Say it ain't So Mr. Simmons!

Mr. Steele has picked up a new endorsement, from Russell Simmons. I really don't understand what Mr. Simmons is thinking. Looking at Mr. Simmons' politics, it makes me wonder whether he simply forgot Kweisi Mfume.

I may update this a little later, but seriously, what is Russell thinking? For a person who has consistently supported progressive politics, it is a slap in face to progressives to see Mr. Simmons support W's lapdogs in Maryland.


I have been thinking about what this endorsement tells us about Mr. Steele's strategy as November approaches. Steele knows that he must succeed in convincing Democratic voters, specifically Black Democrats, that he is not really a Republican. Mr. Steele is trying to be Democrat-lite.

My guess is that he will succeed in proving himself to be Democrat-lite, and it doing so will ruin his chances to win. This is for a few reasons.

-Democratic turnout will be high in November. Democratic voters will choose the Democrat in the race, not the Democrat-lite. We saw this in the 2004 presidential election. John Kerry tried to out-republican a republican, a losing strategy.

-This Democrat-lite strategy will alienate conservative Republicans. Why should conservatives go to polls to support a Republican who has done his best to run from them to embrace popular liberals such as Simmons, who gave money to Howard Dean and campaigned against Mr. Steele in 2002 for KKT.

I am also beginning to wonder whether this race is the competitive contest some are making it into. I think once the September primary is over, Democrats will coalesce around the nominee, whether it be Cardin or Mfume. A week after the primary, Ipredict the Democratic nominee will be 10+ over Democrat-lite (i.e. REPUBLICAN) Steele.


Mfume CAN Beat Steele

One perspective about the '06 Senate race in Maryland that has upset me, has been one that assumes, for several reasons, that Kweisi Mfume cannot beat Michael Steele. One of the strongest indicators of this was the early polling, which had Mr. Mfume trailing Steele by over 5 points.

July 18, 2005 (Rasmussen):

Ben Cardin (D) 45%
Michael Steele (R) 40%
Other 4%

Kweisi Mfume (D) 40%
Michael Steele (R) 47%
Other 4%

Lets look how things were in February of this year.

February 19, 2006 (Rasmussen):

Ben Cardin (D) 49%
Michael Steele (R) 35%

Kweisi Mfume (D) 41%
Michael Steele (R) 42%

Looking at this is seems like both Cardin and Mfume have improved against Steele, but Cardin still appears to be the "safe" candidate. Now look at the most recent Rasmussen poll.

August 9, 2006 (Rasmussen):

Ben Cardin (D) 47%
Michael Steele (R) 42%

Kweisi Mfume (D) 46%
Michael Steele (R) 44%

The trend looks good for both candidates, but even better for Mfume. Cardin began the race with a lead. Mfume began down 7 points and is beginning to pull ahead of Steele. With Cardin running as more of a presumed incumbent in the race, it will interesting to see what happens if Mr. Mfume continues to climb in the polls against Steele. The more Mfume looks able to beat Steele in November, the more primary votes I think he will peel away from Mr. Cardin in September.