Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mark Schauer to flip flop and challenge Tim Walberg? (7th District)

It looks like we'll have a flip-flop here. Mark Schauer, a state senator from Battle Creek may be changing his mind and running for congress. From the AP

LANSING — State Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer, D-Bedford Township, might challenge U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg in the 2008 election after brushing off earlier overtures to enter the race.

Schauer, who had pledged to Senate Democrats to serve out his full four-year term through 2010, said Wednesday he is discussing a bid for Congress with family, colleagues and constituents before making a "final decision."

Mark Schauer is an chamelion who'd I'd trust as much as Mr. Clinton, but he's a good campaigner. Why don't I trust him? For example he ran as a major pro-gunner when he first ran for the house in 98. He won, with gun owner support. When he saw a chance at rising into leadership, he comes across and votes for every restriction provision in the concealed carry bill, including one that made cars a no carry zone. He did vote for the final bill in the end however, to say he was pro. Then he cosponsored a nasty gun grabbing package authored by Gilda Jacobs. He'll say and do anything that makes him look good. Right now, he's the yesman to the Matt Millen of Governors, Jennifer "Tax em all" Granholm.

Schauer is however a good campaigner and won tough districts in the past. His old Battle Creek district is a slightly democrat leaning area, but voted for Republican Mike Nofs when Schauer ran for Senate. Schauer's state senate district was a 53% Bush district. I think Schauer is the 2nd best candidate the democrats could run, with one of the Spades (Dudley especially) being their best chance.

Tim Walberg is possibly the most underestimated campaigner in the state. He's never had any easy races, and always finds a way to win. Eight times in a swing district that went democrat when he left. He ousted a tax raising, gun grabbing and pro-abortion incumbent backed by the entire GOP establishment (including Mr Bush) in a primary in 06, and then won the general election in a major democrat year. The populist, free soil, and Reagan democrat leaning 7th district in particular was particulary nasty to the GOP, voting for Granholm by large margins after voting for Bush by a fairly large margin in 2004. They still backed a non-incumbent Republican in Tim Walberg.

Many democrats think Walberg is their easiest shot at a congressional seat in 08. I disagree, even if Schauer runs. (Knollenberg seat) I do think it would be a tough race, but my money would still be on Tim Walberg - and I think Schwarz would actually be easier to beat in a general under the 2006 circumstances.

While I haven't had the time to update all the county and district reports, there's some good information and numbers in the sidebar. District 7, State Senate 19, and the counties involved in this district have all the numbers from 2004 and earlier.

The 2006 numbers are as follows

General Election (first number Walberg, 2nd number Renier)
Branch: 7744, 5572
Calhoun: 18930, 21260
Eaton: 21135, 22108
Hillsdale: 9798, 5000
Jackson: 28140, 25281
Lenawee: 18740, 14379
Washtenaw: 17861, 19065
Total: 122348, 112665

Primary Election (first number Joe Schwarz, 2nd number Walberg)
Branch: 1519, 2309
Calhoun: 5650, 4167
Eaton: 5941, 5032
Hillsdale: 1917, 4043
Jackson: 6777, 8019
Lenawee: 2569, 5687
Washtenaw: 4957, 3988
Total: 29330, 33245

Schauer won against a sacrificial lamb opponent in 06 by the margin of 50612 to 32078, a big win.

For the record, Walberg is from Lenawee County (Tipton) and Renier is from Jackson County (Munith). Schwarz is from Battle Creek in Calhoun County. Schauer is from Benton Township near Battle Creek.

Now why do I think as things stand, Walberg wins in 08, even against Schauer.

1. Primaries. Schauer does not have easy ride to the nomination. Attorney David Naucht is running. Sharon Renier is also running. Former State Senator Jim Berryman is also running. Naucht's raising money and is going to have a campaign. Renier beat democrat establishment campaigns several times in the past. Jim Berryman won a tough state senate district which went Republican when he left. Joe Schwarz may also run and is considering a party switch to something more in line with his tax raising views. There is a significal geographical element to that primary, and it is no gaurantee that Schauer will survive it. I think he would, but not easily.

2. District is more republican in presidential years. Two counties that are not going to be as big of an advantage to democrats in 08 are Eaton and Jackson. Why? State workers. Eaton County has a very large number of state workers commuting to Lansing (as well as a small portion of Lansing). They strongly lean democrat in off year elections. Granholm won Eaton Twice, by a big margin in 06. Bush won it in 04. Jackson went for Bush twice, and Granholm once. Jackson has a lot of state workers due to the corrections industry (prisons). It is very open to democrats at the state level, but not nearly as much at the federal level, and not to leftists.

3. Geography. There are very few strongholds for either party in this district. The democrats have Albion in Calhoun County, the city of Jackson (usually), and part of Lansing in Eaton County. Adrian (Lenawee) and Battle Creek are strong leaners. None of the democrat strongholds were enough to take their respective county in the 04 election, although Calhoun went for Gore in 2000 due mostly to Albion and Battle Creek. The Republicans have Hillsdale and Branch Counties leading the way, Summit Township in Jackson, and some rural areas in the other counties are also strongholds. Most of the rural areas are republican leaning, not strongholds however. There are a lot of socially conservative independents here, and Walberg runs well among them, much to the chagrin to the establishment crowds which do not like him. (That can be a good thing) Calhoun did not like Walberg to begin with due to the Schwarz defeat. I do not see that much more of a swing against him from 04. Schauer is probably too leftist and too establishment democrat to take Jackson in a federal level race against a non-sacrificial lamb. Eaton would be close, but probably 50/50 at best. He'll probably take Washtenaw due to the Ann Arbor leftists in Scio Township, although the Manchester and Salem areas will offset some of it. Schauer can forget about Branch, Hillsdale, and Lenawee counties altogether. That's too much to make up, despite a Battle Creek homer advantage.

4. Taxes. Granholm's tax proposals are showing a newer side to Schauer - and not a good one to a populist district, such as this one.

5. Last but not least is Walberg's maverick side. He's not a Bush robot, but a conservative first and foremost, and his social conservatism plays well in most parts of this district (including swing areas) outside of areas like Scio Township (Ann Arbor) in Washtenaw County and maybe Delta Township, although I've still never quite figured that area out.

Schauer will make this a race, but my money is on Tim Walberg, and I'm rather confident about this matchup. If this was one of the Spade brothers vs Walberg, I'd be less confident.

2 comments:

keithr said...

Judging by poll numbers which show the Democrat run Congress with a much lower approval rating than Republican President Bush, it is looking like '08 could be a very good year for Republicans, providing we can keep them from pushing crazy ideas like amnesty for illegal aliens.

CRC Director said...

I didn't see a way to email this to you, but since it involves Schauer I thought I'd post it here.
--

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
--------------------------------

Its Democrats and Republicans going toe-to-toe, or should we say
"bumper-to-bumper" to benefit Community Inclusive Recreation.

This Saturday Night August 25th, The Bob Frahm Community Racing Challenge
returns to Springport Motor Speedway, presenting the 2007 Congressional
Challenge.

Michigan State Senator Mark Schauer, State Representative Mike Simpson,
State Representative Rick Jones and State Representative Mike Noffs will be
donning the drivers gear and taking to the high banks of Springport Motor
Speedway in a 10 lap sprint to prove who the fastest legislator is. The Bob
Frahm CRC Congressional Challenge race will kick off at 7:30pm at Springport
Motor Speedway.

Benefiting from this week's event is Community Inclusive Recreation, based
in Battle Creek, serving all of Calhoun, Barry and Jackson counties. The
Mission of CIR is to provide and promote inclusive social, recreational,
educational, and art activities for people of all abilities through
programming, leadership, and support of community inclusion. CIR is a
United Way Program Delivery Partner

Senator Mark Schauer commenting on the CIR; "They are a wonderful
organization with a vision and commitment to community inclusion. The CIR is
changing mindsets, attitudes, and accessibility barriers and I am proud to
support their efforts"

CIR is fortunate to have a wealth of partnering individuals and agencies
throughout Battle Creek, and beyond. As a result of the relationships that
have been cultivated throughout the 12 years that CIR has been in the
community, participants have had opportunities to experience wonderful
activities. And this weekend is no exception as the world of Automobile
Racing will be opened up to the great folks at Community Inclusive
Recreation.

Representative Rick Jones raised the bar of competitiveness when he said;
"with my 33 years in law enforcement, serving over 30 years with the Eaton
County Sheriff Department; I've chased bad guys from every corner of this
county and back... now they'll be chasing me." There is no doubt that this
fun event will be very racy as these 4 strong minded and strong willed
drivers jump behind the wheels of Bob Frahm's Community Racing Challenge
pure stocks for a 10 lap featured heat. Joining the Congressmen will be two
representatives of Community Inclusive Recreation, making it a full field of
challengers.

The Community Racing Challenge charge is to provide meaningful support to
local non-profit organizations in the form of fund raising and team building
events which will not only foster new interest in local short track racing,
but enhance the relationship between drivers, owners, local businesses and
the citizens of our community.

The Community Racing Challenge will kick of this event on Thursday, August
23rd at Brown Stadium in Battle Creek where CIR will be hosting their 13th
annual Celebrity Softball Bash. This event pits the members of the Detroit
Red Wings Alumni and Detroit Tigers Alumni in a softball game versus Battle
Creek Community Leaders. Former Detroit Tiger pitcher Dave Rozema and
former Detroit Red Wing Shawn Burr are among the many big names taking part
in this big event.

The Community Racing Challenge will be on-site, along with one of our
Challenge Race Cars handing out free vouchers for the race on Saturday Night
and giving everyone an opportunity to sit in the racer and try on some race
gear. Senator Mark Schauer and Representatives from Mike Noffs office are
expected to be on-hand to meet and greet all the dedicated people involved
in this important community event.

For more information on this event, please visit
www.communityracingchallenge.com, the online home of the Community Racing
Challenge. There you'll find videos and photos of past events, directions
to the race track, ticket information, event schedule, free on-line vouchers
and more. Or contact Patrick McNamara via email at
patrick@communityracingchallenge.com or phone 734.536.0319