Chuck Todd, politico and the DCCC continue to spin this election bigtime. However if you look at the factors deep within this race you see that this race was not the Scott Brown race, in fact it was a race that would be tough for a republican. Lets look at the facts:

1. Statewide race vs District race:

On a Statewide level the dynamic is different than on a local level, individual pork projects for example in Boston won’t impress a person in Worcester or the Berkshires, but in a single district pork is much more noticeable. Whatever else you might say about John Murtha he was an incredible “provider” in his district and congressman Critz was worked for him for years. Kennedy’s impact was much less concentrated.

2. Primary Opponents:

What many people may not be aware of is that the democrat and republican primaries for congress were held at the same time as the special election. While economically it was a good move for the county it meant that both Critz and Burns had to win a primary election as well.

Critz took 72% of his primary vote Burns only took 53% With nearly 40k more votes to grab from Critz has a larger margin for error/anger than Burns. That suggests that Burns was not as popular within his own base. Bad sign for Republicans in the fall: Democrat primary 82,000 votes, Republican primary 45,000. In Massachusetts the primary took place weeks before. Brown’s opponent was easily beaten, Coakley won but her opponents supporters were not enthusiastic about her.

3. Other Ballot races.

One of the things often overlooked in Scott Brown’s victory is the fact that due to democrats being too smart for their own good the race was scheduled as a special election. This meant that it was the ONLY race on the ballot everywhere. In a state where democrats have a huge registration advantage in registration there were no races down the ticket to draw democrats to vote. In Pa of course you had a critical primary on the democratic side that drew national attention between Specter and Sestak that drew over 1,000,000 votes statewide.

Consider in 2008 there were 260k votes cast in pa-12 for congress, in 2006 200k. Yesterday there were less than 135k.

4. Registration/party loyalty::

In Massachusetts the majority of voters are NOT democrats. They are unenrolled 51%. That make a huge difference. Scott Brown had an independent base of voters to draw from. In Pa that is not the case. Lets look at the votes totals from 2006 & 2008 again. In 2006 Murtha took 123,000 votes. In 2008 he took 155k votes On the republican side in 2006 Irey took 79k votes, in 2008 Russell (Burns primary opponent) took 113k votes. Critz had a huge number of votes to draw from.

Yesterday Burns took 59k votes. In other words he drew 75% of Irey’s 2006 vote and just over 53% of Russell’s 2008 votes. Critz drew 65% of Murtha’s vote in 2006 and 52% of Murtha’s 2008 vote. In other words Critz drew 10% less than Burns did among his “base” voters from the last midterm and STILL won by over 12,000 votes. Or to put it another way. In order to defeat Burns Critz needed to draw only 49% of Murtha’s 2006 totals or 39% of Murtha’s 2008 totals. Think about that a second. Critz could afford to have over 60% of his base stay home and would have still won!

On a percentage basis Burns outperformed his republican predecessors by 5 and 2 points respectively Critz underperformed by 7 and 4 points. and STILL won by 9 points. Or to put it another way percentage-wise Burns needed to outperform his republican predecessors by 25 & 20% respectively to get to 50% of the vote. This proves that Ali Akbar like Tip knows how to count.

5. Barack Obama:

Scott Brown ran against Barack Obama and his healthcare plan.. Martha Coakley embraced him and the healthcare plan. President Obama campaigned for Coakley in Boston. Mark Critz ran AWAY from the president, saying (now that there is no vote to cast) that he OPPOSED the healthcare plan. He distanced himself from the president and that distance paid dividends. As Steve Maloney put it:

Admittedly, Critz is a good liar. He proclaimed that he was “pro-life” and “would have voted against the health care bill” (that Murtha voted for). He was “against the Medicare cuts” in the health bill. These comments were all incredible, but he said them with a straight face. Pelosi, whom Critz will worship as he once did “Mr. Murtha,” will tell Critz what to do, and he’ll salute and stand at attention.

There WERE incredible but they were made and the people in the district believed him. If he ran as himself it might have been a very different story.

6. No Sicilian in a Fedora:

Finally the most decisive factor. As Roxeanne De Luca clearly pointed out. “‘Every Campaign Needs to Have a Sicilian Guy in a Fedora” Scott Brown had one. Tim Burns did not. Nuff said.

Update: Ruby Slippers has more

Update 2: As does conservatives 4 Palin

Update 3: Robert Stacy who has spent more time than anyone else there puts in his two cents.

1. They are not giving Blumenthal a break on the “misspoke” business you can see Mika is simply disgusted because she knows the person and apparently expected better from him. This is consistent with the Allahpundit report of yesterday. Then again even the NYT editorial page didn’t support him.

2. When talking about pa-12 they pointed out that the democrat ran away from Obama. They are not treating it as a victory for the administration.

You would never know it was MSNBC

Update: They are reading the times editorial and are playing it up. You can see Mika is VERY pained over having to say what she is saying but it didn’t stop her from saying it.

On Pa-12 They now are playing up Capehart column saying that Pa-12 is a loss for the president. Exactly right, they are giving lip service to the NYT can’t win one race how will they win 100 business. Maybe when Todd is on they will spin it more

The first being of course Robert Stacy McCain you should refresh it often.

And of course there is the Pa-12 twitter site, update the regularly too.

Update: It looks like the polls in Pa-12 were not worth a thing.

the Tweet of the night belongs to Ali Akbar who apparently knows his races.

My big question that I tweeted: How many republicans who voted against Burns in the primary also did so in the general election?

…it’s a sign of weakness in a swing district. In this he is reporting and repeating DCCC spin:

Public Policy Polling, a North Carolina firm, released a survey Monday showing Republican candidate Tim Burns leading Democratic candidate Mark Critz by only one point, 48 to 47. I noticed some conservative blogs reporting that Burns had “moved into the lead,” but that result actually represented a six-point bump for Critz and only a four-point bump for Burns since the last poll.

Somehow the Susquehanna poll showing Critz with a 6 point lead last week doesn’t fit into the template here.

The plan seems to be that if Critz wins it becomes a bellwether of how the republicans can’t win the races this year. The hotly contested senate race of national importance is apparently no excuse.

This is called laying the groundwork. And Todd & the Post are not the only players:

They blame the establishment, the insiders, the Beltway types, the incumbents—the people who are in charge. They tend on the whole to direct their ire at Democrats, because right now Democrats tend to be in positions of power. But for the most part their dissatisfaction is not ideological. They want someone who can make things better. And someone different is a start.

No matter what happens in tomorrow’s primaries—no matter who wins or who loses—this will be the message that voters are sending. Seriously. It won’t be about the Tea Party, or a progressive resurgence, or some new level of partisan polarization. It’ll be about plain old change.

although he underplays the ire at Democrats Newsweek’s Romano makes a point, if anyone read Newsweek they might even agree.

And it isn’t just today it has been throughout the cycle:

By preferring someone else to him, Pennsylvania Republicans had “forced out” Sen. Specter, Mr. Milbank said. If he loses to Mr. Sestak on Tuesday, will Mr. Milbank say Mr. Specter was “forced out” by Pennsylvania Democrats?

Will Ms. Vieira wonder out loud if a Specter defeat indicates the Democratic party “doesn’t have room for moderate voices?”

Will Mr. Matthews declare that Mr. Specter was the victim of a “Stalinesque purge?”

Meanwhile Brinkley sees the Dems playing the expectations game and talks about some strong reinforcements:

Lee is a “Gold Star Mother” whose son, a Navy SEAL, was killed in a 2006 firefight in Iraq. She praised Burns as “a candidate who understands and will uphold the Constitution and who recognizes the sacrifices our troops make.”

In the battle for Pennsylvania’s 12th District, Lee is one member of a veritable of army of volunteers fighting to elect a Republican to the seat held for more than three decades by the late Democrat John Murtha. For weeks, volunteers have stuffed envelopes, manned phone banks and walked precincts, and today they’ll make the final push to get their voters to the polls in a special election that many observers are calling a crucial test of whether the GOP can win back the House of Representatives in November.

I’ve met Debbie Lee twice, she is a powerful advocate. The question is will she be enough?

I’ve been mentioning how Morning Joe and Politico et/al seemed to have suddenly discovered Pa-12 when the polls were trending in their direction:

the plan apparently is to set the race now that the polls favor the dems as a possible or probable loss, so if they win, it becomes a HUGE win for democrats and if they lose, well it was a tight race in a conservative district. This is spin.

This weekend I touched on SEIU money and Mark Critz having to worry about Scott Brown being in the house, but I hit the sack without seeing Brinkley’s Robert Stacy’s latest post reporting on the latest poll, quite a difference:

The special election to replace John Murtha looks to be headed for a photo finish, with Republican Tim Burns leading Democrat Mark Critz 48-47 in PPP’s final poll of the race.

And Stacy had this to say about the numbers:

Sestak’s surge in the Senate race is the probably the only reason Critz isn’t trailing significantly in PA-12. In early April, a Quinnipiac poll showed Specter leading by 21 points and Sestak trailed in every poll through the end of April. Five of the six most recent polls, however, show Sestak leading, so Democrats have a lot more incentive to turn out.

With the latest poll showing a 1 pt difference with only a day left we would expect Morning Joe to mention the race again…

…you would be wrong. They talked about PA all right but only about the Senate race, they discussed it in each segment and even brought in Gov Rendell who talked up Arlen Specter. Not a single word about Pa-12, and Rush would say, zip zero nada.

It couldn’t be that seeing the new poll they decided to focus on the Senate race to bump up democratic turnout in the district could it?

over in PA-12 doing short interviews and highlighting more interesting ads. Huntley who was busy attending a pair of First communions thinks that highlighting the ad is a mistake, since if a person goes to Factcheck.org to see what it says it shows a critique both the Critz ad AND this Burns one.

However the $142k from SEIU, now that’s significant, can Stacy/Brinkley find some SEIU for Burns people, that would really heat things up.

Meanwhile since neither Tucker nor Ricochet have made an offer to the new conservative Huntley & Brinkley I guess we will have to fend for ourselves.

You will have to wait till the end of the month for my swag/pitch.

not only because of GOP star of the year Scott Brown’s appearance on his behalf but because of a of a new twist.

Pittsburgh TV station WPGH has suspended the latest ad for Democrat Mark Critz for making false claims. The ad by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee falsely claimed that Republican Tim Burns supports a 23 percent national sales tax and wants to ship jobs overseas.

Dave Weigel notes that Democrats stand behind the claim and the ad remains up in other markets:

…they stand by the arguments in their ad, which are based on Burns’s support of the Fair Tax and his signing of Americans for Tax Reform’s taxpayer protection pledge. Democrats tell me the ad will remain on the air on other TV stations in Pittsburgh and Johnstown, which serve Pennsylvania’s 12th District

they are blaming this on the station’s conservative ownership. I wonder if they will claim factcheck.org is another bunch of biased conservatives too?

But this ad is quite misleading because it fails to mention that the FairTax proposal would also repeal the federal income tax entirely and do away with the Internal Revenue Service. It would also eliminate gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare and self-employment taxes. But anyone viewing the DCCC’s ad could easily conclude that Burns favored slapping a 23 percent sales tax on top of all existing taxes, which is not true.

Usually it would be an issue if factcheck disputed the ad but as Robert Stacy points out:

Well, of course, the Democrats aren’t backing down. They’ve got the MSM to cover their asses and pretend that the Fair Tax represents a “national sales tax” over and above current federal taxes. Of course, they don’t want to deal with the facts.

What is even more interesting and something I’ve touched on before is how a race that didn’t get much national attention when the newest polls showed Burns up by as much as 6 points last month in a heavily democratic district has suddenly become a “must win” for Republicans in a district they haven’t won in 38 years UPDATE: The previous sentence originally said 70+ years, that was misleading, the current 12th district is made up of two additional districts that haven’t elected a republican in 70+ years. In the 12th district that last republican to win was John Saylor in 1972, that’s my bad. when the latest poll give Critz an advantage As Sean Trende points out:

there are over sixty districts represented by Democrats with better Republican performances than PA-12. The Republicans’ path to 218 seats doesn’t necessarily run through this district – in fact, I don’t think their path to a 1994-esque 230 seats necessarily runs through this district.

This is basically extending the Morning Joe spin of yesterday to pretend if the democrats win that the tide of opinion has turned. We all know what the real question is: Can Burns manage to pull it off even without the presence of a Sicilian with a fedora?

As it is already Friday and there is only 4 days left before the Election in PA i’ve concluded that PA-12 will have to do without the presence of a Sicilian in a Fedora. Lucky for Tim Burns he had a much more popular visitor from Massachusetts and Robert Stacy provided the Fedora. Hopefully it will be enough.

Meanwhile My plans For Ga-4 have not yet fallen through. The contributor to Pa-12 agreed to apply his gift to Ga-4 putting me $830 away from my initial goal.

Well there is still a week to make up as much of that as I can. If you think some coverage in GA-4 would be worthwhile and would like to help me get there, hit DaTipJar and get me closer to the prize.

and politico called it a bellwether race.

Strangely enough all the time that Tim Burns was leading it didn’t make the cut, but now that the latest poll shows Critz leading it becomes critical.

I could be totally wrong about this, Politico on Morning Joe mentioned that it could go either way but I’m shocked it didn’t warrant interest last month.

Update: Now David Gregory is calling Pa-12 a “toss up race”. The plan apparently is to set the race now that the polls favor the dems as a possible or probable loss, so if they win, it becomes a HUGE win for democrats and if they lose, well it was a tight race in a conservative district. This is spin.

This morning it is really interesting to see the level of coincidence yesterday.

First of all because I had failed to raise the money to get to Pa-12 I was in Fitchburg instead of being on the road.

Because of this I went to morning Mass for Ascension Thursday.

Because of this I ran into my 80 something godfather.

Because of this I was able to invite him to breakfast with my mother and myself.

He ended up going to the wrong diner, because of this I had to go get him.

Because of this I saw the sign at J & R glass concerning the Governor’s visit.

Because of this after breakfast I headed down there to report on it.

Because of this I heard about the cancellation and the terror arrests

and because of that I have the photos and stories that you read yesterday.

The moral of the story? When you attend Mass on a holy day of obligation, good things happen!