Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


US House Snapshot: Republicans Brace for More Losses

Bookmark and Share

Media coverage of the 2008 election is rightly centered at the moment on the fascinating 2008 presidential race; any remaining coverage seems to be focused on the U.S. Senate – and whether or not the Democrats can turn in a miraculous performance in 2008 to achieve a filibuster-proof majority, as they did in 2006 to win a bare majority.

Perhaps the battle for the U.S. House is not receiving as much notice because Democrats already hold a 236 to 199 seat advantage. This lead is already larger than any held by the Republicans throughout their reign from 1994-2006 (holding a peak 30-seat advantage after the 2004 elections). Democrats have not held as small an advantage over the GOP as it currently enjoys since the 1956 election (234 to 201).

In 2008 Democrats can expect to make further gains in the House – perhaps ultimately approaching their 258 to 176 lead they held going into the 1994 elections. There are several reasons to expect a big Democratic victory in the House come November:

· Democrats have consistently held a 10+ point lead in generic congressional matchup polling. Republican strategists have attempted to link Congress’ low approval rating with trouble for the Democrats in November; to that Democrats answered in mid-May with a stunning special election victory, picking up a seat in (conservative) northern Mississippi. In short, Republicans are still scrambling to pick up the pieces after 2006.

· Republicans will be defending more than three times as many open seats (27) as will the Democrats (8).

· Of the 202 seats won by the GOP in 2006, 78 were decided by less than 20 points (39 percent), and 134 were decided by less than 30 points (66 percent). Of the 233 seats won by the Democrats in 2006, just 41 were decided by less than 20 points (18 percent) and only 63 were decided by less than 30 points (27 percent). In other words, more than twice as many Republican seats are vulnerable to pick-ups than Democratic seats.

· Democrats have the luxury of 125 ‘safe seats’ – those decided by 30 points or more in the 2006 election; an additional 45 Democrats did not even face a Republican challenger. Republicans only won 58 blowout victories of 30 points or more and did not face a Democratic challenger in just 10 additional races.

All the stars are therefore aligned for the Democrats to score a big victory in the U.S. House – even in the event that John McCain should win a competitive election against Barack Obama.

Previous post: Smart Politics Study: Independence Party Need Make No Apologies to the DFL
Next post: 18 is Enough: South Dakota Democratic Senators and the Third Term Curse

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting