Morning Jay: A Pledge To America, Delaware, the Blanche Lincoln Award for "Most Doomed House Democrat," and More!
6:30 AM, Sep 23, 2010 • By JAY COST
1. A Pledge To America. That’s the title of a leaked draft of the Republican congressional agenda. As it currently is outlined, "A Pledge To America" contains four main sections: a plan to jumpstart the economy, cut spending, repeal Obamacare, and reform Congress. It does a very good job of laying out and defending the basic Republican philosophy, and then applies it to the contemporary political scene by offering some specific proposals.
Last week, I argued that the GOP should put out a new Contract with America not as a way to win more votes in November, but to unify the Republican majority around a positive program in the 112th Congress. Its title evokes the Contract with America, but it is not quite like it. The Contract really was a contract. It listed specific bills to be voted on, a time frame for taking those votes, and it carried the signatures of over 300 Republican candidates for office. It was a deal with the American people: vote for us and we’ll vote for these bills. Thus, it bound the Republican majority in the 104th Congress with a real sense of purpose, and helped the GOP set the political agenda for all of 1995.
We’ll see how things play out with "A Pledge To America" – again, this is just a draft – but the early draft looks different than 1994's Contract.
2. Delaware Doldrums. The numbers for Republican Christine O’Donnell coming out of Delaware are brutal. The CNN/Time poll has Democrat Chris Coons up sixteen points over O’Donnell among likely voters, 55-39 percent. Given that Coons is not an incumbent, those are really strong numbers. He leads in every demographic group, and is at or above 50 percent in all of them except among men.
Coons is even pulling in 26 percent of self-identified conservatives. That sounds…about right, actually. “Conservatism” in Delaware is not exactly the same thing as it is nationwide. Twenty five percent of Delaware conservatives voted for Barack Obama in 2008. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that these are the same people now backing Coons.
All in all, a steep hill to climb for O’Donnell. Frankly, I think Republicans would be much better off focusing on states with potentially competitive Senate races in which a Republican challenger could use an infusion of enthusiasm and/or cash. New York and West Virginia are at the top of that list.