Hillary's Coattails

HILLARY'S COATTAILS....In the New York Times today, Carl Hulse writes about the possibility that Hillary Clinton's nomination might have a negative effect on House Democrats running for reelection in conservative districts:
MANHATTAN, Kan. — Nancy Boyda, a Democrat who ran for Congress in this district last year, owed her upset victory partly to the popularity of the Democratic woman at the top of the ticket: Kathleen Sebelius, who won the governor's seat. Now, with a tough re-election race at hand in 2008, Ms. Boyda faces the prospect that her electoral fate could be tied to another woman: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton is a long way from winning the Democratic presidential nomination, and over the last few weeks has struggled to hang on to the air of inevitability that she has been cultivating all year. But the possibility that she will be the nominee is already generating concern among some Democrats in Republican-leaning states and Congressional districts, who fear that sharing the ticket with her could subject them to attack as too liberal and out of step with the values of their constituents.
Interesting. So Boyda is nervous about sharing the ticket with Hillary?
Of the presidential race, she said: "It is something I have no control over, quite honestly. They will demonize any Democrat who becomes the nominee. I just put my head down and work."
They will demonize any Democrat who becomes the nominee. Smart woman. So who is worried about Hillary's anti-coattails? Answer: Kansas Republicans, who claim that a Clinton nomination will help them out. An entirely impartial assessment, I'm sure. Who else? "House Democrats" who are "privately nervous" about Hillary's reverse coattails. No names, of course. What else? Well, there's this:
Democrats say they have not polled on the issue, though a private survey that surfaced this year found that the nomination of either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama could cut into support for House Democrats in tough districts.
I'm actually open to the idea that Hillary Clinton might not have downticket coattails that are as strong as Barack Obama's. But if you want to convince me of this, you really need more than a few Kansas Republicans shedding crocodile tears, some allegedly "privately nervous" House Dems, and a survey — the only piece of actual evidence in the entire article — that concludes just the opposite. Just sayin'.

For the other side of the story, check out Tom Schaller here. He doesn't know the answer for sure either, but at least he presents a bit of evidence to help make his case.

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