Earl’s blues

In the Hill’s polls released this week that I noted in “Signs and omens,” nine-term Democratic incumbent Earl Pomeroy had taken the lead against Republican challenger Rick Berg for North Dakota’s at-large seat. Like a lot of vulnerable Democratic incumbents, however, the Hill poll also showed Pomeroy stuck under 50 percent (Pomeroy was at 45 percent, Berg at 44), leading some observers to conclude that his time is up.
Pomeroy won his last race for re-election by 20 points, but he is a liberal running in a conservative state in a difficult year for Democrats. Incumbent Democratic North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan stood down rather than face popular incumbent Republican Governor John Hoeven to retain his seat, and Governor Hoeven represents the surest pick-up among the several that Republicans stand poised to win in Senate races next Tuesday.
Pomeroy voted in favor of Obamacare and even ran an ad touting his support for the bill if you could decode the ad’s language. He voted in favor of the stimulus bill. He even voted in favor of Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House.
But Pomeroy’s survival instinct has kicked in. He declined to challenge Hoeven in the Senate contest even though he had easily won his own statewide race nine times before. He preferred the weaker opponent he would draw in his race for re-election.
Now he seeks to reintroduce himself to the voters of North Dakota (video below). Over a guitar chord repeated in the background, Pomeroy sadly declares that he’s not Nancy Pelosi. He’s not Barack Obama. There seems to be a misunderstanding he finds it necessary to correct.
His opponent will apparently privatize Social Security, kill the farm bill, and take away the prescription drug benefit. With that prescription drug benefit, Pomeroy is running on the coattails George W. Bush. Rather than touting his vote in favor of Obamacare, he now concedes that he knows he has let the voters down on occasion. But he’s from North Dakota!
Pomeroy’s closing ad is an incredibly lugubrious affair. Earl Pomeroy is singing the blues. We can only hope it is a song that presages defeat on November 2

Via Jim Geraghty.

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