Skip to comments.A bad year for Democrats?
Posted on 05/21/2006 11:30:52 PM PDT by Aussie Dasher
Given the current political climate, Republicans should take heavy casualties during the upcoming mid-term elections. President Bush is lucky when he breaks 30% in approval ratings, conservatives are infuriated with the Republican leadership in the Senate over immigration and spending, the GOP has allowed itself to be blamed for high gas prices, and Democrats dominate "generic" congressional ballots by double digits.
So, its going to be Black November for the Republicans, right? Well, not really.
The Democrats are acting like it is going to be their version of 1994: Then, Republicans made a 54-seat gain in the House and netted 8-seats in the Senate to take control of Congress. But their confidence is also their error. If the Democrats fail to recapture either chamber, which is the most likely scenario, then what does that say about the future of a party that cannot win when its opponent is at its worst? If Democrats manage to stay in minority status after November it says far more about Democrats than it does about Republicans. If they manage to take control its no big deal; after all, they are supposed to win, right?
It would take a miracle (and, Im talking $30 a gallon gasoline here) for Democrats to take the Senate. Their best shot at pick-ups are in Pennsylvania, where Rick Santorum has trailed Democrat Bob Casey for months by large margins, and in Ohio, where incumbent Republican Mike DeWine is in a dead-heat with Sherrod Brown but still favored. Conrad Burns of Montana has fallen in the polls due to his ties to a scandal-plagued lobbyist, but has six months to regain his image in the Republican-heavy state.
In Missouri, first-term Senator Jim Talent will be in a close race with his Democratic challenger, State Auditor Claire McCaskill, and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island will have to fend off a primary opponent before heading into a tough general election battle. Democrats would have to take all five of these seats and manage to pick-up a sixth seat elsewhere while avoiding losing any incumbents of their own.
And Democrats will definitely have some defending to do. In Minnesota, Republican Mark Kennedy is running dead even with the likely DFL nominee Amy Klobuchar in a seat being vacated by Democrat Mark Dayton. New Jersey features favorite son Tom Kean, Jr. (R) against appointed incumbent Robert Menendez (D). Kean, the son of a very popular former governor, may enter the November match-up as the favorite and has led many of the head-to-head polls against Menendez.
In Washington, incumbent Maria Cantwell (D) has seen her sizeable lead over Mike McGavick (R) all but disappear and Wisconsin voters are waiting to see if Tommy Thompson, the drama-intense ultra-popular former governor, will hop into the Senate race against incumbent Herb Kohl (D). Earlier in the week, Thompson said he would not run for the governorship but remained silent on his intentions for the Senate race. The much-anticipated answer will likely be given at the Wisconsin Republican State Convention this weekend.
Prospects for the House arent much brighter for Democrats. The Congressional Quarterly projects that only 24 seats currently held by Republicans are competitive and 16 of those still favor the Republican incumbents. Again, with just 8 toss-ups, and needing a net gain of twice that, things arent looking all that good for the Democrats. The Quarterly also lists 11 competitive Democratic seats.
So, what is the problem? For one, dissatisfaction with Republicans has not turned into support for Democrats. When the Republicans swept the nation in 1994 they did so with a very specific agenda laid out in their Contract with America. The contract featured eight government reforms and 10 bills that they promised to get passed within the first 100 days of being elected. Democrats lack the vision and clarity that the Republican class of 1994 successfully drove to a major electoral victory.
Democrats have recently tried to run on supposed Republican corruption, high gas prices, impeaching the president, and figuring out why Dick Cheney waited 12 hours to brief the press following a hunting accident. The front page of the official Democratic Party website drowns on about the "CIA leak scandal" and attacks Bush for not "reducing Americas dependence on foreign oil." It then reads like a National Enquirer feature when ranting about "new revelations about Bushs secret domestic NSA programs." These are issues that are pleasing to the liberals of the party but not so much with middle-class Americans.
Second, the national party is moving further and further to the left as each election passes. In Pennsylvania, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, Bob Casey, has come under attack by liberals for being pro-life. Joe Lieberman will face a non-threatening primary opponent for his support of the war effort. Al Gore was once a pro-life moderate from Tennessee but has since morphed into an ultra-left moveon.org type. The former won Senate elections in his state, the latter lost a presidential one there.
The campaign themes laid out by the Democrats are less of the Contract with America variety and more of the wild-conspiracy and threat-of-impeachment variety, delivering a message that does not resonate with middle America. The result is that Americans may want change, but are incapable of relating with the alternative choice.
Republicans have no business walking out of November with control of the government, but Democrats seem all too willing to take themselves out of the game.
I've been guessing 8 dem pickups in the House and 1 in the senate. In its own way this is probably the best scenerio for the dems since that gives them enough to block nearly any action the president tries to undertake but without the responsibility of leadership. We'll see.
It really is the Republicans' to lose. IMHO, the way to secure a victory is to go on the offensive with strong border security, tough requirements for normalization of illegal aliens, heavy publication of the good news in Iraq including highlighting of the heroes of Iraq. They should also start identifying the liars for what they are: traitors who are helping the enemy. Finally Bush should veto some pork barrel projects and ram his judicial appointments through the senate.
I think he is and said so, long before this article was written.
My goodness, you're really making a show of yourself aren't you? I saw you on the other thread and have read your posts. If you are still posting on this forum tomorrow, I will be surprised. Your intelligence is NOT impressive and your attitude is.......baaaaddddd.
Vote for us:
We'll raise taxes, open the borders, lose the war on terror, impeach the president, quash free speech on the internet, sell our secrets to the Iranians - and this is all before we give Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan the mic.
We think this is our year! :)
Sounds like Andrew Sullivan didn't get his last night.
True. It's going to be interesting to see how the results this year effect the Dems 08 choices.
A Warner/Bayh ticket would be unbeatable IMHO, however I only think that's going to happen if the Dems get their asses handed to them this year.
If they do well this year, the radical left will get cocky and blow 08.
"All politics is local."
I've been saying all along that the House is too well gerrymandered to change hands. Very few races are even contestable, lacking a substantial "threw the bums out" movement afoot.
Besides the Contract With America, there were two other things that drove the 1994 takeover. One was the Hillarycare takeover of health care and the need for somebody to stand in its way.
The other was a problem of the Dem's own making - gerrymandered minority districts. By drawing ridiculous boundaries that ensured a majority of black or Hispanic voters, the Dems effectively stole from the voting bases that helped them sustain majorities in the remaining *white* districts. After years of court challenges, 1994 was when the white vote switched sides because the majority-Dem minority districts had sucked away the margin of victory they had in other districts.
The GOP doesn't have that problem. They'd have to disaffect a lot of white voters to cause a seachange back to Dem control. New southern districts created by the 2000 census and efforts by Republicans to further gerrymander states in their favor, lessen even more the odds for a Democrat takeback.
And you can thank Tom DeLay for a good deal of cementing various districts.
And now Democrat Congressman, William Jefferson has been filmed taking Bribe money from an FBI agent.
Part of Nancy Pelosi's "Culture of Corruption"????
E-Mail Her the story tomorrow..flood her offices.
flood her phones...repete the words "Culture of corruption"
at least 3 times.
your coffee will taste so much better at break time.
Instead of tearing each other apart, we should continue to hold the Republicans' feet to the fire on immigration. They know what America's mood on immigration is, and they're shaking in their boots.
As always, elections are won by turn out. Still lots of time to get motivated and buy nose clips if necessary.
Only 1 in the Senate?
I have them picking up 4 most likely. I guess we will see.
Overall, I think the Senate stays GOP, the House also but it will be close on both.
Well, for one thing, the Republicans in 1994 had a vision. I haven't heard anything visionary out of a Democrat in years.
The Dims may pick up a few seats, but I don't think it's going to be that many. They offer nothing compelling, and judging by their character as of late, they may offer something far worse in the eyes of enough.
If as you suggest the repubs actually pick up even one or two seats in either house this Nov. what are the dems gonna say then?
We just didn't get our message out to the voter.
It would be comical to see the leaders of the dems sputtering and going batty.
Nice to think, thanks
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