Friday, December 14, 2007
New York Times: Vulnerable Democrats See Fates Tied to Hillary
According to this New York Times story, people running for office across the country for state-wide offices, are starting to be concerned about their prospects if Hillary Clinton is the nominee and on top of the ticket.
Nancy Boyda, a Democrat who ran for Congress in this district last year, owed her upset victory partly to the popularity of the Democratic woman at the top of the ticket: Kathleen Sebelius, who won the governor's seat. Now, with a tough re-election race at hand in 2008, Ms. Boyda faces the prospect that her electoral fate could be tied to another woman: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Mrs. Clinton is a long way from winning the Democratic presidential nomination, and over the last few weeks has struggled to hang on to the air of inevitability that she has been cultivating all year. But the possibility that she will be the nominee is already generating concern among some Democrats in Republican-leaning states and Congressional districts, who fear that sharing the ticket with her could subject them to attack as too liberal and out of step with the values of their constituents.
And few incumbent Democrats face a greater challenge next year than Ms. Boyda, whose district delivered almost 60 percent of its votes to President Bush in 2004.
Ms. Boyda, 52, is a former Republican who represents the state capital, Topeka, and a surrounding expanse of prairie and pasture interspersed with conservative small towns, military posts and this college community, home to Kansas State University . It was by appealing to conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans that she was able to defeat Jim Ryun, a five-term congressman, by 51 percent to 47 percent last year.
This time both Mr. Ryun and another Republican, Lynn Jenkins, the state treasurer, are lined up to run against her. And while vulnerable Democrats like her are not likely to have an easy time even if Senator Barack Obama, John Edwards or any of the other Democratic presidential candidates wins the nomination, Republicans in Kansas say Mrs. Clinton's presence on the ticket would unite their party in opposition to her and give dispirited conservatives a reason to get excited about the race.
The fact is that Senator Edwards puts many red states in play. Red states that Hillary and Obama wouldn't even bother campaigning it let alone competing in and winning. The fact is that there are many purple states out there that could be in play for Democrats if Edwards is on top of the ticket.
This is why his numbers are so significant in terms of winning against every Republican -- unlike Barack and Hillary -- and winning with the widest margins!