Skip to comments.For House Democrats: More Favorable Terrain Than ‘94
Posted on 06/24/2010 6:29:27 AM PDT by randita
For House Democrats: More Favorable Terrain Than 94
Rhodes Cook, Senior Columnist June 24th, 2010
Editors Note: Following last weeks article by Prof. Alan Abramowitz comparing 1994 and 2010 on the basis of open seat races, noted political author and Wall Street Journal online columnist Rhodes Cook delves into the differences between the political terrain of 1994 and that facing Democrats today. His smart commentary and scholarly analysis serves as a call to look beneath the surface and he offers a much-needed glimpse at the partisan and regional factors which will make or break this year for both political parties. Those who want to see exactly where Republicans and Democrats will be fighting hardest, and why, will find this piece a definite must-read. - Larry J. Sabato
When the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives in 1994, one of their main problems was the political terrain on which they had to fight. While many political observers find the present electoral environment to be eerily similar with that of 1994, not nearly as many House Democrats are as exposed as they were then.
Fully half of the Democratic seats in that strongly anti-incumbent, anti-Democratic election 16 years ago were in districts that had voted for the Republican presidential ticket in one or both of the previous two presidential elections. This time, just one third of Democratic seats are in similarly problematic territory.
(Excerpt) Read more at centerforpolitics.org ...
At Key House Races, we have a chart showing the races we are following which charts the district's presidential voting history back to 2000 - Key Races Three-Year Presidential Voting History Chart
Forty three of the districts we are tracking favored the Republican for President in the last three elections by an average margin of 5% or more. There are additional ones favoring the Republican by a smaller average margin. In some cases, there were large swings toward Obama in reliably Republican districts, skewing the average.
If the author had considered the possibility that 2000 and 2004 were indicative of a district's lean and that 2008 was an anomaly, his analysis would show larger Republican projections for this year.
I would like to see what the author said about the ‘94 races before they were held. I only recall Robert Novak talking about a Republican takeover of the house prior to the election and he only did that a few weeks before the election took place.
The fact that it is necessary to compare the upcoming mid-term election to 1994 is telling indeed. And there was no Tea Party movement this time. The GOP is facing heavy pressure to actually represent popular will rather than go along to get along as before.
America’s future for a generation to come may well hang in the balance come November.
If Larry Sabato has anything to do with something, I ignore it. I can’t stand that guy
Those who try to put lipstick on the Leftist pig are always described as “smart” and “scholarly”. Why, you wouldn’t want to listen to those ignorant hayseeds on the Right would you?
I think Cook might try explaining away the 20+ enthusiasm gap and the 6 to 10 point generic gap, but hey that’s just me.
My worry now is the 16 years of practice since '94 that the Dems have in stealing elections.
Old Larry was caught working for JIM WEBB and hit theCable circuit smearing the GOP VA senator and INTENTIONALLY FAILED to disclose he was a paid WEBB Employee.
This same fraud went around predicting that G W Bush would not be reelected in 2004 !
Ignore all this fraud DNC propaganda !
“Arguably, the political landscape is more favorable for the Democrats this time because they are a more cohesive, top-down party than they were in 1994.”
Even though Sabato thinks that a centralized organization can defeat its opposition, the public might not share that view. Now that every Democrat votes in lock step, every Democrat must endure the question “Do you support 0bama’s agenda?” Apparently, the public is not buying 0bama’s agenda as evidenced by 0bama’s sinking poll numbers. Look at the right track wrong track numbers: 2 to 1 see the country going on the wrong track. Look at numbers showing the public’s rejection of ever expanding government.
Moreover, the lack of transparency has been truly appalling. The public was not able to know details of key legislation such as health care and stimulus until the bills were passed. Corruption abounds in this administration but there is no effective check on power precisely because the Democrats are a top down, unaccountable organization.
Perhaps Sabato is right and the Democrats have a really well organized juggernaut. The only problem is that the juggernaut is not aimed at solving the nation’s problems. It is a juggernaut aimed at putting the boot on the throat of the American people. If the Democrats think they can win by waging war on the American people, let’s see how that turns out.
Sabato does sometimes have good analysis of situations and how they may play out, but one must take anything about lib/dems with a grain of salt as he does seem to bank on previous creditability to spin ever so subtly for his dem friends.
I remember well that the Sunday before liberal Morton Kondracke predicted a House and Senate takeover...that certainly wasn’t a few weeks out, like Novak. But you are right: those predicting GOP victories were few and far between.
Way too many people are ignoring the fact that we simply have not been able to win these critical special elections (except Hawaii which ofcourse we will lose in November). Republicans are not winning in places that would be an indication of massive gains this fall. We couldn't even win Murtha's district(PA-12) which is a terrible omen of how this election cycle may go.
There is just zero evidence this crop of American's will be voting conservative. Yes, many are irritated at Obama, but there is no groundswell to fundamentally move to the right. It just isn't happening...yet.
In the long term, we are losing the demographic battle. We are headed very quickly to a time where many people will feel they are a total stranger in their own country. A time where EVERYONE they know hates the leftists running our nation, but where the majority are now victim groups, hispanics, blacks, etc, who reliably vote for liberals.
It was a fantasy to think that PA-12 was ever winnable. It's specifically gerrymandered to guarantee a Democrat victory it is also economically depressed and dependant on pork.
2010 may be the last gasp of the angry Caucasian. The face of America is much different from 1980 or even 1994.
Larry Sabato is delusional.
I don't know why anyone thinks it should be a slam dunk for a Repub to win in a district where registered Rats outnumber Repubs by 2 to 1.
Larry is a Democrat and his spin on each election is the DNC spin .
he actually works for the DNC on the side and fails to report it .
Larry was running around in 2003 and 2004 screamin that Busgh could not get reelected while he was quietly working for the DNC.
He is still secretly working for the DNC and that is the reason why Hannnity dropped him .
AS for the purple district. the GOP votes were split in the Hoffman case and in the other NY district , the DNC was caught promoting that non resident summer home owners could cast a vote in that Sept special election and as the
PA case the DNC had as 2 to 1 votong advantage plus the Dem had the close Specter primary while the GOP primary was
But Larry always ignore the facts in order to peddle the
DNC talking points .
Just like Larry’s prediction that Jeb Bush and GW Bush would lose in 2002 and 2004.
larry is a worthless leftist.
In 1994 the Generic Polling as per polling report.com on the last day before the vote actually had the Democrats up by 3 points. Latest Rasmussen has then down by 10.
Comparing this election coming to anything in the past is ludicrous beyond belief since the situation we are facing today is not nearly comparable anything in the past, nor has the anger been so evident as it is today.
16 years of democratic population growth. Welfare toddlers in 1994 are now eligible to vote.
True and there are a lot more illegals on the rolls also.
However almost none of the Dem candidates inspire much energy from the electorate. That subtracts a lot of votes.
I’m cautiously optimistic.
If the Republicans use the hammer of 10% unemployment effectively, they can win a lot of seats. Carville’s economy comments are still pertinent.
Comparisons like this are just as stupid as when they do it in sports, e.g. “Houston teams are 8-12 in playoff games at night over the past 30 years, so they’ll probably lose tonight”.
So what? That was then, this is now.
It’s some consolation to consider that PA-12 as it exists now may be a goner in 2012. PA is going to lose one congressional seat as a result of the census numbers and it’s widely speculated that PA-12 is the one that’s going bye-bye.
And, even if you accept the author's premise and employ his calculations based on the 1994 turnover rate in blue, purple and red districts, you end up with GOP gains of 45 seats.
That's not quite as many as in 1994 (56), but still enough to take control of the House.
And, as you point out, that's likely to be the floor -- rather than a ceiling.
There seems to be agreement among major pollsters that the GOP has a lock on gaining 25-30 seats at this point in time. Even Sabato (whom some claim is too liberal) has a projection of +32 for the GOP (and his projections are among the rosiest). There are a couple dozen more seats that are in the “lean D-tossup-leanR” categories. The GOP probably has to pick up about half of those to win the House. In this election cycle, that should be doable.
The Senate, however, is a much steeper climb. May not happen this year, but the GOP will be well positioned for 2012, esp. with Dear Reader’s favorability sinking like lead.
I believe about the rosiest projection one can make for the GOP Senate is +8. That's assuming they successfully defend NH and MO -- and there are no unpleasant surprises.
In order to gain a majority, they'd have to take two of three in CA, WA and WI.
And, of course, in the back of our minds is the awareness that the GOP is perfectly capable of screwing it all up. Especially, if they actually get elected...
SO, the real question is, are the folks that good at stealing elections, are they motivated? I’d guess they aren’t. Community Awareness and outreach programs are probably not bursting at the seams for volunteers. The Demorat base right now is queitly peeling off their Obama stickers...
Many offshoots of Reaganism with the GOP freshmen back then.
Today, we’re battling a serious RINO infection. Hopefully Conservatives and the Tea Party will fix that.
So those polls which show the Rep woth a 8-10 point lead in the Generic ballot are meaningless?
gut insticnt leads me to believe the Nov races will not go ALL out Republican. Republicans have no leadership, no message nada!
The Senate picture for the rats is worse than in 1994. They lost only 2 incumbents that year, they lost control because they lost every open seat.
We haven’t beaten more than 2 incumbent democrat Senators in one election since 1980. That will change in 2010.
They will lose the Senate or come close to it. And all but 2 of their losses will be in states that voted for Obama. That’s horrible for them.
The House may surpass the 230 Republicans elected in 1994. The races for Governor look good.
Stu Rothenberg recently wrote a column on how this is a Republican wave election not an “anti-incumbent” election. The democrats are the only incumbents in general election danger.