Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Don't Mess with Texas, or Larry Sabato

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Or, in this situation, Larry Sabato.

As you may remember, poor ol' Larry Sabato has fallen on some tough times every since his friend with benefits Virgil Goode got defeated in 2008. Unlike Goode, Perriello sees no reason to push to bribe Sabato with earmark money year after year after year. Sabato's first chance to pick the earmark back up ended when Cordel Faulk decided not to run against Perriello, but don't be surprised if Sabato's grudge makes a play in 2010 as well. Like feeding disingenuous misinformation about Perriello's vulnerability.

I asked Isaac Wood, who covers House races for Larry Sabato's "Crystal Ball" at the University of Virginia which districts with high minority populations where the Democratic incumbents are in a lot of trouble stick out most in his mind. He named two, both of which turned out to be on the list of 23: Steve Dreihaus in OH-1 and Tom Perriello in VA-5. . . . As for Perriello, Wood noted that he "won a 727-vote victory in the closest House race in the country in this district where 23% of the residents are African-American. While McCain garnered 6,000 more votes in 2008 than Bush won in 2004, Obama outperformed Kerry by a whopping 36,000 votes. That is a lot of votes to pick up in just four years and the 28% of the district that is non-white likely played a big role."

When someone whips out statistics about a single in isolation, never, ever believe them.

Now, Wood is right in that there's a big difference between the performance of the two presidential candidates in 2008 and 2004. Obama received 35,402 more votes than Kerry, which in my math class would round down to 35,000 and not up to 36,000. But what about, say, Glenn Nye's 2nd District?

There, Obama received 40,681 more votes than Kerry! And McCain actually received 4,372 fewer votes than Bush!

The fightin' 11th?

52,411 more votes on the Democratic side, but 5,101 less on the Republican side.

Now I will be fair and note that Wood was specifically asked about vulnerable Democrat incumbents in high minority districts. Perriello is one of them. But so is Nye. But Nye hasn't pissed off Larry. With Nye's surprisingly liberal record on gay rights in contrast to his conservative voting in everything else, maybe Nye can be Larry's new friend with benefits?


  1. I've never seen anything thought-provoking in Isaac Wood's commentaries. Just like his boss, he's a Master of the Obvious.

    Some reporters use him as a "Push the Button, Get a Quote" source. That amuses me.

  2. Missed you, NAS, since March 25th! Were you on Spring Break from school? Where did you go? I hope you stayed away from Mexico; they say it's pretty scary down there right now!

  3. Man is not made for defeat. A mean can be destroyed but not defeated...................................................