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NY-26 and Candidate Quality

- May 25, 2011

I should have linked to this two-week-old post from Jon Bernstein in my first post on NY26.  He suggests one specific way that it matters how politicians interpret election outcomes like that in NY26:

bq. One thing we do know about congressional elections is that candidate quality matters, and that the strongest candidates are usually experienced politicians who make choices based, among other things, on their estimates of whether it’s a good year to run. And how do they arrive at those estimates? Well, in large part, most likely, the same way that the rest of us do — by assessing obvious indicators (such as presidential approval ratings) and by tapping in to the conventional wisdom. Which, in turn, is going to be shaped by whatever it is that pundits and professionals are talking about. Which, this morning, was at least in part the upcoming NY-26 special, and will soon be the NV-2 special, with the likely participation of news magnet Sharron Angle.

Newt Gingrich said yesterday that the Republicans would win 12 Senate seats and 30-40 House seats in 2012.  He is almost certainly wrong, and one reason is that the political climate is not nearly as favorable to recruiting strong Republican candidates as it was in 2010.