Sign "O" the Times

From Jim Geraghty on Twitter: “Rep. Heath Shuler had only two donations from individual North Carolinians last quarter. Retirement watch?”

That’s not a good sign Shuler plans to stick around another term — which should tell you something very important about this election year.


Two years ago, I beat most of the bigs, in predicting how many seats the GOP would win in 2010. Just three days before the election, I wrote:

And that gives you a Republican majority of 242-193 — a mere 13 seats shy of the supermajority the Democrats have enjoyed these last two years. That’s a pickup of 64 seats, and as decisive a repudiation of a ruling party as any of us are likely to see in our lifetimes.

The GOP picked up 63 seats. Not bad for a guy sitting at home in his pajamas. But how did I get there, without having an in-house pollster and massive databases and a roomful of geeks with advanced degrees in statistics? I used my — wait for it — judgement. I came up with a few rules of thumb, concerning Cap & Trade’s effect on Appalachia voters, Obamacare on suburban voters, and weak Democratic freshmen. And then I looked at individual candidates, and applied a little Kentucky Windage to each race. Shuler’s race was an easy one to call, and I did so three months before the election:

Former quarterback Heath Shuler is all over the place in NC11. In just a month, he’s gone from Leans Dem to Likely Dem then back to Leans Dem. He’s socially conservative and voted against Porkulus and Obamacare. This seat’s probably safe for the Democrats.


Shuler’s seat was safe in a midterm Tea Party wave election that absolutely murdered Appalachian Democrats. Two years later, President Obama will top the Democratic ticket, presumably with an incumbent’s coattails — and Shuler isn’t bothering to raise any money from his own constituents?

Something is fishy about that.

Either Shuler feels so safe he doesn’t think he needs money — or as Geraghty wonders, he’s heading for the exit.

The former seems unlikely, to say the least. The latter tells me that President Obama has become absolutely toxic in North Carolina. And that’s not the only sign we’ve seen recently, with NC’s Democrat governor Bev Perdue announcing just last week she won’t seek reelection. Her reason? For the Children™!

Yeah, I don’t think Obama’s re-coronation ceremony in Charlotte this summer is going to do him much good there come election day.


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