The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Monday, May 31, 2004


Unless she gets hit by her predecessor's car while biking, looks like Stephanie Herseth has South Dakota's lone Congressional seat completely sewn up. You can check out her campaign site by clicking here. I'm disturbed that her campaign sign type-face is quite similar to those Bush-Cheney bumper stickers, but hey, whatever works!

Don't believe me? Ask her challenger:
Republican congressional hopeful Larry Diedrich is effectively conceding defeat in today's South Dakota special House election before the polling booths even open.

The former state senator dramatically ratcheted down expectations during an interview with The Hill at his campaign headquarters, saying he would be happy to lose to Democrat Stephanie Herseth by only five percentage points.
Of course, this could all be part of some weird, backwards strategy on Diedrich's part. He figures that effectively conceding might drive down turnout for both his supporters and those of Herseth. Not a likely situation, but he figures that he loses anyway if he stays put, so he might as well shake things up.

Would that work? Let's try out our thickest Cockney accent: "Not bloody likely!"

The real reason Diedrich is doing this is to try to lower expectations. Tomorrow's election is a special election to finish out the just-released-from-prison Bill Janklow's term in the House. In November, there will be another election for the same seat, so Diedrich wants to reframe a 5-point loss as being "not so bad", thus giving him some sort of momentum heading into November. Odds are such momentum will be filed next to "Joe-mentum" in the annals of history.

Neither strategy will work. The veritable Eye of Sauron that is the GOP fundraising machine will shift instead towards the Black Gate, where the newly-crowned Kerrygorn (Kerryssar?) waits, leaving Herseth to represent one of the nation's more conservative states. You're glad I rescued myself from that analogy, huh. (:

By tomorrow night, we will be one step closer to Speaker Pelosi.


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