NY-09 Winner Ran From Ryan Plan

September 14th, 2011 at 5:39 pm | 16 Comments |

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The victory of Bob Turner in heavily Democratic NY-09 is clearly not good news for Democrats. When the media hasn’t picked up is that Turner benefited by not embracing the Paul Ryan budget.

Mickey Kaus has some good points about the inability for Democrats to win on entitlements:

It’s the possibility that the Democrats favorite issue–Social Security–didn’t work to save them because Obama, too, has embraced cutting Social Security and Medicare in “some undefined ‘everything on the table’ entitlement reform,” as Weigel puts it. Could it be that the differences between Obama’s Medicare cuts and GOP Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare cuts–differences that seem so significant to policy analysts in Washington (and to me)–don’t have much salience in the crude argumentation of direct-mail electioneering?

However, I think it is a mistake to interpret Kaus here as saying that Mediscaring / Social Security-scaring has been proven ineffective.

If anything, this election suggests that the Obamacare cuts to Medicare do provide an opportunity for Republicans to run on this issue, but running against Social Security and Medicare might not be the way to do it.

Bob Turner distanced himself from the Ryan budget on Medicare and from Rick Perry (or at least the Perry of Fed Up!) on Social Security. The “Issues” page on his website reads (emphasis added):

Social Security and Medicare represent solemn commitments made by the government to people who have been paying into this system their entire lives. I believe that these programs should be preserved as they are for those in or near retirement and that we should work to strengthen and preserve them for our children and future generations. I oppose efforts to privatize or bankrupt either. I would work with members of both parties to reach a solution that will meet our obligations on both of these programs.

Mediscare couldn’t work against Turner because he pledged his total support for Medicare. Indeed, he has spoken strongly against the Ryan budget. This election is less a sign of victory for the Ryan budget and more a sign that Republicans can run away from this budget (at least if they haven’t voted for it) and win.

Even in the far more GOP-friendly special election in Nevada, Republican winner Mark Amodei at times expressed some reservations about the Ryan budget (even as he praised Ryan for trying to solve the problem). Amodei refused to say whether he would vote for it or not.

Vowing to protect Social Security and Medicare, a Republican was able to win in a strongly Democratic district. If Turner had run on the Ryan budget and declared Social Security unconstitutional, the result might have been quite different. NY-09 is not representative of the nation as a whole (it usually favors Democrats), but, if Republicans hope to cast this election as representative, they might do well to note what their man did not run on.

Originally Posted at A Certain Enthusiasm

Recent Posts by Fred Bauer

16 Comments so far ↓

  • Saladdin

    Uhhh, isn’t the Ryan plan a litmus test for running for a GOP office nowdays?

  • Oldskool

    That election was a bucket of cold water in the face of Dems, which will probably do them good in the long run.

    While I’m at it, why do these html

    code buttons

    come and go?

    • MSheridan

      If you’re referring to the blockquote html, the only thing I can figure is that they still work when you are applying them to a single paragraph. As soon as you try to apply them to text with even one break in the text, they fail. What causes that, I don’t know.

  • Arms Merchant

    Four quick reasons off the top of my head why Turner won in NY-9, considering its voter demographics and the candidates:

    1. The economy
    2. Same-sex marriage
    3. Weprin’s personal shortcomings as a candidate
    4. Obama’s Israel policy

    Bauer: “…Turner benefited by not embracing the Paul Ryan budget.”

    It’s hard to disprove such a weak statement, but good grief. Considering the weight of the other factors, do you honesty think that this had more than a marginal effect on the election results?

    • Frumplestiltskin

      Then how do you explain Hochuls up state NY victory in May? Do you really think the economy was gang busters then? Corwin supported the Ryan budget and lost. It was not the only reason, but we are talking about the margins here. If 5% of the voters went with Turner because they accepted his assurances on Social Security, and then took other issues into account, then he won the election because of it.

  • drdredel

    What could a bunch of hassidic jews have against Obama’s Israeli policy?

  • Smargalicious

    Sorry Fred, you’re reaching.

    Dims had the seat for 88 years…count ‘em: eighty eight.

    The tide will come in November 2012, sweeping in GOP control of the Senate and WH.

    Hallelujah Sweet Jesus.

  • dante

    Let’s tick off the demographics of this area:

    Socially conservative

    ALL of those groups trend farther Republican recently than others… I’ll wait and see what happens when someone who voted for the Ryan budget has to go up against that same older constituency.

  • Chris Balsz

    What was the Democrat’s position on the Ryan plan?

  • kathyjboyd

    In capitalism, when you can’t find a customer, you lower your price. Even the federal government understands that. The premiums have now dropped by 20% to 40%, depending on your age, circumstance and state. If you considered this pre-existing coverage plan before and found it too costly, give it a look now. best would be to check “Penny Health” for your health insurance

  • Graychin

    Good point about Turner running away from the Ryan plan.

    Opposition to the Republican/Ryan plan is a luxury that no Republican incumbent will have. They ALL voted for it.

    “Vowing to protect Social Security and Medicare, a Republican was able to win in a strongly Democratic district.”

    That’s going to be hard for any Republican to do with Rick Perry at the top of the ticket.