The Obama Eight: The '08 Gang

On the suggestion of faithful reader, Laine, I'm going to add one more element to the analysis of the Obama Eight. Then, we'll get to work looking at each of these races in greater detail.

In my previous posts I did not factor in the performance of the Dems in 2008. My thesis is, essentially, that those Dems did not ride Obama's coattails as far as they could have. We'll test that by adding my flipability factor on to each Dem's actual performance. The lower the number, the better they did.

[(Obama% - McCain%) - (GOP Reg% - Dem Reg%) + 2008 margin of defeat]

(Thus, the flipability of the district will act as a handicap to judge the Dems against one another.)

: For the time being, let's set aside debates about the nature of Obama's coattails and the tactics of using such in an actual campaign. Each of these districts maintains a registration advantage for the Republicans, so the on-the-ground reality was not in favor of anyone.

DistrictIncumbentChallengerFlipabilityMargin of DefeatFlipability Gap
44thCalvertBill Hedrick-62.4%-3.6
50thBilbrayNick Leibham-55.1%0.1
48thCampbellSteve Young-1615.1%0.9
3rdLungrenBill Durston-25.5%3.5
24thGalleglyMarta Ann Jorgensen-316.4%13.4
25thMcKeonJackie Conaway015.6%15.6
26thDreierRuss Warner413.1%17.1
45thBono MackJulie Bornstein116.6%17.6

It is really important to qualify these numbers. Two important factors not included are money and experience. Each candidate's fundraising matters, but so too does the incumbent's. Also, some of these candidates were running for the second time, while others were first timers.

I was hesitant to publish this because I don't want to be seen as disparaging the Dems and their campaigns. Despite my ranting, I could not have won any of these races either. My purpose is to attract institutional attention, showing where opportunities were in 2008, with the hope of building even better campaigns for 2010.

With all that said, if you were on one of these campaigns (or are one of these candidates!) please share you experiences. What did you do that got you ahead? What would you do differently?

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