Thursday, August 07, 2008

Blunt in Southwest: Bomb or Bounce?; Steelman Supporters Livid At Snyder's Spin

The chattering political class is still dissecting the results of Kenny Hulshof's 4 point win over Sarah Steelman.

What if Steelman had more money to put into Cape and Columbia? What if turnout reached 500,000 or more as expected? Was Hulshof's margin more or less than his camp expected?

One of Congressman Roy Blunt's political staffers, Burson Snyder, wrote me today to weigh in on a factor she believes helped Hulshof snag a statewide victory. Snyder is calling it "The Blunt Bounce."

"When Kenny Hulshof got into the race for governor, he was more than 20 points behind Steelman in the Seventh Congressional District," Snyder wrote. "In mid-July, I believe you reported the Survey USA findings that had Hulshof down 19 points in the Seventh."

UPDATED . . . But this statement seems contradictory to Hulshof's own internal polls released to the KY3 Political Notebook. On July 11th, the Hulshof campaign released its own poll showing Hulshof up 46% to 34% in the 7th Congressional District. Hulshof lost the 7th Congressional District. Some Steelman supporters are livid over the statements by Snyder. "They say they're up by 12 points in southwest Missouri, then Roy Blunt gets involved and they lose! This is insane, revisionist history," barked one Steelman supporter in a telephone call today, after reading this post. "If we'd a had more money, we'd a beat him in Joplin too," this supporter said. "It was the Blunt Bomb, not the Blunt Bounce."

"When the votes were counted Tuesday night, he had closed that gap to just seven points, against a very "known quantity" in Southwest Missouri. Steelman, as you well know, had run for office multiple times in the Springfield media market --- yet, the closer it got to the primary, the more Republican voters peeled away from her in favor of the "unknown quantity," Kenny Hulshof. So what were the factors that helped Hulshof close the gap?," Snyder asked.

"I would argue that in Southwest Missouri, one of the critical elements helping him close that gap was the late June endorsement, campaigning, and calls by the very "known quantity" Roy Blunt," she explained.

Still, Steelman won Greene County and edged out Hulshof in the 7th Congressional District (despite Sen. Kit Bond's prediction otherwise.)

***UPDATED . . . One Steelman staffer says Steelman's win in the 7th shows that Blunt is losing clout in his district.

"Blunt lost hundreds of votes because of his endorsement of Hulshof---including mine. We NEVER need someone telling us how to vote. 11th commandment: Never endorse in a primary," writes another Steelman supporter.

"How many State Reps endorsed Kenny in the 7th district?? ALL OF THEM! But Sarah still won despite the consistent campaigning against her down here in Southwest Missouri," he said.

"Aside from the Blunt endorsement of Hulshof, Kenny spent 90% of his time here in SW MO and spent more money here in SW MO than we did. Sarah's message trumped Kennys in areas he was camped out in," he added. "If the turnout in his home district would have been a little less--it would be a Steelman-Nixon battle today. Just goes to show that you cannot underestimate the power of your own home turf," he wrote.

"But, looking at the differences between Kenny and Jay, the choice is clear. Congrats Kenny, you have my vote," he said.

More Thoughts?


maximus bevo said...

Roy Blunt should have never endorsed in this race or any other race for that matter.

Blunt and the Republican Party and 95% of most republican elected officials in this state openly endorsed and campaigned for Kenny Hulshoff, however he wins a close race that he was up by 15 points at one time.

Kenny loses the bastion of conservative republicans (SW Missouri) in this state and did so because of his close connection with the Blunts.

Republicans in SW Missouri are fed up with the direction of the state and federal government and sent a loud message to the establishment in Missouri.

OBTW, if more conservative republicans show up in SW Missouri yesterday, like they normally do, then Sara Steelman is the nominee for Governor not Hulshoff.

Blunt DID not help Hulshoff, only hurt him and many down here told him early on to stay from the Blunts. He didn't listen and it almost cost him the election.

Craig said...

There’s some faulty reporting at work here. Was reading some election results and noticed that Hulshof closed the 7th District to 3 points, not 7 as reported. Strange that such easily available information was misreported so blatantly here.

Additionally, it seems fairly clear that Rep. Blunt’s effect on the contest was substantial
Just compare counties in the 7th to counties in adjacent districts – all voted Republican. They voted Republican in August and they’ll vote Republican in November. Either way, Steelman ran much lower in the 7th than in the districts right outside – a clear indicator of Rep. Blunt’s positive effect on the Hulshof campaign - and one that proves that his endorsement mattered.

The “didn’t buy ads” excuse is poor, too. Hulshof took this from a basically standing start half a year ago. And using the excuse that no ad buys=no support is bogus too. Hulshof didn’t buy paid media in KC – and won. Can’t run this race over; hindsight is 20/20 and to blame low support on a lack of paid advertising is truly grasping for straws. And anyway, all that really matters now is for state GOPers to rally in November and keep a Republican in Jefferson City – by keeping Jay Nixon out.

GDawg said...

Uhh... Craig... not that I completely discount your point, but if you are saying Hulshof won Kansas City then you are wrong. The highest he pulled in the Kansas City metro was 38.7% of the vote in Platte County.

Ads alone won't do the trick, but had Steelman spent more time in the McDonald through Barton/Jasper County belt and bought more ads there, she would likely have pulled closer and possibly have won some of those counties, too.

The reason that she won the counties just outside the 7th district so well (to the Northeast) is because that is her home area.

I don't think Blunt should have enodorsed. He probably did help among some demographics of the Republican party, but there is a group of Republicans who don't like Mr. Blunt... hence his getting only 85% of the Republican votes cast when NO ONE ran against him. That couldn't have helped his cause.

Paul Seale said...

To which I am sure David Catanese is chuckling about now over this entire manufactured story.

Wise up guys (fellow Republicans and conservatives).

Consider the source(s) and what the ulterior motive might be behind the story.

Might I suggest that Mrs. Steelman supporters read what her own campaign manager wrote here:


Milton Friedman Fan said...

The Steelman camp is crying over spilled milk.

The bottom line for everyone to remember is that she wouldn't have been in this race at all if she hadn't loaned herself the money to be in it.

She loaned herself more than $750,000 last I knew, and could be more when final reports come out at the end of the month.

She STRUGGLED to raise money. There are big reasons for that, despite running statewide before, a huge advantage for her campaign. The only reason this race was close at all is because she loaned herself so much money... a direct result of not being able to raise the money to beat Hulshof.