…but, I’m not sure they bring out new people or change too many minds.
Much of the fun of the sport of politics is watching the debates, both the Presidential debates (boy, Obama/Candy really screwed up that Libya question!) and the debates for the House and Senate. On this past Monday I went down to Frederick with my MD CAN cohorts and watched the debate there.
Our guys Ken Timmerman running in the 8th and Dan Bongino running for US Senate did a very good job presenting conservative positions much stronger btw then Romney has done in national debates. They both were adamant that they support the repeal of Obamacare and that seemed to really push ol’ Ben Cardin over the edge because he got overly loud and testy at times throughout his ordeal in a room which was majority Republican/Conservative/Libertarian/Tea Party.
You knew the Tea Party was present when a surrogate for Chris Van Hollen* who was not there (again!) said something disparaging of the Tea Party and he was roundly booed.
If you would like to watch Timmerman v. surrogate from the debate in Frederick, please visit our friend and MD CAN colleague Jim Jamitis’s blog Anthropocon here. Jim filmed the event and edited his report to show a one on one debate between two of the candidates. He did the same, here, to show Bongino v. Cardin.
Voters don’t even know the candidates!
Before I get to the Bartlett v. Delaney debate reported by the Baltimore Sun and the Hagerstown Herald Mail last night, I’ve been meaning to write a whole post on one of the most important thing I’ve learned going door to door in a town near mine. Everyone reading this is a political junky—MOST VOTERS ARE NOT!
We’ve been represented by Roscoe Bartlett for going on 20 years as a Congressman for the 6th District including Washington County, so most people know him and have a strong opinion one way or another about him. And, of course one would have to live under a rock not to know about Obama and Romney. HOWEVER, most voters who came to the door and answered our short questionnaire did not know who Dan Bongino was, BUT, get this! they don’t know Cardin either! I think we got Bongino a bunch of votes from “soft Rs, soft Ds” and independents who are not following anything other than what is on TV, YET THEY WILL BE VOTING!
I sound like a nag, and am sick of saying it, but if you are a challenger, a new guy, and want to win—-you must get your name and your literature into the homes of voters (the non-political junkies) who will vote for the name they know or leave the ballot blank when they get to a bunch of candidates on the ballot they have never heard of! They are unlikely to get to a debate.
We found the same phenomenon regarding those critical ballot questions. The voters who likely only go out and vote for national elections, or maybe for governor, have almost no knowledge of the issues—gay marriage, instate tuition for illegal aliens, redistricting! Here is a direct quote from a definite voter: “I thought the state passed gay marriage, you mean we get to vote on it?”
Delaney v. Bartlett
I didn’t get there but it looks like Bartlett was very strong in his debate with MoCo challenger and resident (who doesn’t even live in the 6th district) John Delaney at Hagerstown Community College last night.
Here is Bartlett on the Tea Party from the Herald Mail:
One of the more spirited moments came near the end of the forum when Delaney referred to Bartlett’s affiliation with the Tea Party. Delaney talked about how the organization has done nothing in Washington, D.C.
A round of applause followed Delaney’s comment.
Bartlett responded by saying the Tea Party was founded because of the federal government getting away from the U.S. Constitution.
Bartlett supporters then clapped.
The Baltimore Sun has a story too, here, where the title trumpets that one of my favorite topics—immigration—came up, but the story curiously doesn’t mention it, so back to the Herald Mail:
Regarding immigration reform, Delaney said he supports a fast track to citizenship for undocumented people in the country and securing borders. Immigrants can also play an important part in making the country more economically competitive.
Bartlett said a fast track to citizenship for undocumented people is basically an amnesty program that “rewards bad behavior.”
* It is hysterical to me that Van Hollen helped Biden prep for his disastrous comedy show of a debate, here, but Van Hollen is trying really hard to avoid debating Timmerman!