Friday, May 31, 2013

From Graves to grave

When opining on the news that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann would not seek reelection for her US House seat, I made the comment that it wasn't a sure thing her declared Democrat opponent would even remain in the race. The reason being that his only advantage in said race was he faced a very vulnerable incumbent.

Since that advantage has now vanished, the aforementioned Democrat concurred this morning that there is really no reason to move forward. 

As of today, Jim Graves is going to indefinitely suspend his campaign for Congress from the 6th District.

Translation: He is not running. He is dropping out of politics to concentrate on his family and his business.

Later this morning he will circulate a press release to this effect. But he says he will not take questions about it today, nor is he particularly interested in hearing from various Democrats who might want to talk him into changing his mind. In fact, his plan is to give no interviews for a month so the spotlight can shift to others who want to enter the race from which he is withdrawing.

The prevailing thought process amongst Bachmann detractors is that Graves dropping out is not a bad thing, despite his losing in 2012 by only 1.2% while being outspent more than 4-to-1 in an R+10 district. So how can said detractors construe that as a good thing? Well, they believe Graves' narrow defeat against Bachmann in 2012 scared her enough that the thought of a rematch against a more well-funded Graves (the DCCC tabbed Bachmann's House seat as a top 5 opportunity to flip) was just too much. Despite Bachmann denying such a mindset, leftists believe Graves did his job by supposedly scaring her out of the race and ultimately out of the halls of Congress. That's a nice theory but it's, at best, a very shallow victory.

As I've alluded to earlier, CD6 is politically a very conservative district . It's likely we Republicans in the Sixth will endorse a candidate whose ideology pretty well mirrors Bachmann's. As such, that candidate will easily be elected and, once he/she arrives in Washington, will have an almost identical voting record to his/her predecessor. With that in mind, one can surmise that the right-of-center voters grew so weary of the constant negative media coverage of Bachmann (as well as her well publicized gaffes and idiosyncrasies) that they felt it reflected poorly on them. As a result, even many Republican voters felt it was time for Bachmann to move on. Heck, the 2012 election results in CD6 pretty well bare that out. Mitt Romney bested President Obama in the Sixth by nearly 15 percent. However, Bachmann earned only 87% of the votes Romney received whereas Graves brought in a whopping 116% of Obama's total. That right there tells us how Bachmann's incumbency advantage was nonexistent.

So for the first time since 2006, Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District will not have an incumbent in the US House race. It's quite obvious by last November's results that the CD6 citizenry was ready for a new start. But it will hardly be the radical change that leftists have hoped for. 


No comments: