Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ogonowski for Congress

On the column at top left I've added a few campaign commercials for Congressional candidate Jim Ogonowski. (The clips are courtesy of Patrick Ruffini.)

Ogonowski is seeking the seat left open by the retirement of Democratic Congressman Marty Meehan. A recent poll shows him within 10 points, and there is worry on the Left that he could win.

I can't overstate the significance of a win in this seat. In an off-year, political analysts and the media at large look to the very few swing seat races as a sign of which way the political winds are blowing. They read the tea leaves and their chatter helps define the expectations of the year ahead. In 2007 there are few races of national significance -- governor's races in Louisiana and Kentucky, a House race in Ohio to replace the late Paul Gillmor, and probably a few others.

But none of these will really be seen as a 'fair fight.' The GOP will likely lose the Kentucky race because of a scandal-tarred incumbent; we'll win in Louisiana. The same will be true in Gillmor's seat in Ohio. But none of those is perceived as a race that could go either way. The Ogonowski/Tsongas race -- while clearly a Democratic-leaning seat -- could be won by the GOP.

And because it clearly leans Democrat, a win by Ogonowski would attract a lot of attention. With few other data points to look at, analysts would have to consider the possibility that a backlash has begun against the Democratic Congress -- and that Republican candidates could win in marginal -- even Democrat-leaning seats. That would improve recruiting and fundraising. In that sense, a win by Ogonowski would have an enormous effect.

Recall that before the GOP sweep in 1994, they won several elections in 1993 that indicated a backlash was developing against Bill Clinton. Christie Whitman won in New Jersey; Rudy Giuliani in New York; Ron Lucas won in Kentucky (in early 1994). These races led analysts to expect that 1994 was going to be a Republican year. That drove recruiting and fundraising, and led to what I consider a virtuous cycle.

It would be insane to predict a Republican sweep in 2008 because of a win by Ogonowski, but it would help. Right now analysts are predicting more Democratic gains in 2008. Democrats are favored in the House and Senate, as well as the presidential race. If a Republican wins a left-leaning seat in Massachusetts on a message that Congress is broken and that the American people don't want an amnesty for illegal immigrants, it will boost GOP chances next year.

So do whatever you can to help Jim Ogonowski -- even if it's only to donate a few dollars.

I expect that the Weekly Standard -- where I also blog -- will write about Ogonoswki in the near future.

Update: See RedState as well.

1 comment:

BEN said...

It would be nice to send a non career politician to Washington, I don't much care where he comes from. It seems to me that most of us are sheep unaware of the significance of what effects the politicians have on our freedoms of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Vote for some one like Ogonowski would seem to be good for all of us.