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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Dem tsunami?

The National Journal's Chuck Todd released a new edition of his House race rankings, which he updates each month (he does the House, Senate, Gov, and WH '08 races in alternating weeks). As with my gubernatorial race rankings from last week, these rankings are based on the likelihood that control of a given House seat will switch parties - in other words, in order of how "vulnerable" a seat is. This week, there were a few things I noticed that were interesting:

  • All of the GOP-held seats in CT were moved up 3-5 spots. Shays was moved up from 7 to 4, Simmons from 10 to 7, and Johnson from 34 to 29. The reasoning? That the Dem candidates in all three races will be able to tout endorsements from both Lamont and Lieberman. That certainly does help all three. I do wonder, however, if the moderate voters who determine these races will be more interested in whether a candidate supports Lamont/Lieberman, rather than whether or not Lamont/Lieberman supports that candidate.

    Todd also asked an interesting question:
    Why isn't Nancy Johnson running for the U.S. Senate? She'd win the three-way
    Don't give her any ideas, Chuck...
  • None of the GOP-held seats in NY are in the top 10 (the open NY-24 being vacated by Sherwood Boehlert is 11th, and John Sweeney is 24th), and only two are in the top 30. Personally, I think that these seats are set to fall like dominoes in November. The GOP is going to get its clock cleaned in both the Senate and Governor's races, with Clinton and Spitzer both bringing out Democratic voters. If either candidate chooses to engage the race by running ads in the upstate TV markets, it's probably curtains for Sue Kelly, John Sweeney, James Walsh, and maybe even Tom Reynolds (man, that would be so sweet) in addition to Boehlert's open seat.
  • It's really tough to find truly vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Leonard Boswell's (IA-3) seat is ranked as the Dems' most vulnerable, at #13. John Barrow (GA-12) is next at #22, followed by the VT open seat at #27 and freshman Rep. Melissa Bean (IL-8) at #28. I think Todd actually has the VT seat too low, but Boswell and Barrow seem much safer to me than Todd seems to think. Boswell has survived challenges from tougher opponents in years when the nat'l environment was much less favorable for Dems, and Barrow is running in a district that was redistricted to give it a higher African-American population than the one he won two years ago. Methinks Barrow's biggest threat would have been a primary challenge from Denise Majette.

The bottom line of all this is that the GOP is going to be playing defense in nearly every contested race that there is this House cycle. The most vulnerable "Dem" seat is one that's actually being held by someone who has never been a member of the Democratic party (Bernie Sanders). The poor outlook for the GOP looks a whole lot like the environment that the Dems faced in 1994, the last time a political tsunami swept a new party into control of the House.

People are talking about the possibility of Dems winning back the House, but they are generally thinking that any Democratic takeover will be a narrow one, with Dems winning just 15-18 new seats - enough to give them a bare majority. I wouldn't be surprised if that happened, and I can also easily foresee circumstances under which the Dems don't re-take the House at all. But I think it is also very possible that the Dems will net 25, 30, maybe even up to 40 seats in the House. People may scoff at the idea of such a massive Democratic victory, but one can easily look at the lay of the land and see that there are at least 30 very vulnerable GOP seats.

Political tsunamis have a tendency to sweep away everything along the waterfront, and also sometimes take out a few places further inland that don't appear vulnerable at first glance. If that historical tendency holds true to form, the GOP may be in for an even longer night on November 7th than pundits expect.


Blogger Gary Sartori said...

Matt, new Quinnipiac poll out this morning shows Lieberman up 12% on Lamont. Likely voters pick Lieberman 53%, with Lamont at 41%, and Alan Schlesenger with 4%. when you tell Sundog this, try to let her down as easily as possible.

7:29 AM

Blogger Gary Sartori said...

With regards to your story, I don't think the Democrats will pick up 40 seats, but 20-25 is certainly possbile. I do think Republicans will close the gap in the days before the election simply because people like to see a race, but I agree that the Democrats will be the majority in the house. As far as the Senate goes, that's going to be a lot tougher.

7:33 AM

Blogger Sundog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:48 AM

Blogger Sundog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:49 AM

Blogger Sundog said...

OK, third try and I've cooled down a little.

Gary, your posts above show that you are capable of holding an intelligent conversation. I wish you'd choose to restrain yourself to that mode of communication.

Second of all, if you've gathered the impression that because I strive to be even-handed I am some kind of wimp, you are mistaken. You WILL refrain from making insulting comments, or you WILL find your visit here at an end.

Got it?

7:53 AM

Blogger Gary Sartori said...

What did I say that was so wrong?? All I did was tell you about a new poll that was out saying Lieberman was in the lead. I don't think you're even handed at all, I think you're a liberal, but that's fine. I did not insult you. Calm down, take nice deep breaths!!!!

8:03 AM

Blogger Sundog said...

You know very well what I'm talking about. I am not a "she". I am a 6 foot 6, 230 pound man in top physical shape, thank you very much.

8:09 AM

Blogger Gary Sartori said...

Fine you're 6-6, 230, meet me, 6-5, 250.

8:17 AM

Blogger Sundog said...

That didn't sound like an apology to me. That sounded like a challenge. Is it?

8:20 AM

Blogger Susan said...

Barring scandal, Lieberman will win by at least 20-30 points. And he'll switch back over to the Democratic Party, where he will be welcomed by all of his colleagues, even by the ones who are fooling the Lamont supporters by giving Lamont lukewarm "endorsements."

The outcome was a foregone conclusion from the beginning, but the "nutroots" mob were so bent on making a point, they didn't care they were wasting time and money on a race when there ere and are so many other candidates who need the support.

8:44 AM

Blogger Susan said...

"Ere" should be "were."

8:44 AM

Blogger Sundog said...

Let me just point out that if it's a foregone conclusion, it's a foregone conclusion only because Lieberman decided not to let democracy interrupt his ambitions. If he were on the sidelines, where the voters of Connecticut told him they wanted him, it would be a different story. Now he is most definitely the Republican candidate, whatever he calls himself today.

Joe Lieberman is no Democrat.

8:49 AM

Blogger Sundog said...

This morning, a source at the National Republican Senatorial Committee confirmed in a phone interview that the party will not help Schlesinger or any other potential Republican candidate in Connecticut, and it now favors a Lieberman victory in November.

"We did a poll and there is no way any Republican we put out there can win, so we are just going to leave that one alone," said the NRSC source.

Instead, the NRSC is pulling for Lieberman over Ned Lamont, who rode an anti-war message to a victory in the Aug 8 primary.

"Most Republicans would agree that he'd clearly be a better choice than Lamont," said the source.


So Lieberman's numbers are strictly because Republicans are supporting him instead of their no-name at 4%.

Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't exactly be crowing with victory about that.

9:14 AM

Blogger cacambo said...

Anyone want to talk about the House races...

10:17 AM

Blogger cscs said...

Anyone want to talk about the House races...

I'll bite. From my amateur-only perspective, the real key is we're way off on the wrong track, everyone knows it, and the only choice for change is to vote D. No reasonable person is going to say, if we just give these GOPs one more term, they'll get it right.

1:40 PM

Blogger SeedFreak said...

I think Peter King may be on his way out. He's in the district over from me, I'm in Caroline McCarthy's district, but everytime I see him on Lou Dobbs I'm on the phone to his office within twentyfour hours if I can't get through in twentyfour minutes. He's apparently now endorsing racial profiling. I think this sucks big time for several reasons. Not all Muslims are dark and swarthy and not all dark and swarthy people are Muslims, nor are all Muslims bad people--in actuallity they are good people--but extremists of any religion usually are not. So, as King's district, like much of LI, is a melting pot of different cultures, racial profiling is not going to go over well. In Nassau, Tom Suozzi rescued the county from eons of Republican financial mismanagement. Suffolk County is now going through it's regurgitations, they are going to come out from strong Republican domination too.

AFIC, Lamont is joined by an umbilical cord to the nutroots. He can try to get the centrist vote and he can try to get the republican vote but it isn't going to happen.

I'm looking forward to the Republicans for Ned posts on MyLeftNut, Kossacky Wacky or FireDogRacist, it's gonna be quite entertaining as they gag and hurl from their self-nauseating spin.


6:28 PM

Blogger cacambo said...

I actually was curious as to why Suozzi launched a hopeless challenge against Spitzer rather than running against King. I just don't think Dave Mejias will have the resources to take King down, although he could give him a scare.

6:54 PM

Blogger SeedFreak said...

Suozzi for Prez 2012 or 2016. I'm one of the people who told him he could do it ;-)

Today, when I got out of my car to go to Starbucks, there were Dave Mejias campaign employment posters EVERYWHERE. Hmmm--maybe a good opportunity for me as I need to make a few extra bucks.

Does Dave have a shot? I don't know. PK has backers with deep pockets, but he also has a public that is, on LI, growing in anti-republican sentiment. The growth of this sentiment has been ongoing for quite some years, so I don't think Bush-hating adds to the resentment. I actually think that the republican-hating on LI has more to do with LI republican leadership than with Bush--perhaps he's the icing on the cake, but he's certainly not the cause of the resentment.

I don't know Suffolk politics very well, but in Nassau County where there are over 100! frikin' governments (I swear!) you can easily find enclaves and pools of pols. Shivving with a Smile is political way of life here. The republican majority population has either died or retired to Florida, they're replaced by a baby-boomer and wealthy immigrant population.

On LI there are two classes of immigrants--those with bucks and those without. The immigrant homeowners are a large and growing population that has been increasing since the mid to late 1960s--this coincides with the first roll-over of Levitt-built home-ownership. Immigrants with bucks came along to by the houses from the original owners. The only difference between then and now are areas of the world the immigrants come from.

In the sixties it was europeans, in the seventies it was (eur)asians and africans, the eighties and nineties added caribbeans, middle eastern, and the emerging growth of latinos which is still the great swell. In a nutshell, the people who used to be the busboys when I was growing up now own the restaurants. This is a huge socio-economic difference. And it is is in this difference that you find the opening to defeat Peter King. His base of pro-republican voters has dwindled, it's not being replaced by a pro-republican caucasion population. It's a latte population and they will strongly resent racial profiling.

7:59 PM

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7:26 PM


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