Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Democratic year?

Excellent analysis from the American Thinker today. This reflects nicely my own thinking, which has not changed in months now.

Of the Senate seats up for election in 2008, 23 are held by Republicans, 12 are held by Democrats. 5 Republicans are retiring and two Republican seats are held by appointees. Given these numbers, it would be impossible for Republicans to retake the Senate, even in a good year. I expect Democrats to make gains in the Senate. Remember, taking advantage of open seats and appointees was how the Republicans took the Senate in 1994.

Democrats will probably also gain in the House because Democrats have been much better at recruiting strong local candidates. That's why the Democrats won the three special elections. They recruited strong, moderate, candidates, who could win the districts.

The conventional wisdom is wrong about the Presidential race. McCain wins and wins big. Here's why:

1. November is a long way away, and Republicans have nowhere to go but up in the polls. Bush is a lame duck and the Republicans are out of power in Congress. They will have a hard time making any more mistakes.

2. McCain leads his party by 15-20 points. He is easily the most popular man in the GOP. If the Republicans can merely crawl out of the electoral basement, McCain wins easily.

3. The electoral college map favors McCain. (Hillary's case against Obama) Obama can run up the score in cities and college towns, but that won't win him the states he needs to win.4.

McCain has the support of 15-20% of Democrats. Obama has the support of 5% of Republicans. In contrast, Bush and Kerry each had the support of about 10% of members of the opposite party.

5. Too many Democrats, especially those associated with the Obama campaign, are betting against US Military success. George B. McClellan had Lincoln beat in the summer of 1864 on a platform of ending the war. A few Union victories later, Lincoln won in a landslide. 6. Democrats are not good at winning Presidential elections. Since the Civil War, only four Democrats have won a majority of the popular vote: Samuel Tilden, who won the popular vote, but lost the electoral college in 1876; FDR, who did it four times; LBJ in 1964; and Carter, who managed slightly over 50% against Ford in 1976. All other Democratic Presidents were elected on pluralities.

I predict a substantial victory for McCain.

I have been following politics for a while. Since 1952. I have never seen the conventional wisdom about an election more baseless.

Why Obama? Charisma, ideas, hope? None of these or any other reasons that have been bandied about. It's Obama because he is not Hillary.
The Clintons embarrassed the Democratic Party. Many, many Democrats were ashamed of their President. They do not want to see Billary in the White House ever again, even as visitors. Note that Obama won in the caucus states where the politically active determine the outcome.

A Democratic year? How do you figure? Because the New York Times says so? Look at 2006! Yes, let's look at it. In the preceding 6 midterm elections where the incumbent President's party lost seats the average loss in the Senate was 6.1, in the House 29.33. In 2006 the Republicans lost 7 in the Senate and 30 in the House. Pretty ho-hum.

Let's look at the Democratic Presidents.

JFK and Nixon tied in the popular vote, even though Nixon was extremely unlikeable.

LBJ beat Goldwater in 1964. Kennedy had been assassinated, we were in the middle of a war and Goldwater was a radical.

Carter beat Ford in 1976. Nixon had resigned because of Watergate and Ford was an appointed Vice President.

Clinton beat GHWB in 1992 with only 43% of the vote. Ross Perot got 19% which, arguably, was 60-70% Republicans.

It seems that Democrats only win in extreme circumstances.

In our history we have seen stretches where one party controlled Congress that average about 30 years with occasional one-term reversals. I'll go with history every time.

From where I'm sitting it doesn't look at all like a Democratic year.
Full article - New window

1 Comment:

James said...

The article makes very interesting points. I hope it plays out like this. If voters focus on principles that Republicans will win. If the voters focus on feelings they lose.