Democrats Rising

This morning on This Week With George Stephanopoulos, Sen. Chuck Hagel rolled out the tired third way argument that voters are dis-illusioned with both parties in equal amounts. He stopped short of calling for the formation of a third party, nor did he announce he would be taking his own advice and leave the Republican Party, but he certainly advanced the typical view of post-partisan types that the two parties are viewed as equally to blame for the failures of government in recent years.

HAGEL: When a party or a leader or a philosophy about government becomes irrelevant in the eyes of the voter in that they're not fixing the problems.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that's what's happened to the Republican Party?

HAGEL: I think both parties, not just the Republican Party. When you look at registered Independents today, it is not the majority of registered voters but the plurality. There are now more registered independents today in America than Democrats or Republicans. Look at the polls on congress. Our congressional approval rating poll numbers are lower than the president's. They're at historic lows. The question last week, for example, in Gallup, right way/wrong way, is America going in the right direction or wrong direction? 81% according to Gallup last week said Americans believe America's going in the wrong direction.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that's been a time when the Republican Party has had the White House for 7 years.

HAGEL: So the Republican Party has to take some very significant responsibility, sure, I'm not trying to skate around that, but the point is bigger than just the Republican Party.

No doubt the figure Hagel is citing here is from the recently released Pew poll that shows Republicans with 27% party ID, Democrats with 36% and "Independents" with 37% but Hagel leaves out a few pretty important factors here.

First, from Pew's analysis:

The balance of party identification in the American electorate now favors the Democratic Party by a decidedly larger margin than in either of the two previous presidential election cycles. [...]

The share of voters who call themselves Republicans has declined by six points since 2004, and represents, on an annualized basis, the lowest percentage of self-identified Republican voters in 16 years of polling by the Center.

Second, Hagel ignores the advantage Democrats have among those unaffiliated voters.

The Democratic Party has also built a substantial edge among independent voters. Of the 37% who claim no party identification, 15% lean Democratic, 10% lean Republican, and 12% have no leaning either way.

Not to mention the trend during the 2001-2007 period of essentially single party rule during which unaffiliated voters went from 31% (in third place in party ID) to 37% (in first place.) Since 2007, that trend has leveled out while Democratic party ID has ticked up 1 point and Republican partisan ID has ticked down 1. Part of the reason this is happening of course, is that Democrats have taken control of congress. Another, perhaps more significant factor, again, one that Hagel ignores, is the excitement being generated by the Democratic nomination contest. We've seen it in state after state and it is evident in Pennsylvania as we speak:

Pennsylvania residents are registering in anticipated record numbers in advance of Monday's deadline to vote in the April 22 primary.

Democratic enrollment is up by more than 110,000 since last year's election, an increase of roughly 3 percent, state election officials said. It is likely to surpass the record of 4 million by Monday. Republicans lost about 14,000 voters in the same period.

More than 58,000 registered voters have changed their affiliation to Democratic, with about 10,000 changing to Republican. Voters must be registered in a party to vote in the state's primary.

Do guys like Hagel, McCain, Lieberman and the Broders and Brookses of the world really believe what they're selling? Certainly the increased partisan identification among unaffiliated voters provides a convenient metric by which to claim dis-illusionment with the 2-party system but to ignore the utter rejection of one party over the other and to ignore the rising tide of the Democratic brand as the excitement of our candidates sweeps the nation, is to stick their heads in the sand. As with most things, the voters are out ahead of the conventional Washington wisdom; one wonders when the rest of them will catch up.

There's more...

Let's welcome Chuck Hagel to our side!

All I can say is, "God bless Senator Chuck Hagel for offering to become a Democrat and work with us to win back the White House in 08! Senator Hagel has decided not to run for re-election as a Republican. Well, we can all guess why he decided not to run again just by reading between the lines. The man has had it with his own party  

Senator Hagel's record of opposing the Iraq War and everything the Bush people have done from the get-go is there for everyone to see as public record and should be enough proof for us that here goes an American we can all be proud of.

Our country has gone through enough these past seven years because of George Bush's incompetence  and his equally inept "rubber-stamp" Congress.  Every "working-stiff" and everyone of the forgotten souls of Hurricane Katrina and the 45 million uninsured Americans, etc., all deserve better - don't you all agree? We've lost the last two Presidential elections because of our own party's complacent,"good ole boy" mentality and we don't have lose this one.

I am convinced that we need Chuck Hagel on our team. Let's get up a groundswell of support for Senator Hagel.  
Let's find a good place for Senator Hagel and all welcome him to the Democratic party.

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Chuck Hagel -- Our Next President?

Chuck Hagel -- Our Next President?

Before I go further, please check out this video (gotta scroll down to it):

Raw Story
Senator Chuck Hagel slams Bush Iran policy

Now try to tell me that this guy is not the next GOP presidential contender. And make no mistake, this guy is a stealth neocon. The only way this guy differs with Bush et al., is in regard to the wars! All of the other GOP "contenders" are absolute clowns!

We know it's not going to be Ron Paul. We know it's not going to be any of the other bozo GOP "contenders," do we not? (Paul is a bozo too, but he's a smart bozo, with an actual agenda.) We are not quite that dumb.

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Chuck Hagel strongly defends Obama's Iran Rhethoric, Slams Hillary/Guiliani Hmm,...

Make no mistake, this election cycle is about America's short/long term national security. The next president is gonna be given a mandate to lead the world again.

On CNBC, Chuck Hagel(R-Nebraska) strongly defended obama's rhethoric on Iran and had equally strong words for Hillary/Guilliani.

Here you Go.

Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton were ``recklessly irresponsible'' and acting like ``cowboys'' for rejecting calls for direct talks with Iran over its nuclear program, charged Senator Chuck Hagel, a top Republican lawmaker.

Hagel, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee who supports talks, was critical of Giuliani, the top Republican contender, and Clinton, a New York senator and leader of the Democratic field, for lambasting presidential rival Barack Obama, who proposed such discussions.

When world leaders ``hear leading presidential candidates talk like cowboys with the lowest common denominator being `I can be tougher than you, I'll go to war before you or we aren't going to talk to anybody,' that's recklessly irresponsible,'' Hagel said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's ``Political Capital with Al Hunt,'' scheduled to air today.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=2 0601070&sid=a0h8abc0d1tM&refer=h ome

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NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

After teasing a run for Chuck Hagel's senate seat, former Nebraska governor and senator Bob Kerrey, clearly Democrats' best chance at taking the seat, has announced he won't run after all and instead will remain president of the New School in New York.

From his statement:

I have decided I will not leave The New School to become a candidate for the United States Senate in Nebraska. The reason is simple enough: For my family and me now is not the time for me to re-enter politics as a candidate.

He acknowledges he almost did decide to run for senate:

At the same time I nearly said yes to leaving [The New School]. Again the reason is simple enough: I am deeply troubled about the direction of our country. And the idea of returning home to Nebraska to lead a political campaign based on a promise to do my part to change the direction was very appealing. I love Nebraska and believe in public service. I have not given up on politics or democracy simply because both have been debased in recent years by money, corruption, and personal weakness.

So now, with Kerrey out, this seat unfortunately becomes strongly Lean Republican and is definitely a blow to any hopes of winning 60 seats next year.

From TPM:

The Democratic bench in Nebraska is very thin. Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey was courted by the Dems, but has shown a reluctance to get in the race. The next possible candidate would be rancher Scott Kleeb, who ran unsuccessfully last year in the Third Congressional District.

Will Kleeb run again for the House or perhaps put his hat in the ring for senate? After meeting him at YearlyKos, it was evident why he's a rising star in Nebraska and I believe he'd actually be a formidable senate candidate. We look forward to hearing what his plans are.

In the meantime, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, and now, for the senate seat itself, is Mike Johanns, former Bush Agriculture Secretary. The DSCC is already on it.

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