Interest in the 45th Congressional District debate between incumbent Mary Bono Mack and Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet was evident in the number of reader letters appearing in Sunday’s edition of The Desert Sun newspaper. Among those was one from former State Senator Jim Battin, who now wears many hats – including that of Republican Party political consultant, who’s Crystal Ball political instincts are pretty sharp. In his Letter to the Editor he wrote “I’m here to tell you this isn’t the year Mary Bono Mack retires. Steve Pougnet has made a valiant effort in fundraising, but he’ll lose by at least 10 percent.“
- “Every two years, it’s the same thing: ‘Is this the year Mary Bono Mack loses?’ I grow weary of the same stories in The Desert Sun year after year that try and show that finally this is the time that the Democrats will win. That story is just not real and never has been.”
- “This year, like all the ones before it, won’t even be close. Once again the voters of Mary’s district will re-elect our Republican representative. Why? Because the desert and all of Mary’s district is center-right. We elect Republicans. (This is where the valley’s Democrat operatives start writing angry letters saying I don’t know what I’m talking about.)”
- “I was in the Legislature when the district boundaries were drawn, and as the former vice chairman of the Senate Elections Committee (the committee that drew the lines), I’m here to tell you this isn’t the year Mary Bono Mack retires. Steve Pougnet has made a valiant effort in fundraising, but he’ll lose by at least 10 percent.”
- “I’m taking bets. If you think this is the year for a Democrat upset, let me know.”
- La Quinta
- Note: Jim Battin served as a State Senator representing Coachella Valley’s 37th Senatorial District until being term limited in 2008. He previously served in the California State Assembly from 1994 until 2000. His early professional career was as a television executive with KMIR-TV in Palm Desert for 10 years.
Former State Senator Jim Battin’s assessment of Steve Pougnet’s zero chances of winning Mary Bono Mack’s 45th Congressional District seat this year is one of those rare occasions in which we agree. However, I suspect his Crystal Ball had more to say on the subject and it’s a bit of bad news he chose not to share. This year, 2010, may be Mary’s last hurrah!
The district continues to be a center-right community – PLUS this is definitely not a good year for Democratic candidates. However, the district is slowing drifting away from center-right and these congressional seat campaigns repeat every two years. The Steve Pougnet name is becoming more recognizable throughout the district and that, together with the expertise he is acquiring from his current campaign activities, will serve to make him a more formidable candidate the next time around. He has created a strong core support group and established a significant fundraising base. Both will serve him well in the 2012 rematch many political pundits think he could possibly win (and that could even be the year Mary Bono Mack voluntarily chooses to retire).