a rule to vote for a party. They're going to vote for a PERSON. If the main argument for dumping Smith becomes "Republicans suck", there's nothing to actually identify with Smith, personally. One of the most common findings in political polling is the notion that Congress as a body is terrible--but folks tend to like the people that they elect to represent them. Until a campaign is able to break this general liking of Smith as a Senator and perhaps all-around good guy--the "Republicans suck" meme has no resonance.

The silliest part of Bog's post is actually not his post at all...but the back-slapping in comments from the "me too!" crowd. One would think with all that stroking they'd at least have insisted on getting dinner first.