I’m not a Hillary Clinton fan, but I had the same reaction as Kevin Drum to this morning’s article in the New York Times that claimed that Hillary would be a threat to the re-election of some of the (if there are any) vulnerable Democrats in the House. The article specifically mentions Kansan Nancy Boyda, who beat Jim Ryun, the Olympic choke artist, last year:
So Boyda is nervous about sharing the ticket with Hillary?
Of the presidential race, she said: “It is something I have no control over, quite honestly. They will demonize any Democrat who becomes the nominee. I just put my head down and work.”
They will demonize any Democrat who becomes the nominee. Smart woman. So who is worried about Hillary’s anti-coattails? Answer: Kansas Republicans, who claim that a Clinton nomination will help them out. An entirely impartial assessment, I’m sure. Who else? “House Democrats” who are “privately nervous” about Hillary’s reverse coattails. No names, of course. What else? Well, there’s this:
Democrats say they have not polled on the issue, though a private survey that surfaced this year found that the nomination of either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama could cut into support for House Democrats in tough districts.
I’m actually open to the idea that Hillary Clinton might not have downticket coattails that are as strong as Barack Obama’s. But if you want to convince me of this, you really need more than a few Kansas Republicans shedding crocodile tears, some allegedly “privately nervous” House Dems, and a survey — the only piece of actual evidence in the entire article — that concludes just the opposite. Just sayin’
The article proves no more than the fact that Democrats in right leaning districts (like Republicans in left leaning districts) have a tougher time in Presidential election years when turnout is greater. The article doesn’t come close to proving its basic premise: that Democrats are worried about Clinton in particular. Once again the press turns to Republicans to tell us what Democrats are thinking and/or what Democrats should avoid, but isn’t it possible that they’re just pulling their regular scam. On the internet we have learned to ignore concern trolls, the New York Times puts them front and center. This is yet another example of the press trying hard to propagate a meme that reinforces the narrative it has chosen for this campaign.
The Democrats have more chance of blowing the presidential election than they do of losing Congress. And, by the way, if some of the freshman must lose, it couldn’t happen to more deserving people that some of the folks mentioned in the article (e.g, Heath Shuler).