An Ugly Election Tomorrow in New York State Previews 2008?

by: Matt Stoller

Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 13:18


Here's a mailer going out in Western New York.

And this is how it's playing out.

Seventy-two percent of New York voters who have read or heard about the Governor's proposal to allow undocumented aliens to obtain New York driver's licenses oppose the Governor's plan, while only 22 percent support it, according to a new Siena (College) Research Institute poll of registered voters released today. The Siena New York poll also shows that Eliot Spitzer's job performance rating is lower than it has ever been, with a majority of voters saying he's doing a fair or poor job. If the 2010 gubernatorial race were held today, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, running as a Republican, would beat Democrat Spitzer 50-37 percent.

"Nearly three-quarters of voters - including 59 percent of Democrats - oppose the Governor's plan to give driver's licenses to undocumented aliens," said Steven Greenberg, Siena New York Poll spokesman. "The voters' message to the Governor is clear: 'No, no, no.' Opposition to the Spitzer proposal is intense, with 41 percent strongly opposing it and only 7 percent strongly supporting it.

"Nearly two-thirds of voters believe that the Governor's proposal poses a national security risk, and two-thirds disagree with the argument that it will lower auto insurance costs. Even most Democrats are on the opposite side of the fence from the Governor on those questions. Voters from every region of New York overwhelmingly oppose Governor Spitzer on this issue," Greenberg said.

Spitzer's favorable/unfavorable rating is 54-36 percent, down from 56-26 percent last month, and a high of 75-10 percent in January. His job performance rating is 41 percent positive 55 percent negative, down from 44-49 percent last month, and a high of 57-36 percent in May.

I spoke to a New York state party insider who told me that candidate numbers have been dropped ten points in local elections to be held tomorrow because of immigration, across all major voting blocs.  The right-wing speaks entirely in coded language about tribalism, and it's beginning to hurt our candidates badly.

MA-05 may not have been a blip.

Matt Stoller :: An Ugly Election Tomorrow in New York State Previews 2008?

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How will this affect Clinton? (0.00 / 0)
After all the big story from the debate was that Clinton contradicted and stumbled over herself on this issue and then following the debate clearly endorsed the issue.
http://thecaucus.blo...

It is sad how guliable the voters are. They seem to fall for every pander to fear the right hands out even as they complain about politics of fear.

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Romney, Tancredo (0.00 / 0)
Are the two Republicans pushing a hard line on immigration.  If Mitt getsthe nomination, this will be his entire campaign.

If You Play By Their Rules, You Get Beat (0.00 / 0)
It's really just as simple as that.  If you let them push our tribalism as the commonsense response to their tribalism, and never challenge them for being just like the "other" they oppose, then you will get whupped from here to Timbuktu.

This ties into what I was writing about this weekend in "Who's Your Daddy...":

It's important to note that there is a general congruence of many different sense of "penetration."  It's not just a physical sexual act.  The power to control and dominate is intimately related to means of penetration-insight into how things work is necessary to alter or control them.  Physical penetration into the inner workings is usually necessary to bring this about.  Physical invasion of another's space is needed to establish dominance and control.  And so forth.

Penetration and Analysis

It's worth noting that Bush Sr. was famously fearful of being analyzed, of efforts to penetrate his thinking:  "don't put me on the couch," he said on more than one occassion.  Bush Jr. is similarly fearful, but much more aggressive in his manner of resistence.  When his oppositon to fully funding SCHIP as Governor of Texas was briefly brought up during the 2000 campaign, he struck back hard, saying that no one but God could judge what was in his heart.

This is part of a more general resistence to analysis that pervades the conservative movement, and with it the Republican Party as well.  Several different factors converege here, actually, above and beyond the underlying femiphobic fear of being penetrated..  Most significantly  (1) the disbelief in analysis as a source of useful knowledge is deep-seated on the right (science [bad] asks questions, religion [good] gives answers), (2) analysis is strongly associated with their enemies on the left, (3) analysis for the purpose of maintaining power and dominance is the exception, and there is a strong  desire to control such analysis as thoroughly as possible.

All this serves to reinforce the tendency on the right to develop simple messages and repeat them ad nauseum, which in turn greatly strengthens their hegemonic discourse.  They repeat endlessly that they are the Christian Right, and everyone believes them-despite the fact that there is very little about them that Jesus would recognize as his own teachings.  Similarly, the entire ediface of the "daddy party" is built on repetetive insistence, rather than reality.  Republicans are not particularly competent at any of the male-gendered tasks of government.  They're not great leaders in war, their economc record pales comparted to that of Democrats, and they're generally quite hostile to science.  Yet, they repeatedly insist on their daddy status, and they get away with it because of a lack of penetrating analysis, and a public discourse to match.

Of course, this is changing on the internet, where discourse in general is far more penetrating, where feedback loops are everywhere and feedback times are short.  It's our job to drive that change further.

On the other hand, liberals and Democrats are subject to constant criticism, constant "penetrating" analysis in the sense of analysis intended to poke holes in what Democrats affirm.  It matters not whether what is said is true or not, the point is to attack and dominate.  I will return to these points in future diaries.  But for now it's simply worth noting that when someone like Barack Obama comes along and echoes rightwing criticism of Democrats-attacking unnamed secular liberals as hostile to religion, for example-they are aligning with a truly vast and sweeping dynamic, the full extent of which they almost certainly have no idea.  It would be quite different if left and right played by the same rules, but the difference in the rules is central to the difference between right and left.



"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

Good news from Monroe County (4.00 / 1)
Good news: the Fair Campaign Practices Committee just ruled against the racist mailer picture above. 

Bad move (0.00 / 0)
I liked Spitzer but this was the worst planned, poorly timed, idea he could have ever come out with.

While I am OK with his revised "three tier" plan, the damage is already done. Until this dies down the Democrats in NY are going to hurt.

Spitzer is really disappointing me.


I'm afraid you're right (0.00 / 0)
This was bad timing. 

[ Parent ]
IMMIGRATION ISSUE AND VA (0.00 / 0)
This is a big issue in VA and it may prevent the democrats from traking the senate.

This is very big in Prince William and Loudan county the two fastest growing counties in VA. kAINE AND wEBB CARRIED THESE COUNTIES FOR THE FIRST TIME  FOR ANY DEMOCRAT INCLUDING wARNER. wARNER WON BECAUSE HE IS POPULAR IN RURAL VA

Today, I don't think any of our presidential candidates could carry VAM BECAUSE OF THIS ISSUE.

The election is tomorrow and we shall see how it play's out.

FYI I live in northern VA.


[ Parent ]
Sick (0.00 / 0)
I'm really disgusted to see the extent to which hatred and fear of foreigners can be fomented in the American people. It's just extraordinarily disappointing.

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