On Chicken Counting

On Chicken Counting

by digby

I was a little bit surprised today to see that Nate Silver had Raul Grijalva rated at 99% chance of reelection. Far be it for me to second guess the statistical guru, but that's just not correct, not this time. In other elections you might have been able to say that but Grijalva is far from a shoo-in. He relies every time on big turnout among the groups that are most likely to sit this out and there is a strong contingent of white, pissed off, conservative Arizonans in his district who are out for blood. Most importantly, he is being targeted by very big money:

A source close to real estate developer and Republican fund-raiser Don Diamond reports that Mr. Diamond is making no secret of the fact that he is set to dump millions of dollars into ads opposing the Congressman. Ever since the passage of Arizona’s SB-1070, the right in Arizona and nationally have been targeting Grijalva, because of his calls for a boycott of the state. In retrospect, that may have politically been a bad move; but Grijalva has never been shy about speaking his mind and expressing his progressive values. Perhaps this is why he has never been on Don Diamond’s good side (although, naturally, an environmentalist and a land developer are going to butt heads).

This guy has a big fat target on his back. He's the co-chair of the progressive caucus and a national Hispanic leader. They would very much like to take him out this time. Certainly Don Diamond isn't planning to spend a million dollars or more for a 1% chance. They think they can use their usual dirty tricks to suppress the base and gin up the hysterical, beheading-fantasist teabaggers to a frenzy and get them out to vote. No statistical analysis can accurately tell the story of an election year like this one and certainly not in Arizona. It's sui generis.

I had the opportunity, along with Howie and John and other LA progressives to meet with Raul this past week-end and it was an eye-opening conversation. Grijalva is an extremely important progressive leader. Like Grayson, he's creating a serious progressive bloc that can work in concert with both funding and factional clout in the congress. And this Diamond threat is real and it's lethal. There is a long history there. It's not a good idea to take this one for granted.

Blue America has created the One America campaign to support Grijalva. If you can help, please do.

BTW, Don Diamond is John McCain's creature.

Don Diamond, for those not familiar, is the same land speculator we learned of in the run-up to the 2008 Presidential election. He is a good friend, and elite fund-raiser, for Senator John McCain. During the 2008 campaign, it was revealed that Sen. McCain had intervened to help Mr. Diamond get a sweetheart deal on coastal land at the former Ft. Ord Army base in Seaside, California. That revelation developed into a minor scandal of the 2008 race.