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Friday, November 05, 2004

The 2006 Primaries Will Be Interesting
I previously noted that Political Human Sacrifice is, for all intents and purposes, a failure. I repeated this in a comment in Calblog:

Despite John & Ken's spin, "Political Human Sacrifice" was a failure - in short, about as successful as Dreier's 15 meetings with the Mexican government on David March.

Did Dreier get removed from office? No.

Did Baca get removed from office? No.

Will either change their behavior? No.

More effectiveness is needed in 2006.

However, evidence mounts that I may have been wrong. First, take the article from the Pasadena Star-News:

Rep. David Dreier won re-election Tuesday, but he did so by the slimmest margin in his career.

It was also the smallest margin of victory for any incumbent congressman in California this election.

According to the final tally, the Glendora Republican received 53.7 percent of the vote while Democratic challenger Cynthia Matthews took 42.8 percent. The balance went to Libertarian Randall Weissbuch.

At first blush, the win looks decisive. But for a 12-term congressman who has never won with less than 57 percent of the vote, the numbers show he was hurt by a series of radio and Internet attacks that took issue with his record on illegal immigration.

"That is really the only thing that could account for the outcome,' said Jack Pitney, professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College. "It's not as if Matthews was running a multimillion- dollar campaign.'

The deflated numbers may also embolden his critics to mount a stronger campaign to oust Dreier in 2006.

"The vulnerability shown yesterday will attract ambitious right-wingers like blood attracts sharks,' said one county Republican Party official who asked not to be named....

John Venti, a Realtor and leader in the "Fire Dreier' movement, said there are already plans to find a strong Republican candidate to challenge Dreier in the 2006 primary race....

Pitney said Dreier is probably safe from any credible challenge, but recommended the congressman do some work to rebuild his Republican base....

Pitney also predicted the "Fire Dreier' campaign will putter out without the free publicity provided by the "John and Ken Show.'

"The political human sacrifice was a gimmick and gimmicks, by definition, have a very short shelf life,' Pitney said....

Two weeks before the election, Dreier acknowledged he had heard from supporters who said they would oppose him this time around because of the illegal immigration issue.

To shore up his Republican base, Dreier released a blitz of political mailers in the final days of the election to counter the charges made by his critics. In the end, he covered the 11 percent Republican voter registration advantage in the district....

Dreier did not return calls for comment on this story.

Remember that election night Republican Party party at the Doubletree that I cited? Well, the Calblogger went there, and relates an interesting story:

Tuesday night I went to a GOP victory party at the Double Tree Hotel in Ontario, California.

Part way through the festivities...some speakers came up to address the crowd. One of the speakers was David Dreier, who by that point had sewn up his own embattled reelection to his U.S. House seat.

He was speaking at the podium, addressing the crowd in what John Kobylt of KFI would describe as "happy talk and gas," when a guy at the table next to mine bellowed, "CLOSE THE BORDER!!!"

It was clearly an uncomfortable moment for Dreier, who went into a short spiel about how important immigration is, and how we have to make sure the border is secure. Yada, yada, yada. Then he went back to his usual platitudes and finished speaking. Dreier then left the event....

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