Thursday, July 30, 2009

Politics of Sotomayor

Richard Burr's opposing the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, and it's not going to do him any political damage.

There are a couple basic reasons for that. The first is that there's not a meaningful Hispanic vote in North Carolina yet. The second that is that most voters are paying little to no attention to the confirmation process- this is not exactly something that was going to show up in a tv ad (at least an effective one!) no matter how Burr voted.

The biggest reason though is he did what was expected- voted the conservative Republican Party line as he has on pretty much everything for the last four years. He's not going to get whacked for this issue more than he would on any other issue.

I don't think there's really any help or hurt for Republicans who oppose Sotomayor- that's just seen as the party line. But there may be some advantage in going outside the box and supporting her. Just look at Chris Christie in New Jersey- he said she should be confirmed and now has a 50-33 lead with Hispanics in our most recent poll even as 67% of them approve of Barack Obama's job performance. We'll see if that bump is real or temporary but either way it's an eye opener.

If Burr had supported Sotomayor he would have had good material for a mailer to suburban independents and Democrats showing that he was willing to be more than an obstructionist . But ultimately this is not going to play a role next year.


Jason, Asheville said...

You're right in pointing out that voting against Sotomayor will have no effect on Richard Burr's re-election chances next year. The question is whether or not Hagan will vote along "party lines" for Sotomayor and how (if she was up for re-election next year) that "yes" vote would effect her re-election. Sotomayor is out-of-the-mainstream, a racist, a sexist and a bully, in her own words. She's a horrible choice for the U.S. Supreme Court and not only do we North Carolinians realize it but so do the American people. The last poll that I looked at had her nationwide approval ratings in negative territory. Burr will be right to vote against her and Hagan will be wrong to vote for her. Before you continue to blast Burr as a party line Republican, please remember that Obama voted against BOTH John Roberts and Samuel Alito along the so-called party line. Clearly he wasn't concerned about appealing to moderates or Republicans as a non-obstructionist. One last thing, are you implying that Hispanics will lock-step support someone like Sotomayor simply because she is a Puerto Rican? You should clarify your reasoning when you espouse racial politics. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't remember Hispanics rioting in the streets when Miguel Estrada was lynched via filibuster from the United States Court of Appeals by the likes of Ted Kennedy and Patrick Leahy.

Anonymous said...


That was right on the money. If every Rebuplican reads your post, they will get elected without any problem. They need to stop listening to the main stream media and trying to go to the middle.

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