The myth about Busby, continued

Normally respectable sources, in this case Capitol Weekly (as quoted at San Diego Politics Blog), continue to perpetuate the myth that somehow Democratic candidate Francine Busby has a better chance of an upset in the 50th House district in the first round than in the second.

April 11 could be do-or-die for Francine Busby. The Democratic congressional candidate appears to have a slim chance to win a majority in next week’s special election to replace former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham. But she would be a heavy underdog in a runoff as GOP voters unite around a single candidate.

Capitol Weekly simply makes no sense here. She is no more likely to win 50%+1 on 11 April than she is to win a plurality in June.

In fact her slim hopes of winning rest on either (1) the leading Republican emerging from the first round being too extreme to win the runoff, or (2) a third-party or independent candidate splitting the Republican vote in the general.

Given that there is no “Gilchrist” running in the 50th, Busby’s hopes for the second scenario appear to have vanished.

That leaves the first scenario. Busby is not likely to defeat a single Republican candidate in June, but such an upset is still far more likely her crossing the 50% threshold on 11 April when all flavors of Republican politics have someone to their liking.

0 thoughts on “The myth about Busby, continued

  1. Might these stories be driven by expectations about a difference in turnout between the two elections and/or possible improvement in Republican fortunes overall before the general?

  2. I thought about the turnout question. Normally, I think we’d expect the turnout in a runoff special election to be lower than in the first round. This time, however, the runoff will be at the same time as the regular primary.

    That’s a lot of moving parts, so I am not sure what the impact might be on turnout. Republicans have no interesting statewide primaries to draw voters out (incumbent governor without opposition, and no major challengers to Feinstein for the senate seat). Democrats do have a contested gubernatorial primary, which could help their turnout. I’m not sure about ballot measures in June that might boost turnout for one party more than the other.

    In general, if there is any “turnout effect” I am mystified as to how it would be better for Busby in the first round than in the second.

    On the “fortunes turnaround effect,” that makes sense. Kick ’em when they’re down!

    Well, it’s a longshot either way, that’s for sure.

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