Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, February 22, 2008

More Than Presidents in November

While we are all focused on the presidential nominations race, I wanted to point out something: there has been a rash of announcements coming from Washington about Republican congresspeople who will retire at the end of their terms.

27 GOP congress people are planning to leave office. 5 of those announcements came in one week. According to the Washington Post, 10 of the 27 districts now held by these GOP congresspeople will be toss ups. So far, only 6 Democrats have announced that they will leave, all from safe districts.

As the Post pointed out, something similar happened in 1994 when 29 Democrats left office. Not surprising since no one really likes Minority status. However, that same year 21 GOP members left. So things were a bit more even.

OK, but here is the really interesting part. According to the Post, 2007 was the first time that the Democratic Congressional Committee (DCCC) has raised more money ($67.5 mil) than its Republican counterpart (NRCC) ($49.5 mil). The article goes on to say that the NRCC was in the red for most of last year. By the end of the year, the NRCC has only $5 mil in the bank compared to the DCCC with $35 mil in the bank, mostly from small contributors who gave $200 or less.

Could we be on the brink of a long-term Democratic take over again? Chew on that for a while.


Raised By Republicans said...

I predicted this in a comment days after the 2006 election. It's a fairly easy prediction to make actually so I can't claim genious psychic status or something.

But yeah, it's no fun at all to be in the minority - especially in the House. And with the writing on the wall about the Congressional race in 2008, it will look even more tempting to retire or cash in on the other side of that infamous revolving door.

The long term prospects are even more striking when you look at the issues and the generational shift. The Baby Boom echo is much more liberal than their parents were. They support equal rights for Gays, they support more aggressive government roles in health care, and while their more religious than you might expect, the style of their religiosity is more tolerant, more focused on poverty and less focused on "who would Jesus hate?"

Also, in states that have traditionally been Republican strong holds, urbanization is transforming those states into swing states or Blue States (see Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Arizona even Virginia and North Carolina).

The Republicans' "Southern Strategy" (which is also a "Rural Strategy") worked in the 80s and 90s as the South was booming. But that boom brought demographic changes that don't favor Republicans in the long run. By selling out to the Rural Bigot Base, Republicans may have doomed themselves for the next decade or more.

McCain's candidacy is an attempt to bring the GOP back to the suburbs. Huckaee is about keeping it in the sticks.

uswest said...

The generational shift is something that I have noted off and in or alluded to. Across government the Boomers are retiring and the Xers are taking over.

I think this is a good thing, even though it is inevitable. I have been watching a documentary on the various empires, currently the Roman one. And it is interesting to look back and see how things change over time and what that means for a society.

A recent commentary by Rick Perlstein in the Post pointed out that we are still experiencing the effects of the 1960s and how in many ways, the Democratic race is proof of that, with Hilary a classic, if somewhat more conservative Boomer and Obama trying to claim that he is the cure for the culture wars. He points out that we study the more radical leftist movements of the 1960s while ignoring the very vibrant conservative movements- those that fought sex ed in schools, or how George Wallace once said of a protesters who lay in front of cars, "They do that to me, it will be the last car they lay in front of." and then got a 20 Point bump in the polls.

It is an interesting point of view. In a recent back and forth between the candidates, Obama tried to paint Hilary as a rather conservative insider who supports the establishment and her supporters struck back with "She was on the front lines with us on the streets protecting a woman's right to choose".

The truth is that Hiliary has always deemed that the best way to change things was to play from the inside. In the 1960s, when she was student body president, rather than turn Rutgers into Berkeley of Kent state, she staged anti-war teach ins, which allowed her to walk the middle line between effective protest and the administration. That is what she still does. And you hear that in her statements about Medical Care. She knows that you win by claiming the middle ground. She knows because she has failed miserably when she has tried to do otherwise.

So it will be interesting to see what happens and to what extent this election ends up being about addressing the rifts that still exist in our society from the 1960s.

The Law Talking Guy said...

The math looks rather incredible. Dems are likely to be able to challenge and pick up some House seats. But the real action is in the Senate. Dems have a great shot at picking up extra seats in NH, CO, MN, VA, and NM, plus reasonable chances of picking up seats in ME and OR. Even AK, NE, and MS offer opportunities for close races. Assuming Lieberman will go to the Republicans, the current split is 49-1-50 (with the independent Sanders to the left of the Dems, so safe). A pickup of fewer than 4 or 5 will be considered a major Democratic defeat, so we're looking at 54 or 55 seats in the new Senate, in all likelihood, plus a few surviving senators to be shaken by tough bids. This means that the chances of overcoming filibusters are greatly increased.

USWest said...

If you agree that everything cycles, then we will have periods of stability and periods of change. Here is a postulate: As things change, as you see one generation take over from the other, you will see ossified destabilization followed by evolving destabilizations when the new ones come in. Once the new ones are established, you will enter a period of positive stability.

I wonder is there is something to this idea. As the old guard leaves, they fight the changes that are inevitable, and you end up with Nixon or in this case Bush. I haven't worked it out well yet, but it is an idea I will play with for a while.