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Republicans did NOT dodge a bullet

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Wide White: Republicans did NOT dodge a bullet

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Republicans did NOT dodge a bullet

The media loves to paint the election this year as if it's the Republicans' to lose. In all fairness, elections are always the majority party's to lose. However, if you listen to the media, you'd think that Republicans can't help but lose it.

California had a special election yesterday to fill a vacant seat that had been held by Duke Cunningham. Of course, Cunningham was a Republican who was convicted of accepting bribes. He was forced to resign. The media said that this should have been a disaster for Republicans.

In the primary for the special election, the Democrat received 44% of the vote. The leading Republican only received 15%. So when the Republican jumps 40 points and wins with 55% in the general election and the Democrat is only able to scrap up one more percentage point, why isn't that a huge story?

Because the media assumes that Republicans will lose. If they don't lose, it's because something went wrong. "Well, the district leaned Republican." Yeah, I know that. But Mr. Media, you told me that the district was going to swing towards the Democrats this time because of X, Y, and Z. You told me the stars were aligned for the Democrats. What happened now?

What happened is the media's sources are often biased. It's not always the fault of the journalists writing the stories. Sometimes they're simply relaying what they're told. For example:
"The Republicans dodged not a bullet, but a bazooka. Things look brighter for them today," said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato.

"It's going to be a Democratic year, but will it be the kind of year that produces a victory big enough for them to take control of the House?" Sabato asked. "That's much less sure today than it appeared to be on Monday."
So, you're a reporter and you interview this guy who's a political science professor, and of course these political science professors know all. This professor tells you, "It's going to be a Democratic year," and, "Republicans dodged a bazooka," what would you think? You'd probably think this guy was right. Afterall, as a reporter, your job is to simply report the news, and your source for the news just told you it's going to be a Democratic year.

However, this source is pretty biased. He's a Democratic contributor (though $500 isn't exactly a ton of money). The bottom line is, it's no surprise that this professor thinks it's going to be a Democratic year. He's a Democrat.

However, with the legal and ethical problems that guys like William Jefferson and Harry Reid and Jim Doyle are having, Democrats are having a pretty difficult time painting Republicans as being proponents of a "culture of corruption."

Remember: all politics are local. The election in California proved that. As long as Republicans get back to the 1994 "party of reform" ideals, we'll be good. I for one can't be concerned about the Republicans around the rest of the nation. I'm confident in the candidate in my district, and I'll be busting my butt for him.

I'm not going to worry too much about how Republicans in other areas of the country are doing because quite frankly, I don't care too much. All I can worry about is my own backyard. And that's all that most Americans will be worrying about come November.


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