Can Joan Buchanan hold AD-15

In life it is enevitable. We all make enemies. And if you could pick your enemies in a political campaign then I say Joan Buchanan is pretty lucky.

Yes, Buchanan ran a misguided Congressional campaign by listening to the dark voices of special interests and she turned her back on her contributors and the Democratic Party who helped her win the 15th Assembly District seat. But as they say in New York FORGETABOUTIT Vinnie! She is a politician. What do you expect but a little biting of the hand?

As a matter of fact, I think Joan Buchanan and Robert Rao get the award for politicians who wasted the most campaign boodle in a primary. I will be happy to host a dinner with both of them. And they can argue about which campaign consultant padded their kids inheritence the most with their money.

If the Republican party had any brains they would not have lost the seat in the first place. But saying Republicans and brains is an oxymoron these days. Republicans delude themselves saying it was the Obama surge that carried Buchanan to victory over Wilson in 2008. Dream on. Republican registration in this district has been in decline for years and, as of May 2009, Democrats enjoy at 4-percent advantage in AD-15.

Please remember this is the assembly district that used to be a rock-ribbed conservative bastion where four of the last five victors were Republicans, and three of them were conservatives. Who is to say that as 2010 rolls around the registration trend continues and the Democratic edge stretches out to seven or eight percent. Demographics is the future as older Republicans retire and flee the high costs of the Bay Area and California to be replaced by Gen-Y Democrats and their youthful, communitarian spirit.

Of course Buchanan could benefit from her choice of opponents. San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson, whom the chattering classes spin as having laser-like focus on the upcoming AD-15 race, isn’t quitting his day job any time soon as he gears up for another run as Mayor. Laser-like focus? Who’s to say a Joe Rubay or Gordon Blake will challenge Wilson in the primary; it might even help Wilson focus.

The question is are County Democrats ready to throw Buchanan to the Republican wolves and give up a hard earned prize in AD-15. Or, might they set up a progressive proletarian in Anthony Woods to challenge the wealthy and elite Buchanan in the 2010 Democratic primary?

One thing is for sure, no matter how outraged the California Democratic Party in Sacramento is toward Buchanan they will get over it in time to pour cash into her reelection campaign. If she is weakened either by a primary opponent (unlikely) and is underfunded (also unlikely) the Republican could win. But they will have to be smart about it.

But there’s that oxymoron thing. Considering how bankrupt the State and Local Republican leadership is that will be a daunting task.

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  1. David B says

    To shamelessly borrow ideas from others…

    If this is all Abram and the Republican’ts have to throw at her she is in fine shape.

    After all she:

    *’lost’ a primary with 14 candidates, four of whom are strong Dems, going for the same piece of the pie is not a test of vulnerability. Only a a spinning Republican’t would posture that 4 months of positive message campaigning mid-term would equate to vulnerability.
    *ran an entirely positive campaign which largely overlapped her AD 15
    *improved her position with voters in AD 15 in terms of name ID and issue ID ($850K in outreach tends to do that).
    *reached out to a slew of small business owners, boosted their profile and featured their challenges in her literature and on the campaign trail.
    *organized over 500 local educators to help.
    *proved that she is not shy about putting her significant financial resources where her passion is.

  2. CCR says

    Buchanan ran as a budget cutter. She’s voting like a tax and spender. She’s got a record she’s going to have to explain when she runs this time around.
    Wilson did not do that badly and if there had not been the Obama vote, he might have won.

  3. says

    There is still some time before the next Assembly race. Democrats have been known to get over the primary issues far easier than the Republicans. The question will still remain who is the best Democrat to hold the district and that may still look like Buchanan. Where she will get hurt is in the money raising and the volunteers from outside the district which were a good chunk of support in the first run. Also the lessons learned from this loss should not be forgotten by the time her next campaign comes around, so she will be a smarter candidate. Also never under-estimate the ability of the Republicans to dig themselves into a massive hole with the electorate.

  4. CSchwam says

    The Democratic party should rally around Joan to ensure keeping this seat. Let’s not forget that Joan was the first Democrat in a very long time to be able to win AD 15. This didn’t happen by accident. She’s a great fit for the constituents of AD 15, and the Democratic party would be wise to put any differences aside and get on with keeping this seat. The Republicans have perfected the art of eating their own when they don’t do exactly as told. Here’s hoping the Democrats have learned from that and do what it takes to keep Joan in this seat. She’s smart, pragmatic, and a very hard worker. Sacramento needs more of all that.